The Singersroom.com site has posted an interview with Dominica-born, Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Heston by Valerie Varasse to mark the release of his cd Songwriter. Here are some excerpts, with the link to the entire interview below.
Timeless music has been the foundation and the back bone of some of the greatest musicians of all time and Dominica born singer/songwriter Heston, who grew up surrounded by reggae, pop, classical, soul, R&B and rock music, is ready to add his talent to the mix. From the musical influences of Marvin Gaye, Beres Hammond, Bob Marley, Sade, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to name a few, Heston has thread into his soul the passion of delivering and making good music that everyone can enjoy . It ‘s not a surprise, to see this Atlanta base musician finally getting the attention that he deserves, especially since he has been influenced by the best.
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Singersroom: As a native of Dominica, what made you choose Soul music as oppose to Calypso and /or Reggae?
Heston: I think it was the influence of Atlanta. Although, I grew up in Philly, graduated from school in Philly, the Soul scene in Philly wasn’t really an influence cuz I really didn’t really know much. I think for one, it’s the kind of music that I listen to as a child [which] is primarily why I choose soul music as a natural transition… The music that influenced me most I think was the catalyst of soul and then when I started performing at open mics in Atlanta, the live instrumentation of it all with the Neo-Soul, poetry scene, [made me] gravitated. But it was natural for me. It’s just like when I started listening to cats like D’Angelo and India Arie; those are the type of music, [like] the Marvin Gaye artist, the Gladys Knight, that’s what always played. So it’s kind of like these are new school acts doing the same kind of music that I love. I guess that’s the best way to describe it.
Singersroom: What would you say to people from your Island who would say that you should love your music first?
Heston: I know guys from Dominica who do Reggae. I know guys who do Calypso. I know guys who do Rock. It really does not matter. I can’t please everybody and I don’t think that I am not pleasing them by doing soul music. Even when I was in Dominica, I was listening to Al Green and Marvin. I wasn’t being influenced by Calypso bands, nor was I influenced by Reggae bands… I was influenced by Soul, old 70’s Soul acts and that’s what it was, so I am only doing what comes naturally to me.
Singersroom: What makes you unique?
Heston: I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that because when people asked me those questions, I think I can’t hear what it is that other people hear. I know people tell me; oh man this is different, you doing something different. Yes there’s a characteristic to this thing or that thing but your music is definitely individual, it’s unique. I don’t really hear that but I’ m living it all the time… But when you see people react to it, then that tells me that I am doing something different.
Singersroom: It took you three years to finish “Story Teller,” was it because you had too many stories to convey in one album?
Heston: Mostly it had to do with [finances]. I don’t make a lot of money and so to me it was about paying the guitar player, paying the drummer, paying the percussionist, paying for studio time. Although, I have an engineer who is a Godsend because what the album cost me financially, although it’s a lot of money, it was a lot less that I would have been enable to afford because he gave me a lot of his time…believed in me and [in the record]. So although it took me three years, believe me it would have taken longer without his help. But it was just a matter of the time to produce and I am really a perfectionist. Outside of music, sometimes, I am not always on point but when it comes to music I am very, very, very, in law.
For the complete interview go to http://www.singersroom.com/interview/artist-v-188.asp