Heather Mae has never been okay with being just average. Growing up outside of DC, the youngest of four, she was a fiery redhead. While most of her peers were partying on the weekends, Heather Mae was happily situated in front of her father’s record player listening to the voices that came before her and that would eventually inspire her to turn music into a full-time career.
Her obsession with music began with Elton John. She remembers driving home from the grocery store, her Dad’s fingers drumming on the steering wheel, his voice calling out to her from the driver seat: “Listen to this part right here…can you feel that?”. Her answer? Always yes. Etta James and Billie Holiday for rainy days, Janis Joplin and Missy Higgins for driving with the windows down, Bonnie Raitt and Lauryn Hill for days when she needed a little bit of soul. It was these female vocalists that raised her to be the powerhouse, pop-centric with soul, bombastic vocalist that she is today. They were her teachers. Music was her school. Through their songs, struggles, and talents, they ignited a curiosity to understand the magic of music, performance, and connection.
It was this curiosity that drove her to her 365 day songwriting project: “One Year of Songs”. Hidden beyond the maze of dull chairs and heavy bricks of PowerPoint text was the speaker’s pipe dream suggestion. While most of the uninspired audience dismissed the idea of writing a song every day for a year, Heather Mae became relentlessly committed to the challenge. Sparking a 365 day journey, she trekked through over 30 states, making footprints of over 7,000 lyrics, and 100+ artist collaborations. After completion of the project, she recorded the official “One Year of Songs” LP (produced by Andrew Eade) and performed over 150 regional and national shows in 2013 in support of the album release.
“Adoring words from my love will wear thin / If not first spoken from within”
These are the words that sparked the “31 Days of Listening To Self Love” project. As a countdown to the release of her single “Listen” - a raw and honest song that focuses on the self-judging, microscopic view that every human must deal with - Heather Mae utilized social media and Instagram to showcase different parts of her body that she struggled loving. Black and white stills (shot by Sarah Stuart Walters) of a sometimes half naked Heather Mae showcasing flaws in it’s rawest and realest form (i.e. stretch marks, back, and freckles). She has known the struggle of simply looking in the mirror. Rather than ignore this fact, she has taken her past and put it to paper - her pen as her sword. She writes in defense of the beautiful people that listen to her music and connect with her words. She writes for you.
“Cause I’ve got something to give / If you just take the time to / Listen”
Still that little girl sitting wide-eyed in front of a record player, she asks the big questions. She doesn’t know why she was given the voice she was given. She doesn’t know why she was given this fire in her soul to write poetic words and put them to song. But she knows that when she steps on stage to perform truth and receives pure and honest connection from her listeners, she feels closer to that little girl that held her breath as needle touched vinyl.
"Heather Mae has a calm, soulful sound that reaches out to you. If you like Carole King or Mamma Cass, Heather is the modern day version of these two ladies." - Beat On Repeat
“[Mae's] songs are charming even outside the context of the original [“One Year of Songs”] project, and she captures her prolific streak with a reflective sigh.” - The Washington Post
"[Heather Mae] decided rather than wait for opportunity to knock, she would bust down the door and show us what she was made of." - Oh! My Muse Blog
"Artists and musicians love to talk about their creative process and how they might change it or get better. Heather Mae dives in and faces her art head on. [Heather Mae] has a long and beautiful career ahead of her." - KRUU 100.1
"Singer-songwriter Heather Mae is constantly searching in the darkest corners and the highest branches of the right half of her mind. Shes always devising new ways to lure out that elusive and slippery creature known as creativity." - Northern Virginia Magazine
"Beautifully written, engagingly crafted, and accomplished in execution, Heather Mae's "One Year of Songs" should see her gain plaudits and fans around the globe." - PopCulturez.com
"Some songwriters like to have written, a few love to write. Heather Mae loves to write and it comes through in her brilliant and enthusiastic writing and performance. Not content to wait for the recalcitrant muse, she wrote a song every day for a year and that is the key to the songwriting kingdom--sitting down and writing." - Paul Reisler, Founder and Artistic Director of Kid Pan Alley, Trapezoid, and Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions