RGM INTRODUCING – WE CATCH UP WITH AMERICAN ARTIST HEIDI PACK
Hi again Heidi, so what have you been up to since we last had a chat?
I’m stressed but blessed honey! Life has been a bit crazy, I’ve been on the road playing shows. Promoting my music to random people on flights, Telemarketers who call, and strangers in dark alleys – Just kidding Mom! After spending the majority of my career on the road, I’m learning so much more about the industry. I’m very hands-on, as an independent artist, so when I’m not out and about I’m glued to my computer. I’ve never worked so hard or invested so much into a career, but my passion for writing and singing gives me the motivation to keep going.
How have your songwriting skills developed?
Since this is my first EP, I have gotten to watch how people connect to certain songs and emotions. Songwriting can be scary, especially for someone who writes from experience. I try writing music about random people and situations, but what I’ve found is my fan base connects more to the music where I’m being authentic and true to myself. This is amazing BUT putting out sections of essentially your personal diary, is a very daunting, vulnerable task. You never want to hurt, embarrass, or offend anyone, but as a songwriter, the best songs come from lessons, and emotions you learned along the way. For my next project I plan to do just this, it’s scary but I’m looking forward to seeing how I grow as a performer, writer, and singer.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women being safe at music gigs, how do you feel about this?
I have felt unsafe at a show and it’s the worst. I also struggle with severe PTSD, and anxiety. So, when I get scared my body automatically goes into fight or flight mode.
I’ve made my safety a priority by sharing my fears with my band. If I’m ever uncomfortable one of them is always there. If I’m at a show alone I will talk to the manager and find out who on their staff will be there all night. I let them know I may need someone to walk me to my car or Uber, or to keep an eye on me while I’m talking to people.
The biggest issue I have is the harassment that happens on and off the stage. Just because I am a woman who writes provocatively doesn’t mean you have the right to grab me or talk to me inappropriately. Just because I am on stage doesn’t mean anyone has the right to bully or harass me. I know the music industry is a tough place, but if there are men with riders that include only brown MMs then why can’t a venue stop men from grabbing my chest and ass?
What’s the best way to get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Check your pride at the door and start posting on social media. I preach this to anyone who has a dream. Social media has changed the game when it comes to almost any industry. In terms of music, I am able to share far more than just a song now. I’m able to test out small sections of music to see how fans react.
I’m able to have my music listened to and shared all across the world. This however is hard, and I recognize this because I’ve gone through it. Sharing on social media is a lot like being on stage. You are going to build and lose fans along the way.
Eventually, you will find your tribe though and because this person has gotten to know you on a personal level, they are more likely to engage with your music/business. After my debut single Cowgirl came out, I flew to Nashville to play a show. I walked in and I had several people that showed up just because they follow me on social media. I never would’ve been able to share my music with them if I hadn’t posted. Social media is your free marketing source if you aren’t utilizing it starts. If you want a following, then you need to grow your following.
What’s your thought on spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
I think that Artists/Creators invest thousands of dollars just to record.
The fact that the user’s art is what’s streaming, and the people at these companies are the ones making a profit is sad. Most artists will never see a return through streaming platforms which makes it that much harder to ever record again. Think of all the music, podcasts, and ebooks that will never be shared because we aren’t paid fairly. There are other ways to make a living in music but having that revenue of income would be nice.
How has the relationship within the band developed over time?
Over the years I have made it a mission to provide something for every venue duo, trio, acoustic band, full band whatever would get me in front of people. This means A LOT of time spent on the road with my band. These guys are the closest people to me apart from my family. They have gotten to see the good the bad the ugly and they still believe in me.
They encourage my growth and have been extremely understanding of the decisions and steps I make to keep growing. All of them are superstars and I’m always pushing them to expand their personal brand and opportunities because I truly want them to succeed. As you grow so do the venues and so do the expectations.
So when someone’s not practicing or providing a service that doesn’t meet your expectations, you are the one that has to make things right or break things off. This can be so hard when it comes to people’s feelings, but if your passion is leading you in one direction and someone isn’t on board it can derail the car completely.
As I’ve discovered myself as an artist, I’ve realized that you can’t make your dreams someone else’s. If they don’t have that same amount of passion and love for your music then you need to find a team who does. People will take it personally, run their mouths, talk bad about you, and call you a diva, but sometimes holding on is holding you back. Find a team who trusts and believes in you, if your goals no longer match up walk away and pray, they will understand later. Don’t hold your breath though… it’s gonna be a while lol.
Thanks mate, nice to catch up with you today, keep going 👊