We know what you’re thinking. It’s hard to believe H.E.R. only just released her first studio album this past June. Okay fine, maybe that’s not exactly what you we’re thinking, but since you are now — let’s talk about it.
For a long time, H.E.R. kept her identity a secret. She had no information about herself, no photos revealing her identity. It was all about the music.
H.E.R. eventually began to share more about herself over the years, but still wants to keep some semblance of anonymity. “It’s a balance, like I’ve been trying to figure out how much I want to give,” she tells Audacy. “The point of not even showing myself was to get people to focus on the music and focus on what’s important. Not think about my looks, think about what I’m doing, who I’m dating, all those things to me that don’t matter.”
The desire to maintain a sense of mystery harkens back to an old school belief that an artist gets to decide how much to reveal, and how exactly it gets revealed. “Before, all you had was the album cover to go off of,” H.E.R. says. “You didn’t know much about the artist, it was all about the music. I was trying to get back to that. Now, I feel like I’m revealing more and more to just stay connected.”
“I don’t know how to describe it,” she continued. “It’s like this connection, this personal thing. It’s important to kind of know the person that’s behind the music you love that you’re connected to. I’m learning how much to give and how much to keep to myself. I think the hardest thing is that. Just learning and trying to figure out what I want, especially for my future, how much I want to give.”
With a plethora of deeply personal songs on Back of My Mind, H.E.R. singled out “For Anyone” as the hardest one to write. “‘For Anyone’ I actually wrote in 2017, which is crazy,” she said. “It’s an older song, but I decided to put it on this album. I still get the same feeling that I felt when I first wrote it. It was tough.”
H.E.R. also called “My Own” a song that was “hard to get out.”
“It was hard to fully understand what I was feeling and to accept what I was feeling.”
H.E.R.’s past year was a whirlwind, which is an INCREDIBLE understatement. From performing at the Super Bowl, the GRAMMYs, the Emmy Awards, the B.E.T. Awards, the MTV Awards, to putting on her own festival, she’s accomplished more in one year than some artists do throughout their careers.
But to pick a favorite moment? That’s a tough task. “That’s so tough because I love everything for a different reason,” H.E.R. said.
“I appreciate all those moments and to me, that’s like picking your favorite memory. You can’t do that cause there’s so many memories that you make. I’ve been blessed to do it with the people that I love. I’m surrounded with people that I love and that’s what makes it even more special.”