By Island Stage Staff
Cover photo © Danny Clinch
Now that you’ve met Skip Marley, meet one of his musical partners and one of the female leaders of the millennial movement of Jah people, H.E.R.
The Grammy nominated singer/songwriter/musician rode to the top of the music charts with Marley this year with their seductive record and video, ”Slow Down.” During their live performances, the chemistry between the two gorgeous artists was so intense that it led some to speculate that they were a couple.
As revealed in our recent chat with H.E.R., the one thing we do know is that Skip Marley and the ”Hard Place” singer have at least two things in common: their love for music and their passion for social justice.
Island Stage: How did the collaboration on “Slow Down” with Skip come about?
H.E.R.: I was in London, and my manager played the song while we were driving and I said, this feels sooooo good. I would LOVE to be on it!!!!!!!!
IS: People have really reacted in a big way to your collaboration with Skip. Are there any future plans or intentions of collaborating on another song together?
H.E.R.: I’m such a fan. We will definitely be doing more music or projects together!
IS: What is the most memorable moment that really stood out for you throughout the collaborative process and your performances together?
H.E.R.: What stood out for me was how organic the vibe has been. We mesh so well together and we both love music so much so it’s always a good time. At the NAACP Awards, I think we were both a little nervous but when we looked at each other on stage we forgot there was an audience and just had fun with the performance.
IS: With your song ”I Can’t Breathe’” you showed support for Black Lives Matter and also donated proceeds. Do you think other artists, especially the younger generation, have a responsibility to give a voice to those who are suffering right now?
H.E.R.: There’s definitely a responsibility to be a voice for the people through expression. I personally had to get it out, as a creative. I was feeling so much anxiety and pain because of what I had seen, what we’ve all been seeing.
“I Can’t Breathe” is representative of the times and what’s been happening. We should absolutely shed light on what’s going on.”
IS: We love that H.E.R. represents “Having Everything Revealed” and the deep meaning behind the name. What is one message or piece of advice you would give to young girls who look up to you and are thinking of pursuing a career in the music industry?
H.E.R.: I would say, stay true to who you are. Never ever compromise that. Follow your passion, that’s where your purpose lies.
IS: How does your Filipino heritage influence your music?
H.E.R: I grew up listening to a lot of ballads because my mom loves ballads. (Filipinos LOVE ballads and R&B music). At every family get together, we would all sing karaoke.
IS: How many instruments do you play?
H.E.R.: I play five instruments! Guitar, keys, bass, drums, upright. I’m trying to learn more.
IS: What was the first ever Bob Marley song you remember hearing and how did it affect you?
H.E.R.: I remember listening to full albums with my mom in the car at like, five years old!!! I was so young but I remembered every single word and how good his music made me feel. Bob Marley made music for EVERYONE. All ages all over the world. I want to reach people the way he did!