Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?
Thanks for having us! Despite us being in lockdown, we’re actually keeping superrr busy. Today we were creating a lot of content, zoom-calling and messaging each other almost every hour, planning for the week ahead and finally having some time off for ourselves at the end of the day (which is OBVIOUSLY very important and a bit time-consuming..) We might sound like we’re going a little crazy, but we’re living out our dream job and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?
We had all previously met through mutual gigs that we’d been singing at individually, and in 2018 we decided to band together, kicking it off as friends who loved singing in harmony but then turned into dreaming of becoming the next big girl group! We knew we all had a knack for songwriting, and we each had different musical tastes that we could piece together to create music that was unique to us. Tay’s RnB powerhouse vocals, Gabby’s classical music expertise and Bernie’s soulful touch with her beat-making skills – combining all of these aspects was something worth exploring and our journey so far has nonetheless been worthwhile.
Who are your greatest inspirations? Why?
Tay: My greatest inspiration would have to be Ariana Grande. I grew up watching her on several kids tv shows and ever since I watched her perform, I’ve only wanted the opportunity to do the same with that vocal range!
Gabby: My greatest inspirations are my parents hands-down. I know I sound really sappy right now, but they’re the hardest workers I’ve ever known! I continually strive to be like the genuine and selfless people they are so that I can return the favour to them TENFOLD 🙂
Bernie: I’m also going to sound sappy right now and say that my circle of my greatest supporters inspire me. I’m blessed to have such wise, hard-working parents to guide me, and the girls who help me thrive in this industry.
How do you create music? Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first? Explain your process.
With all of the songs we’ve written so far, we’ve either done it in the studio or mainly in the comfort of Bernie’s bedroom, where we each take a space on the bed, the bean-bag or the desk. We usually start with a beat, made by our producer Phil or by Bernie, loop it on for hours and dive straight into writing! The best part about collaborating is that we have so many ideas between us that we love to bounce off of each other. We share different concepts that we want the song to be about, we have moments where someone has a cool lyric that another person comes up with a nice melody to, or vice versa, and sometimes we just come up with a whole verse each! There’s hardly ever a clear structure for us, but that’s what makes the process more unexpected and fun!!
What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?
Tay: The mental capacity you have to have in order to be a successful artist/musician has been my biggest challenge in performance and musical content. To work on your craft, you need to be in the mental headspace, thrive and manifest. If you’re not 100% ready to give it all, you cannot put yourself in the space.
Gabby: Definitely that I’m my worst enemy sometimes. Confidence is something I’ve struggled with a lot growing up, but I’ve grown stronger with that through music and especially with the girls! They’re the sisters I never knew I needed ❤
Bernie: I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I tend to either spend too much time on something even if it’s minuscule detail, or I take too long getting started. But I’m definitely learning how to relinquish control (here and there), especially when we have a team that’s incredibly supportive of us.
Tell us about your new release, how did it come about?
When we were just starting out as H3rizon around 3 years ago, this was the second song we ever wrote together so it’s a very special song to us! We started with the beat of SERIOUS, where we added a bit of our own personal touch by using a snippet of Gabby’s voice memo of a composition for her school assignment. Our producer, Phil, processed and manipulated a part of it, turning it into the vibrant, Y2k-esque beat it is now!
During the writing process, we wanted to create something fun and cheeky, and when we thought of that in a general sense, we knew the whole concept of the song had to be about not taking life too seriously! We made our lyrics speak from the perspective of someone in a relationship who just wants to have fun whilst they’re dating, which we knew a lot of people could relate to. It was so fun bouncing off each other to create that chorus. And we had our own verses to write which ended up being the parts we sang solo, so each verse is unique to us!
With the music video, we wanted to really take the meaning of SERIOUS in all sorts of directions with vibrant colours, playing our different characters as a chef, an aerobics instructor and a weather girl, and over-the-top sets like being in the jungle and being showered in money. There were sooo many different things going on but it captured the essence of the song perfectly!
What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?
If you’re passionate about music, go all for it! Try different things, whether that be in your music, putting yourself out there on social media, collaborating with other people, etc… If we hadn’t gone through the ups and downs of working within the music industry, we wouldn’t be where we are today! Some people may try to bring you down and feed you negative energy, but stay true to yourself and stand your ground. And most importantly on your journey, be patient and trust the process!
Tell us your favourite Zen practice.
We each love to allocate time for self-care, which includes meditation, therapy and doing things that benefit our health and wellbeing. When we’re together though, we love to take breaks that usually consist of us eating sushi or napping in between rehearsals 😉 It may not be the most “zen” thing to do, but it definitely keeps us sane and relaxed from our everyday busyness.