Heston Interview by Tom Paul

Heston has created a beautiful blend of Classic Soul and Island Rhythms with a focus on a fresh singer/songwriter sound. He spent the course of three years recording and editing his first CD release Storyteller with precision to get the sophisticated production sound he was hearing in his head.

Heston has been in NYC making the rounds at listening parties and performing acoustic this week with a lot of positive feedback from the audience.

Heston has created a beautiful blend of Classic Soul and Island Rhythms with a focus on a fresh singer/songwriter sound. He spent the course of three years recording and editing his first CD release Storyteller with precision to get the sophisticated production sound he was hearing in his head.

Heston has been in NYC making the rounds at listening parties and performing acoustic this week with a lot of positive feedback from the audience.

His PR person Fiona Bloom http://www.thebloomeffect.com/ has kept him quite busy while he was in NYC. If you are an Indie Soul artist you should definitely get in touch with Fiona to get your sound moving. She is a mover and a shaker and good people to know. She will keep you busy and on top of your game.

Heston recently performed on a Bob Marley Tribute show at Sugar Hill in Atlanta with Julie Dexter http://www.juliedexter.com/ and a Benefit called 500 Songs For Kids with April Hill http://www.aprilhill.com/ and many other artists at SMITH'S OLDE BAR.


Heston will be announcing upcoming CD Release shows in cities across the country soon.

Please come out to the shows and support this new Indie Soul artist and check out his music online at http://www.myspace.com/hestonmusic.

TP: Can you tell me about the recording process you went through with your new CD Storyteller?

Heston: The recording process was long to say the least.. It took three years from start to finish and the songs were written, some during, like GMA, your perfume and others I had performed before and during the recording process. A wonderful gentleman by the name of Martin Kearns helped a whole lot in making the album a reality, he allowed me to use the facility to bring the musicians in, track the recordings the way I envisioned and take my time, being a first time producer to get all my ideas out..

TP: The production on the album sounds great. Did you produce the whole album yourself? Or did you use some outside assistance to produce on specific tracks?

Heston: I produced 10 out of the 15 songs on the album.. Sam Simms(bass player, producer) Khari Simmons(bass player, producer) leading member of Jiva..., Phil Davis (Keyboard player, Grammy winning producer) and former member of the Chronicle band produced a total of 4 songs on the album...

TP: As an Indie Soul artist what is the toughest part of the business to keep on top of?

Heston: The toughest part of the business to keep on top of as an independent artist (for me) is keeping it all organized on paper.. writing things down..my mom always says, write it down on a piece of paper and get it out of your head.. I keep everything in my head and it sometimes gets overwhelming..

TP: Do you want to expand deeper into your Dominica West Indies roots on more projects?

Heston: I am sure as time goes on, an I am fortunate to continue to produce and write for others and myself, I will continue to pull out some more of my West Indian Roots... I did a Bob Marley tribute not long ago and felt the need to do more reggae and calypso moving forward..

TP: Do you get compared to any other singers? You have a very relaxed almost falsetto style of singing.

Heston: I have been compared to many folks for today and the past.. ranging from reggae roots to pop to soul.. we as artist do not necessarily like to be compared, the reality is that there is no original thought, so we are reaching somewhere for our influences.. I get them from Bob Marley, Al Green, The Bee Gee's, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson...Beres Hammond.. sometimes from places that I may not be aware of.. and so I thank music for my music...

TP: When sitting down to write a song, do you find that you come up with ideas like lyrics first then music or vise-verse?

Heston: The writing process for me is different for every song.. there is no formula... I may have an idea and stretch it.. or someone may say something clever like, "you are easy on the eyes" that turned into a song.. or I may get emotional about a situation and allow my feelings to run free and speak my feeling onto paper...

TP: Tell us about song "Good Morning America" and how you came about writing that song?

Heston: Good Morning America came about because I cannot turn on the television.. there was a lady whose son died in the war and started making headlines because she opposed Bush and brought the issue to the surface.. her name escapes me at the moment.. she picketed outside of his home at one point, then I started seeing many young men and women not yet 21 going to war and not coming back home alive, leaving girlfriends, kids, moms and dads behind, not able to enjoy youth, for a war that we are not sure why we are fighting... I woke up at three in the morning, jumped into a soldiers shoes, to tell America that I am leaving, that I am not sure if I am coming back, I do not know why I am here and if I die, I hope there is a good reason for it...

TP: Are you working with others to assist you in getting your sound out there as far as PR, Mgt, or Booking Agent?

Heston: I have a wonderful publicist, here name is Fiona Bloom http://www.thebloomeffect.com/ there is not much else to say but that the reason you are able to read this interview has alot to do with the work that she does with myself and many artists, the relationships that she has built through the years and the respect that she gets from her peers..  Richard Dunn is my manager.. He and I have had a relationship that extends from the time I started taking music seriously about 5 years ago.. we worked together some on my EP which was out in 2004 and we are taking this project to its Zenith.. Booking Agent, not yet. Marketing, I have just started looking into adding someone to the team to get as many opportunities outside of performing, such as acting, placements etc..

TP: Is World Soul Music your own record label?

Heston: World Soul Records, is my own label..

TP: You put out an EP a few years back, how do you compare your writing on the EP to the growth you are seeing in your writing now?

Heston: The EP was produced By Phil Davis and I had a hand in assisting in the production of it.. The record I produced myself with the help of a couple of other produced on a few of the songs..the big difference as far as the production is that I took a live approach with the album, the EP was more programming... as it relates to the growth with song writing, I believe that I grew in the process of this album as a writer as well as a singer and a first time producer...I am quite proud of the album, and I feel that I can stand behind this project...

TP: Talk about the musical influences in your life as singers/songwriters/producers?

Heston: Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye Beres Hammond would be my top three as a singer as it relates to musical influences..songwriter, Beres Hammond, Bob Marley, John Mayer, Luther Vandross..producers, anyone who is able to make space within a song..silence within the music...SPACE..MY NEW FAVORITE THING

TP: You have used live musicians on most of the CD, can you tell us who is playing on some of the songs?

Heston: So many musicians on the album.. too many to mention.. you would have to check the notes on the album for their credits.. there are so many.. I tend to listen to what I am looking for on a particular song and call in the person who I think best fits the song... so I may have used 4 bass players, and 4 keyboard players, 5 guitar players, 3 drummers or more, 5 different horn players, percussions players, a few...and the list goes on..just depends.. they are all credited on the album...

TP: Can you name some Indie Soul artists that you have seen perform that had a lasting impression on you?

Heston: Indie Artist that has moved me with their live performances is few... I have a good friend named Jill Rock Jones http://www.myspace.com/jillrockjones, she now lives in Las Vegas, and she is dope!!!!! I have seen Eric Roberson http://www.ericrobersonmusic.com/  Live, the truth and Lalah Hathaway http://www.lalahhathaway.com/  blew my mind recently at a Michael Baisden concert in Atlanta in April.. There are more but the ones that stand out at the moment for me are those three...

TP: You have some guest artists performing on the CD with you? How did you go about getting these artist on your project?

Heston: Angela Johnson www.myspace.com/angleajohnson1 and I meet a few years ago, opening for Donnie(colored Section) and became friends but it was not until the soul summit last year that we connected casually and I asked here to be a part of the album..She has the best sprit!!!! YahZarah aka Purple St. James http://www.myspace.com/yahzarah on the other hand was introduced to my music through a friend,ran into each other a few times since then, saw her on my space on morning and asked here to be on the project with me..she kindly accepted and we recorded in one afternoon...

TP: List the last 3 CD's you either purchased or downloaded?

Heston: The Albums that I have purchased recently are Continuum from John Mayer, Steven Marley's Mind Control and Janita's Seasons of Life.. http://www.myspace.com/janitaartist

TP: Name 3 artists that you'd like to work with in the future?

Heston: Artist I would like to work with.. there are a few.. but the three that come to mind at the moment would be, John Mayer, Wycliffe, and Jack Johnson

TP: Where can people purchase your CD via record shops or online?

Heston: The album will be available exclusively on Soultracks.com for the month of July..then online everywhere, on www.myspace.com/hestonmusic and a city near you...

TP: Can you talk about the shows you have coming up in Atlanta?

Heston: Shows coming up, lets see..Album release concerts in as many cities and states and country's as music fans will allow me to come too.. I am putting it out into the universe!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

By Tom Paul

 
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