Not all heroes wear capes—some change the world with their voice and a guitar.
“I want to call it a superpower, to be able to impact people and uplift people,” says H.E.R. while talking about her music. “I think it’s a superpower, and I didn’t realize I had it.”
H.E.R. (given name: Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson) recently sat down with Etalk's Liz Trinnear to talk about authenticity, Instagram and her upcoming tour.
“There is no mold,” H.E.R. asserts when talking about succeeding as an artist. “For me, it’s about a love for music. It’s about the talent and the hard work you put into it.”
And sometimes that hard work leads to unexpected places. While H.E.R. has considered herself fortunate throughout the pandemic and “can’t complain” about the impact on her life, she found herself bored after spending so much time at home in the first few weeks (uh, relatable). The result was a weekly conversation-slash-jam-session hosted live online called Girls With Guitars.
“Girls With Guitars just kind of started out as something selfish,” she admits with a laugh. “I just genuinely wanted to play [music] with other girls who play guitar.”
After reaching out to a few musicians in her circle, word spread and the momentum quickly grew.
“I was reaching out to people I knew but it turned into like, legends coming on there.” In addition to hosting Tori Kelly, Chloe x Halle and others, Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge made appearances along with some incredible up-and-coming artists. “I unintentionally created this platform for some really dope artists, and it turned into something I really enjoy.”
“It helped me to stay connected,” H.E.R. explained, noting that she was also avoiding the pressure to produce new music when she didn’t feel like creating. “It was a little bit of light in the anxiety that was the pandemic.”
After such a long stretch off stage, H.E.R. is ready to get back on tour—and, while Madison Square Garden isn’t currently on the schedule, she hopes to perform there one day.
“It’s there at the top of the list,” she explains. “It’s an iconic place, that’s number one. But I’m ready to go around the world and hit every single city. I’m ready to do this consistently, I’m ready to get back on the road!”
When she steps on stage each night, it’s the real H.E.R. fans will be seeing and hearing—and she hopes this will inspire others to embrace their own authenticity, especially when artistry is involved. “Stick to who you are and what works for you and just represent that in your art because you never know who you’re helping, you never know who you’re impacting,” she says. That sounds like pretty good advice to us—almost like something a superhero might say.
H.E.R.’s Gabi Wilson tour kicks off in Franklin, Tennessee on October 10th.
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