Heather Russell is a remarkably talented singer-songwriter out of Los Angeles. She writes and sings soulful, melodic songs with powerful vocals – and she’s only 12 years old! Heather has been singing since the age of 5 and, with some help from Youtube, has become an internet sensation as of late. Her tunes attract listeners of all ages and as her fame grows, Heather and her mom, Monica, have found it important to begin building a brand identity for her singing career. Read on for our interview with Monica to learn more about her daughter’s rapidly changing life, her goals as a performer, and how establishing a brand is playing a role in her mounting fame.
Hi Monica! Tell us how and when you realized Heather had such an amazing talent: I knew Heather had a very special gift when she was 7 years old. She was doing Mariah Carey vocal runs with the power of Aretha Franklin – seven-year-old kids just don’t sing like that! I also knew she wasn’t just a singer, but a true artist who could constantly write beautiful songs.
What do you consider to be Heather’s major successes? At the top of the success list is probably when Heather was signed by music mogul Simon Cowell at the age of 9 based on one of her original songs. Also, having record producer Rob Fusari discover her because of a YouTube video I uploaded is pretty great!
What about challenges she’s come across and how you’ve overcome them? It’s never easy to pack up and move to a completely different country [the family is from Canada], leaving friends and family behind. She’s also had lots of opportunities to perform major shows, but we’ve had to turn them down if the timing wasn’t right. We work as a family unit and always make sure we discuss why we make certain choices, so Heather understands the long-term goals we see for her future. And we always give lots of love.
What advice can you and Heather give to other artists just starting out? Make sure that whatever you are putting out there means something to you – don’t do it just to be famous. Create a community and be original, separate yourself, and find the original gift in you – then all should fall into place.
You recently ran a logo design contest on 99designs to create a logo for Heather. How important do you think it will be in establishing her brand, and do you have any advice for other people getting their first logo? A logo is extremely important. Making sure your logo represents you makes it meaningful. Heather loves butterflies and she reminds me of a butterfly: beautiful and free to fly wherever her heart desires. As for others getting their logo designed, make sure to be clear about your vision and what your ideal outcome is.
After getting the scoop from Monica, we asked Heather, a self-described “chatterbox,” to share a bit about herself with you via video. Check it out to learn some interesting tidbits about this rising star (from her love of Freddie Mercury to her affinity for origami parrots!).
Check out Heather’s Youtube account here.