It’s so crazy to think that Havanna Winter is only 17 years old, and she’s already accomplishing what most wish they could in a lifetime. Boasting one million followers on Instagram and 3.1 million followers on TikTok, the singer, songwriter, actress, and social media personality already boasts a devout fanbase, and nothing makes them happier than when she drops new music.

Splitting her between Los Angeles and Norway, Havanna has loved singing ever since she was a little girl. At age 11, she got picked up by management. After bringing her to the studio, Havanna knew then and there that she wanted to do music professionally. Fard forward to last year after summer, she finally started releasing her own original music.

Most recently, Havanna Winter released her highly-anticipated new single titled “Tornado,” a record that speaks volumes to her own personal experiences with a toxic ex-boyfriend. The song is an empowerment record reminding listeners to not allow people who don’t have the best intentions manipulate you or throw you off your path.

Sheen caught up with Havanna Winter virtually, who was enjoying her Friday playing guitar and doing schoolwork. Read below as we discuss her journey to Los Angeles, growing up in Norway, how she built her social following, her favorite artists, the new single “Tornado” and playing Dorothy in the music video, studio essentials, and more!

You came to Los Angeles when you were 9 years old. Was there a culture shock?

Oh my gosh, 100%. Me coming from small little Norway as a 9-year-old, it was so fun to see everything. I remember the first time I went into Target, I was excited. Because I was watching this family YouTube channel growing up and they would always talk about Target. Like “oh my God, Target!” It was so fun. [laughs] I get it now.

What’s your favorite part about LA?

All the cool creative people that I meet. The beach.

How was that growing up in Oslo?

Really nice. It’s so nice here in Norway, it’s really safe. I spent most of my summers in Spain growing up because I’m half Spanish, so that was really nice. Getting a little bit of both.

Did you know how to speak English in Norway?

Barely. [laughs] In school, we only learn how to say “bus,” “girl,” small words. When I first came to LA, it was hard to understand people, but I got the hang of it really quick.

Talk about building your social media following. What video went viral in 2020? 

It was this really random dancing video, to a song named “Roses.” It was this really random dance. It was trending though so I did it, and it blew up. Here I am. [laughs]

What about Instagram? Did that transfer…?

Yeah, definitely did transfer. I did social media a while before then too, so I already had a little bit of a following, but that video definitely helps. It started growing more after that.

Did you think you’d be so poppin’ as 17 years old?

No. When I was a kid, I never expected it. I never expected that video to go viral either, at all. When I put it up, I’m like oh, this is another one of those dancing videos that I’m posting. Then boom. It’s really fun and I’m really happy that I’ve gotten more into music and acting. I’m so thankful, it’s all really fun. 

Who are your favorite artists? Who do you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to old rock bands like The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith. I’m definitely a huge fan of rock from the 60’s and up. Because my mom, we used to always blast those songs in the car. But my role model is 100% Lana Del Rey, she’s my #1. She will forever be my #1, I love her.

What’s your favorite Lana Del Rey song?

Oh my God, can I even choose? I love her unreleased songs too. Honestly, my favorite out of all of her songs would have to be one of her unreleased songs named “You Can Be The Boss.”

Definitely want to talk about “Tornado” out now, congratulations! It’s such a vibe.

Thank you, it means a lot to me. The song is about a master manipulator. I’ve gone through something with a master manipulator, so it was really important for me to write about it. I got inspiration from old movies, old songs, and old musicians. We were figuring out what movie we should be inspired by, then we thought of The Wizard of Oz, which is absolutely perfect because Oz is basically a master manipulator. He wasn’t who they thought he was, so it all fell into place when we were in the studio. Everybody got so excited. The song means a lot to me, I’m so happy that people are liking it as much as I do.

How did it feel to write it and let out your emotions in a song? Because obviously breakups are hard.

It felt pretty good. I have my amazing writer, Maya. I just told her about my experiences, then we started writing together. It turned out perfect. I’m really happy about it.

When can we expect the video?

Very soon. Very, very soon.

How was it playing Dorothy?

It was really fun, because The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies. It’s so iconic. My dog is Toto in the music video. I can’t for you guys to see it, it’s really fun. It was so much fun, the crew was amazing. We all had a lot of fun on set.

What do you want your fans to take away from this song?

Don’t trust people right away. Ease into friendships/relationships, and be true to yourself. Remember who you are.

How do you navigate toxic friends?

If you see any red flags, run! [laughs] That’s my best advice.

What are the red flags?

If they’re lying to you, if they’re unloyal. If things don’t seem right.

What was the first song you made that made you want to be a singer?

The first song that I made was “rain rain go away.” It’s my first song that I released. When I released it, I really wanted to keep going because it was so much fun making it in the studio. Once it got released, it felt completely different. I knew I wanted to make more, so I did. There will be new projects coming out this year, which I’m really excited about. 

3 things you need in the studio at all times?

Water. I have these little pastels that my vocal coach recommends. I forgot what they’re called, but they’re really good for your voice. It soothes your voice, and throat relief tea. It’s the best. It’s so good as well, it really helps.

I was listening to “Death Wish” also, what inspired that song?

That song means a lot to me as well. We wrote it in the studio, it’s about how romance is a deathwish. You can never really know what’s going to happen and there’s always going to be ups and downs.

What inspires your fashion sense?

I get a lot of inspiration from the 60’s. 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. I wear whatever I’m comfortable wearing, whatever makes me feel like me. I also get a lot of inspiration from my friends and cool girls I see on TikTok. [laughs] I wear whatever I’m comfortable with. 

How much time do you spend on TikTok?

A little bit too much. [laughs] I make content every single day. Sometimes I have days where I even make content for the rest of the week, so I can have a little extra time off where I can binge Netflix and be with my friends. 

What are your beauty go-to’s?

Concealer, mascara, and lipstick. Those are my top 3 that I can never never go without. And eyebrow gel. I love Dior, their makeup brand. Their foundation is amazing. 

Being only 17, what do you like to do for fun? 

I like to have fun with my friends. We go to the beach, make food, watch movies together. Here in Norway, it’s so safe so you can walk around everywhere. That’s mostly what we do, we walk around and we go over to our friend’s house and make food. It’s really nice.

What’s your favorite food?

I love sushi, it’s the best.

Anything else you want to let the people know?

Stay tuned for the “Tornado” music video that’s coming very soon. I’ll be performing soon, I’m preparing for that.

Photo Credits: Day Creative