Heather Brave is one pop artist you need to have on your radar. Hailing from New Jersey, Brave is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter and activist. Her debut single “Like a Wave” debuted at #32 on the Billboard Indicator chart and has hundreds of thousands of streams.
If you’re a Halsey or Daya devotee, listen up —Heather Brave’s ‘Like A Wave’ is about to become your new favorite.
– Hollywood Life
I had the chance to interview Brave about her journey as an artist, her new single “Feel You Watching,” and what is next for her music!
Who are your musical influences?
I grew up singing karaoke in my basement with my sister to Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera, flipping my hair thinking I was definitely Britney Spears (that was her thing). When I started middle school, I discovered singer-songwriters and more indie pop like Florence and the Machine and Lana Del Rey and was super into it. I bought a purple guitar and immediately started writing my own songs, always trying to connect the two worlds. I’m always aiming to bring the ease of pop together with the depth and smarts of the singer-songwriter world.
Could you please describe your songwriting process and the significance you put on writing as an artist?
Every song to me is personal in some way. I think the best part about being an artist is connecting with people who feel your music in some way. Knowing that the story is really the artist’s pushes this to the next level and the connection becomes so much greater. Being an artist is about telling a story and songwriting is such a strong and irreplaceable way into that.
What made you want to be a musician and how did you become involved in the music industry?
I grew up in NJ, close to NYC and was acting and singing beginning when I was in kindergarten. As I got older, I became more dedicated to telling my own story. I also discovered new artists that inspired me and showed that music really doesn’t have any limits. That freedom attracted me so much that I started writing my own songs and making my voice clear. I was in the recording studio for the first time by the end of 8th grade. Ever since then I’ve been collaborating with people in NY, LA, and Nashville, perfecting what I want to say and how I want to say it.
How has meeting producer Jase Blankfort influenced the development of your career?
Jase has truly become my big brother and musical soulmate. We met in a Mexican restaurant near where I grew up and over chips and salsa we had this intense conversation about what it means to be artist. I felt like he really understood the direction I was heading in and only wanted to help me get there, not primarily to put his handprint on it. I felt really supported by him and never felt like I had to compromise any part of what I wanted my music to be. Because he lives in Nashville, it’s because of him that I was able to explore the music world there from the inside and that has been so transformative and refreshing for me personally and my music.
What is the message of your debut single “Like a Wave”?
“Like a Wave” is about taking charge of these feelings that overwhelm you suddenly. I wrote it about a guy I met in a guitar store on Sunset Blvd when I was living in LA. We were having a very simple conversation but I knew there was something else going on. I chose to make it my debut single because it feels so celebratory, like the best kind of release, and that’s how I felt about finally releasing this music. It was taking form for so long, kept secret, and this song is so big and bright it felt like the right way to set the tone.
You recently released a second single, “Feel You Watching.” What is the inspiration behind it and what sets it apart?
“Feel You Watching” is a little grittier than “Like a Wave.” It’s still celebratory and super powerful, but it has a darker vibe to it. My producer and I were riffing on the idea of being watched and what that tense feeling is like. I was relating it to a relationship I was dealing with that was stuck in that moment of either going for it or leaving it, and I constantly felt watched by him as we couldn’t decide what to do next. I love the sentiment of the song and the lyric “I’ve had enough of starting over.” It’s really about the frustration of waiting and uncertainty.
What do you hope to accomplish with your music in the future?
I would love to travel and meet people and collaborate with writers in places that I never thought I’d go to. My upcoming EP has been very personal to me. I wrote it in a time when I just went through a big change. I had just moved from LA back to my roots on the East Coast (NYC) and I felt so proud and revived from making a choice that I knew was right for me — even if it defied expectations. I want people to feel that energy in my music and let it lead them to do what they want and respect how they feel without hesitation.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I love Julia Michaels’ honest writing style and would love to write an unpredictable song with her and then record it as a duet!
Is there anything else you want your fans to know?
A few things: I have a life-threatening peanut allergy that I was diagnosed with when I was 2. I’m vegan and love avocado rolls so much. I think I’m Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz: my favorite movie. And I’m so grateful that you’re reading this and coming along with me and my music. So. Much. Love.
Check out the rest of Heather’s music on Spotify.
Cover Image Courtesy of Heather Brave