In an effort that turns heartbroken sorrow into something more, Swedish born, LA-based artist Winona Oak’s debut single is a triumph for the young singer. Released on Thursday via Neon Gold Records/Atlantic Records, “He Don’t Love Me” is a sorrowful banger fueled by an addictive beat and unavoidable unrest over unrequited love—though the track longs to be seen for its underlying strength. The Andreas Öhman-directed official video that was released along with the single is a visually stunning supplement to the track, as we watch Oak find strength and love within herself.
On the theme of her debut single, Winona explained,
“We’re all capable of falling for people who don’t value us, grasping for a leaving hand. But we must understand that we’re just as capable of realizing that our worth does not lay in those heavy hands.”
Prior to her official debut, the ethereal songstress’s cover of fellow Neon Gold Record signees, HAIM’s “Don’t Save Me,” was lauded for its unique take on the originally lively track. The cover can be found featured on the label’s 10 year anniversary compilation: NGX: Ten Years of Neon Gold, where its minimal production transports the track into a realm of otherworldly melancholy.
Though her solo career is just beginning, Oak has been working for most of her life to make her dream of creating music a reality. Born and raised by a musical family in the Nordic forests of Sweden with a childhood spent encountering more animals than people, she grew up pursuing creative expression however she could. First writing poetry and taking up violin at a young age, she would then go on to sing throughout her youth, utilizing her skills as a poet, violinist, and later pianist to begin songwriting.
After moving to Stockholm to pursue her passion for music, a leap of faith to attend Neon Gold Records writing retreat in the Nicaraguan jungle in 2017 led her to Australian electronic maestro What So Not. She would go on to co-write his next two singles “Better” and “Stuck In Orbit,” eventually stepping into the spotlight as both the writer and featured artist on his 2018 single “Beautiful.” She then closed out 2018 collaborating with The Chainsmokers on their viral hit single “Hope,” co-written by Winona and featuring her stunning lead vocals, the track currently boasts over 250 million streams across all platforms globally.
You can watch the gorgeous video for “He Don’t Love Me” below, where Winona Oak proves she’s not one to be slept on: