Re//Store Sisterhood: Jo Wedin
Jo Wedin is a singer and songwriter based in Paris. As we were shooting our upcoming collection in this magical capital with the Manuka Life team I found the moment to catch up with her and chat style, wellness and her upcoming LP this Autumn with her duo project Jo Wedin and Jean Felzine. This charismatic couple kindly invited us to their apartment in the Canal St Martin area and performed a song from the upcoming album live for the team, a true Paris experience on a hot summer’s night. We will share this musical gem in the near future with a video showcasing the new collection! Johanna also has her own solo project with which she released a wonderful album of jazz songs.
As we share similar aesthetics and taste levels we decided to explore and share a few Paris addresses for your pleasure. All places are spots we found in her neighbourhood around Canal St Martin and in the area of the photogenic hotel Providence http://www.hotelprovidenceparis.com/en/ where we stayed, near La Republique bordering on Le Marais.
We first met at Saam, a cute Korean eatery on Rue de Lancry. Here we enjoyed a tasty lunch of Korean baps in the sweltering city heat and narrowed down the list of other cool spots to share.
Enjoy the interview and our little black Book of Johanna’s hood!
How would you describe your personal style?
I love wearing vintage style trousers, any high-waisted pants, and especially jeans. Tight fitting vintage jeans are my best friend. I always wear heels, even in the summer. I absolutely love the look of a nice pair of jeans, cigarette pants, or “Marlene Dietrich” style pants and would wear this with a nice vintage 40’s style silk blouse.
And is this similar to your stage style?
On stage I have a much more glamorous style. I love mixing shiny materials like gold, silver or sequins. Lately I’ve been wearing a dark-blue, striped suit with a silvery top underneath and silver socks. I often wear jeans with a sequin blazer also. Except in the summer, when the printed summer dresses come out. It can get really hot on stage and in the summer it can be crazy so I’ll have to dress accordingly…
What made you decide to become a singer?
I have always been singing since I was a little girl, I was part of the choir and sang in school. I danced for quite a while too, so being on stage has always been important to me. I guess I thought studying was quite boring and I started making music on the side whilst working. All of a sudden it started to take off and I got more gigs and more work in music so I wanted to try and do this full-time. It’s not easy, but for the moment I can pull it off!
What inspires you at the start of a new song or album?
I don’t want to sound like the Choi he of a tormented artist but I usually start a new song because I feel distressed. It is certainly a source of inspiration for me, mood-swings, feeling low or insecure. This creates a power to compose and write. Even if the outcome is not a sad song, the initial inspiration will have derived from a distressed feeling. I even sang some of the best performances in the studio whilst feeling terribly anxious. But that’s not always the case in studio though. I can sing well whilst being happy too. But when composing and writing I need that anxious drive…
What is the favourite element of your job?
Being on stage is wonderful when you’re feeling free and when the audience and the band and I all understand each other. It’s great when people get happy from what I’m trying to express on stage.
And the biggest challenge?
It’s easy to slide and sometimes fall along the road. It happens all the time (taking bad decisions, listening to and comparing to other people) You have to remember to get up again, not to get discouraged. That’s the biggest challenge.
Another challenge is to not take things too seriously. I mean, I’m not a surgeon or a nurse. It shouldn’t go to your head. And finally, and this counts for many other jobs, is not to think too much of the future. I have to tell myself to continue, learn small new things whilst sticking to what I believe in everyday.
Do you practice mindfulness and in what way?
I see a therapist that specialises in Cognitive Behavioural therapy which includes mindfulness in his practice.
What role does yoga play in your life?
I’ve tried yoga classes a few times. But I always stopped, because the classes were too large or I couldn’t afford it in the end. Now I’ve started pocket-yoga on my i-phone to get motivated again, thanks to you Maaike Mekking!
What is your favourite indulgence within the world of wellness.
What do you listen to at the moment?
All kinds of soul compilations on Spotify. But also the new Feist album, St.Vincent and I love Drake “passionfruit”, it is a great song. I also listen to some french artists like: Juniore, Entracte Twist, Mustang.
Where do you go when you want to find inspiration in Paris?
I go to my lovely cousin who has an amazing piano. Otherwise I prefer finding inspiration outside Paris when time and money allow me! When I am in the city I find inspiration by reading books lying on top or even better reading outside, without anybody or anything interrupting me, which unfortunately is rare…or I love walking the streets in Paris aimlessly when it’s the perfect temperature outside, it always works, without fail.
To get inspiration, I love walking the streets in Paris aimlessly when it’s the perfect temperature outside, it always gives me new perspective and brings me fresh ideas
Could you recommend an organic / local produce cafe / restaurant in your area?
Les Enfants Perdus for their great selection of natural wine. Bob’s Juice Bar, a classic juice bar that has been in the area for quite a while.
Where do you go to shop for clothes / accessories?
For clothes: Maison Doris (made in France/paris). She is an amazing designer who also makes some of my stage clothes. Vintage is great but I don’t really have a favourite vintage place at the moment as I currently don’t buy that many clothes. I have acquired quite a collection over the years. If I can mention one more shop, it will have to be “Thank God I’m a VIP”. It’s a little pricey but they always have something inspiring and amazing. For accessories I go to Anna Rivka. All my jewellery is from there (hand-made in Paris), except for my watch, which is by the Swedish brand Knut Gadd, designed by my lovely cousin and her husband.
And for wellness products and food around Canal St Martin?
I love Sol Semilla on Rue des Vinaigriers. It’s vegan and such a great place. And for Crystals I love “Minerales Do Brasil” in the 8th in Paris. It’s amazing!
Who would you like to see on here in the future?
I’d love to see any of the designers I have mentioned here before, jewellery designer Anna Rivka, Doris or Therese of the watch brand Knutt Gadd.
Johanna and Maaike’s picks of the day:
Saam – a cute little lunch place serving delicious Korean Baps at a great price point.
Maison Doris – Lovely designs made and designed in Paris
Kilo Time – a great place for affordable vintage, take your time to rummage…
Glow On the Go – The perfect station to reflect, sit down with a thermic latte, marvel at their book selection and clean beauty products.
Wild and The Moon – Maaike’s ultimate favourite spot for pure and beautiful plant based food and healthy drinks, simply THE BEST, stay tuned for the interview with Emma Sawko next week!
Le Marie Celeste and Les Enfants Perdus for natural wine.
Thank you Johanna for our wonderful rendez-vous and stroll through your beautiful Paris.