H.E.R. reveals the sweet irony surrounding her name and clues us in to her original sound
H.E.R., isn’t like other artists.
The 21 year-old California native is an enigma wrapped in a riddle, and her sound is unlike any other in the industry today. While she’s gained popularity for her RnB and soul feel, the singer, known to her millions of fans as H.E.R., has proclaimed her music “genre-less.”
You’ve undoubtedly heard her work, whether it be the quintessential Summer jam “Best Part” (which, by the way, the singer co-wrote with Daniel Caesar the first day they met) or her equally sweet-haunting-chill-sexy song “This Way”, which she sings with Khalid.
The industry has, of course, responded accordingly to the artists invaluable work. But sound isn’t the only element that sets H.E.R. apart in the industry: while H.E.R. is an acronym for “Having Everything Revealed”, there’s a sweet irony in the name given that the musician is extremely coy and mysterious about her identity. Or, as the singer simply puts it: lowkey.
Though the artist is nearing 1 Million Instagram followers, she hardly shows her face. In all of her photos, you’ll either find her in sunglasses throwing a hand up to cover her face.
It’s simple. Her mission as an artist isn’t concerned with her appearance: it’s about the music. And, more than anything, H.E.R. aims to use her music as the vehicle for her identity to shine through, not her appearance, personal life or internet presence.
We asked the precocious artist all about who she is, how she stays true to herself, and where she got H.E.R. name (pun intended). Oh and of course, what’s next for her RE her world domination. Read on for the interview and exclusive photos.
Did you always know you were going to be a singer? How did you find your place in the music industry?
Becoming a singer/songwriter was a given for me at a very young age, because it was all I ever wanted to do. It was something that came naturally to me, and those around me recognized it.
I was performing at 6 years old and never stopped. I stayed on path and God lead me to people who have embraced me and my gifts. I don’t think I was trying to find a place in the industry, I think people gravitated towards my work and what I created because I was honest: and there’s quite a bit of honesty missing in current music.
Who have been some of your favorite artists to work with, and why?
Daniel Caesar is one of my favorite artists to work with. The first day we met was the day we wrote “Best Part.” The musical chemistry was undeniable. Khalid is also dope. He has a good spirit. I like working with people who are genuine lovers of music. Alicia Keys was also monumental for me, and I’ve looked up to her since I was a little girl.
Sunglasses: Gucci, Shirt: OUD, Jacket: SammyB, Earrings: Melody Ehsani, Rings: Jewelry Bar
What does being an artist mean to you?
Artists are responsible for using the gifts that God gives them. If I didn’t create music, I wouldn’t be happy. Music is my outlet and the place I can express myself. Since I’ve released music, I feel like I’m giving a voice to people that feel the things I feel.
H.E.R. stands for “Having Everything Revealed.” What about this name resonates with you and who you are?
The acronym stands for Having Everything Revealed because I’m being very open and honest in my music without letting anyone see my actual identity. But my music is the ultimate representation of who I am.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is RnB at the core but genre-less. Musical and old school influenced but new. Sensual, vibey.
Who are some other artists you look up to?
Prince, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, D’Angelo, and Brandy.
Sunglasses: True Religion, T-shirt: Gucci, Pants: Joyrich, Earrings: Lilou, Rings: Ben Bridge, Cirari, VTse
How do you feel about artists sharing all aspects of their personal lives with fans? Do you prefer to be more public or private?
Some people are comfortable with people knowing everything about them. Personally, I’m a very private person – very low key. I have always been that way.
How do you manage to stay true to yourself in your work and your songs?
I don’t compare myself to anyone and I only try to be better than the person I was yesterday. It’s so easy to lose yourself trying to be someone else. At the end of the day, though, that is how I’ve accomplished so much – simply being myself.
What inspires you?
I take inspiration from everything. New music, old school — you name it.
What change do you want to make in the industry?
I would like to bring real musicianship back. A lot of people don’t have a live band or play instruments on stage on on records. I am very proud of the musicality I bring to current music.
Sunglasses: Bonnie and Clyde, Blazer: OTT, Earrings: Mahrukh Akuly, Rings: Jewelry Bar, Mahrukh Akuly
What are some things you’re currently excited about, both professionally and personally?
I’m very excited about releasing my debut album and touring the rest of the world. I just turned 21, and so much has happened. I think its a lucky age for me!
Photography and Creative Direction: Prince and Jacob
Stylist: Manny Jay
Hair: Nina Monique
Makeup: Marissa Vossen
Cover art: Lisa Yoo