In mid 2016 RCA Records quietly released a seven track Soundcloud stream for a project called H.E.R. Vol 1. The press release contained no photos, artist background, or the usual sales pitch for why journalists should cover this new artist. All it said was, “I can’t tell you much about H.E.R. just yet but give it a listen and let me know what you think.”
Well, as you can expect, the internet went into a frenzy, and through some super-sleuthing, Genius outed her the same day the stream was released. But we don’t really care who H.E.R. is, because her identity doesn’t really matter. What matters more is her music. And it’s powerful.
Her ballads are vulnerable and dark, exploring the evolution of a young woman searching for love. As she told the L.A. Times, "I remember saying I'll never be that girl, I'll never be that girl that falls for the wrong guy. I was constantly criticizing that girl and eventually I found myself being that girl, being her. I want women to really feel how honest and vulnerable I am and to understand that they are not alone and that these are all human emotions."
This is a story we can all relate to, and that’s why it doesn’t matter who H.E.R. is — she can be whoever we want. Listening to her music, it feels like she’s simultaneously speaking to and for us. She is us.
You can learn more about H.E.R. here:
About the curator - Cormac McGee
Cormac McGee is a DJ, artist manager and concert promoter based in Toronto, Canada. He’s played in front of crowds from 10 – 1,000 people and has run concerts with some of today’s top hip hop artists, including Drake, Future, Mac Miller, 6lack, Ab-Soul and more. He also runs the Music Den at Ryerson University, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in the music industry.