First, let me thank you for taking time to do this… Let me start by asking you… How in the world did you come up with a song a week for a year? That’s mighty ambitious… What’s behind that?
Heather Renee: I’m honored to be part of your magazine Mike, thank you so much for having me 🙂 Yes 52 songs in one year is pretty demanding. I have a tendency to be overly critical of my music. I’ve been a professional musician for over 10 years now and I was having trouble putting out a full length album. I needed a push to get my music out to the world. Having written over 100 songs I started to record them in my own home studio and released
6 of them on an EP last year. I had such a great response from listeners around the world that I decided I would put out a new song every week in order to break myself from my propensity for hoarding songs. I must say that it really has helped me reconnect with my music in ways I never imagined. I’ve been flooded with creativity and have been writing tons of new material as a result.
I know you are getting ready to release a new album in May, the first of 4 you say… Tell us a little about it? What’s going to make us want to get this album?
Heather Renee: This album will actually be the first full length cd I’ve ever released to the public. It is long overdue but I feel that it will reflect the essence of who I am as a songwriter. It will contain the first 15 songs from my song a week project. I anticipate putting out an album every 15 songs with the goal of 4 albums in total by the end of this year. Love is my message and I use my music to spread it to the world. This album is bursting with love. It will take you on a journey both sonically and lyrically through the various aspects of love. Love for self, love for others, love for country, etc. Many of the songs are thought provoking and it is my hope that my music will not only make people feel good but inspire them to greatness.
You have a very loyal fan-base? Raising the money to create your album in 7 days is pretty impressive. What do your fans mean to you?
Heather Renee: Without them my music would not really exist. I really use my art to help people and convey ideas that I hope will inspire others to act upon in a positive way. My fans, I actually hate calling them that, because I consider them family, they are my soul mates. I feel that we are extensions of each other and that music helps us reconnect. I send my music out the universe and those souls who are part of who I am hear it and find their way back to me. I wrote a song called “Little Smiles”
Which I dedicated to all of them. It’s about reconnecting with your “soul mates.”
I usually ask my interview guests if they do what they do for the love of it or for the money. But you are obviously doing it for the love of it. Why do you feel the need to give so much back? Why is it so important to you?
Heather Renee: I believe that people place too much value on wealth and financial gain and as a result we all suffer collectively. If I could create my ideal world I would hope that everyone would do exactly what they love and not charge for it. For example, imagine a world where teachers taught because they loved it, Doctors practiced medicine because it was their passion, Carpenters, Lawyers, Chefs, Engineers, etc. If we all followed our true passion and gave our services to the world no one would ever need to work.
There are so many people who could become incredible musicians, artists, gardeners, basket weavers, but who work in an entirely different field because they need to make money. Money is simply a means to an end and the end for me is doing my music full time for the rest of my life. Now back to reality… I give my music away because of this philosophy. I have found that in doing so, people have helped me in ways that money never could.
How does it feel to you to perform live in front of an audience? Why?
Heather Renee: It is euphoric!!! I love performing. For me, when I am on stage I feel as though I am in the midst of love in its purest form. As I sing, I send out love and the audience sends it right back almost telepathically. It is so hard to put into words but often times when I play I feel this inexplicable energy surging through my body. It’s truly a magical experience.
You tend to cross genre lines… You have a soulful voice, but also folk and some and rock in there… How would you describe your sound to someone who doesn’t know who you are…
Heather Renee: Oh wow I’m going to sound cliche when I say that “I don’t like to put my music in a genre” but I will say that my sound is a blend of pop, rock, and acoustic folk. Think Feist-like vocals with Shakira stage presence (I love to dance with my guitar), and Beatles melodies.
What do you have planned in way of live performances coming up? Any tours?
Heather Renee: I plan to throw a big cd release party in May for the album and I will perform there. I’m hoping to begin touring on the East coast next summer.
Being a political time of year… Any feelings towards any of the candidates? Why?
Heather Renee: I love Hillary. I think she is so ready. Sheâ’s got the experience, the charisma, and I loved President Bill Clinton (despite his boo boo with Monica). I would be happy to see the Clinton family back in the White house.
Music can move the soul… What are some of your early memories and influences?
Heather Renee: My Mother told me that when she was pregnant with me she would listen to this Helen Reddy album all the time. She said that after I was born I crawled over to her album collection and pulled out the Helen Reddy album and cried until she played it for me. Sadly, I don’t remember doing that, but I still love that album to this day. Music has been with me for as long as I can remember. I used to write and produce songs on a little Casio keyboard from the time I was about 6 years old.
I told another interview this question and I’m bringing it back, who is your celebrity crush and why? Never know might be an avid reader…
Heather Renee: Oh God I have so many. LOL Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Terrence Howard, and Morris Chestnut to name a few. I love Johnny because I feel he is extremely talented. I love his diversity and willingness to act in independent films as well as mainstream. It also helps that he is really good looking. I love Jude Law’s accent, Terrence Howard is just so sexy, I love his eyes, and Morris Chestnut is drop dead gorgeous. I’m not sure what happened to him though. Haven’t seen him in anything lately?
Thank you so much Mike. You made me feel like a star. If anyone would like to hear my song-a-week, you can download my music for free here:
If you Google “Heather Renee” you’ll find links to my Myspace and Youtube pages.