I’m often amazed and always grateful for the diverse, fun, talented and hard-working people who God puts in my path. When I sit back and keep my eyes, ears and heart open, I become privy to a spectacular show full of creative, wonderful people making their way in and out of my daily life and work. Last week, I spent my Friday taking part in Nashville’s ongoing Canadian Invasion. I mean to tell you, there are a lot of Canadians in Nashville working and creating beautiful things.
Although one has moved on to L.A. and the other is back in Canada kicking country a*&, I was so happy to sit down and write a tune with the lovely Heidi Raye and her equally lovely pal Heather Longstaffe, both in town for a quick visit. Everyone has their own process, but with these two beauties, it quickly digressed into parody writing (my new hit “What’s Shakin,’ Canadian Bacon” coming at you soon), boy talk and general girl mayhem before any words and music were actually written. Is this really work? Yes! And aren’t we lucky for that.
I got to spend time in the studio this week with Heidi cutting some new tracks (with the ridiculously talented Brad Hill) and had a blast with Heather shooting some photos for the artwork on her new single releasing to Sirius radio soon. (Can’t tell you anything more than that!)
I asked Heather and Heidi three questions about their lives as artists. Herewith are their answers:
When did you know you wanted to be a singer?
Heather: When I was 12 I told my parents I was going to be a singer and they thought I’d gradually grow out of that phase.
Heidi: I sang my first solo in church when I was three years old, so performing is something I’ve done as far back as I can remember. My first “this is what I want to be when I grow up” moment was when I was five and I had sung at my first Gideon’s Songfest. I can’t remember the song but I remember the feeling.
Do you remember the first song you wrote?
Heather: I started with poems and stories and random melodies. The first song I remember finishing on paper was when I was 10. It was about a crush I had on a boy.
Heidi: The first song I wrote, or kind of wrote, was when I was 11 and my parents took my brothers and I to Disney Land. I re wrote the lyrics to “Thank you for Giving to the Lord” by Ray Boltz and sang “Thank you for take me to Disney Land.” I sang it to my parents as we drove through LA to the airport to go back home. My mom cried.
What has been your most meaningful music moment so far in your career?
Heather: When people send me messages telling me a song I wrote has helped them through something. That is literally everything to me.
Heidi: My most meaningful music moment so far in my career would have to be getting to open for Randy Travis during his “Around the Bend” tour. I have always been a huge Randy Travis fan and will never forget how gracious and kind he was to me and for all the amazing advice and life lessons he passed on to me. It was an experience I will treasure forever.
You can find Heather at www.heatherlongstaffe.com.
Check out Heidi’s FB fan page, here.
Watch and listen, here, to the song “Rum” sung by the Osborne Brothers and produced by Brad Hill.
Enjoy a few shots of Heather from our fun shoot!