The music industry has long been dominated by white, male artists, but in recent years, we’ve seen the tide change as women, artists of color and LGBTQ+ artists have begun to gain visibility as performers and songwriters. H.E.R., whose stage name comes from her initials and her Filipino heritage, is one of the most successful examples of this shift, with five EPs under her belt since 2016 and an upcoming album on the way next year. In this article, she tells us about what inspired her to begin making music and how she got her start in the industry. H E R Explains Why She Became an Artist
Table of Contents
I always loved it H E R Explains Why She Became an Artist
Growing up, my father was a singer and I was always by his side as he performed for church congregations across California and beyond; I loved being on stage with him. Later, when we moved to Las Vegas, I would watch American Idol every Wednesday night, watching one singer after another try out in hopes of winning a record deal and becoming a music star themselves. H.E.R. Explains Why She Became an Artist
I never started out thinking I’d make this a career.
When I was in high school, it never even crossed my mind that I would be a musician or artist of any kind. Sure, music has always been my first love and passion but I never thought I’d make money from it until recently when people started requesting covers of songs on YouTube and tipping me for my recordings. So here we are; what started out as a hobby has turned into a full-time job for me. And there’s nothing more surreal than that.
It just kind of happened naturally.
I was 15 years old when I realized that I wanted to make music. One day, while listening to a local radio station and making dinner, one of my favorite songs came on: Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready) by Alicia Keys. When it ended, I literally got up from what I was doing, ran over to my old Samsung flip phone and recorded myself singing along with it as best as I could in my bedroom using a tiny microphone.
- Born: 27 June 1997 (age 24 years), Vallejo, California, United States
- Full name: Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson
- Genres: R&B
- Parents: Agnes Wilson, Kenny Wilson
Now I’m making my dreams come true.
This is a story about how I discovered my passion for singing and songwriting at age 12, learned that taking risks in life is sometimes necessary to achieve your goals, and decided to quit college to pursue my musical dreams. It’s also a story about taking chances, pursuing your passions and believing in yourself even when others don’t support you. If you find something you love doing—no matter what it is—then go after it with everything you have!
And now I want to inspire other people through the same thing.
I’m a second-generation immigrant of a single mother, growing up in East Los Angeles not too far from here. I was going to be anything but an artist; even though I dreamed about it since I was 5 years old, it just didn’t seem like a possibility for me. So that made my heart grow two sizes bigger so that now I want to inspire other people through the same thing: if you’ve got something in your chest that’s making you dream and feel alive, then go with it!
If you really want something, go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.
If you have a dream, then do everything in your power to make it happen. I was always told that if I wanted to be successful in music, I had to move away from home and go to college for it – but that’s not what I did. Because of my situation, my opportunities were limited; I didn’t have access to as many outlets as other people might have had.
H.E.R. damage lyrics
I went through some things, ’cause I want a piece of mine / No games, no running, a two face life you didn’t sign on for / I just tryna do my thing and be happy with what’s mine. These lyrics indicate H.E.R.’s reasoning behind becoming an artist: to make something of herself because she wants control over her destiny and isn’t willing to tolerate anything less than happiness and satisfaction in life.
H.E.R. come through H.E.R. Explains Why She Became an Artist
I made a decision at age fifteen to stop pretending and living a life that was not my own, she says. Instead of listening to what people told me I should do or be, I took a step back from it all and focused on figuring out who I was. During that time of self-reflection, I decided to start creating art for myself as something therapeutic—not for anyone else, but for me…