Just before you thought that Russian-Italian fashion icon and singer-songwriter Patricia Manfield, better known by her stage moniker Hēir, could not surprise you with more music content, she comes back with another compelling single, My Love. With three tracks already to her name, Hēir is gearing up towards the release of her brand new, self-written EP Daddy Issues in the first half of 2020.
Many, if not all of Hēir’s songs are undeniably relatable, as she often discusses contemporary, generational love and youth. Her new one, My Love, details the obsession that governs us when we see the person that we love with another person. It is clearly a song of seduction, in which the singer tries to win her lover and rescue him from the toxicity of his current partner. However, unlike her previous single, Soundtrack, which effectively combines powerful vocals with an indie-electronica beat, My Love is certainly more raw and simple in both its production and sound, as it navigates indie-pop beats with a mellifluous, acoustic guitar. To coincide with the release of My Love, Schön caught up with Hēir to chat about her background, personal style, her musical influences and what the future holds for her.
You were born in Russia and raised in Italy. How do you think your background influences both your sound?
My parents are both classical musicians and when I was little I was definitely influenced in that sense because I love the sound of raw instruments and going to the opera makes me emotional each time. Italy and Napoli mostly influenced me in such a different way because when I first moved, I had no friends and couldn’t speak the language so I’d go to the music store and buy a lot of CDs. That’s when I got extremely passionate about different genres of music, literally from punk to heavy metal and indie and R&B, I used to listen to everything so it opened my mind a lot. As a grown-up today though, I listen to a lot of Italian music from the ’60s and I find the melodies so beautiful, makes me want to sample everything.
Has your background influenced your personal style?
My mom is very Eastern-elegant, as in she’s always been very clean and fresh-faced, always on heels, total black looks and extremely classy, I love that. Growing up in Italy where fashion is about trends, making statements and about expressing yourself, I integrated both worlds and I am very eclectic today, I love experimenting but I’ve always got a total black look as my go-to.
Who would you consider your fashion icons?
Jacqueline Kennedy, Twiggy and Sophia Loren. All three are extremely different, I know!
How did you first get into music?
I’ve always been into the idea of being an artist but my parents were not so crazy about that, as they knew the industry well and thought it was too unstable for me. When I was going to fashion and business school I was sharing covers and mashups online and I’d always write on weekends after my homework. I started being pushed by people around me to do it seriously. My mom was very supportive while my dad, given his classical background, to this day will not refer to me as a musician cause to him being a musician is knowing music from the inside out.
Who are your main musical influences?
They change all the time. But, at the moment, there’s Enzo Avitabile, a genius of a songwriter from Napoli, Bon Iver, old school blues like Skip James… There’s too many. In a weird way my boyfriend Michael Percy too, he’s my favourite artist with no album out yet — hopefully, next year?!
Can you tell us about the creative process behind your new single My Love?
My band a.k.a. producers called KXNGS were rehearsing for our first showcase in Malibu and we’d literally have no discipline. We’d rehearse for ten minutes then we’d start jamming and fooling around. My love started like that. I had this voice note for about a year on my phone, we’d listen to it all the time then one day I was at the airport with my male best friend. This girl was totally playing him and I was like you know what, this would be the most perfect sk8er boy scenario where I’d steal you away from her. So I wrote it on the plane. And we literally recorded it a month and a half ago.
Is there a particular theme behind My Love?
Putting somebody back into their place.
How is My Love different from your previous single Soundtrack?
Sooooo different. My Love is literally guitar and vocals, we wanted to keep it simple, almost similar to the voice note we had in our phones. Soundtrack was production, we made a music video that was basically a short film.
How do you think that the music industry differs from the fashion world?
I think in both industries the challenges are very similar, depending on what the intentions are. If you want to create a great project, something HQ, it takes time for people to understand it and it takes time and money for you to deliver it as well.
What has been your biggest challenge in the music industry so far?
If you weren’t working in either the fashion or music industry, where would you see yourself?
Business consulting. I think that’s what I’m actually best at, to be honest.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Definitely an EP and the rest will be a surprise…
This Schön! online exclusive has been produced by