You know that feeling, when you’re absentmindedly shuffling through a playlist – and all of a sudden there’s one line in a song that strikes you? So you quickly start the song over, and this time you really, really listen. With each replay, you discover a new element that makes you feel even more vulnerable, and understood. It speaks to you. It ignites real emotions, and you get so lost in it that you have to take a step back and wonder if you’re lost in a vivid memory, or a crazy dream, or if you’re actually just on the E train surrounded by strangers on their way to work, who are completely oblivious to how intensely you’ve just been impacted by someone else singing the emotions that you could never quite verbalize.
…THAT is the power of a good song.
Those are the moments and the stories that I dreamed of sharing on heirwaves when I launched the site nearly 7 years ago. Artists are often asked what the meaning of a song is, or where the inspiration came from, but for me… I wanted to know so much more. From every little detail of how it came together, to the bigger picture of what it stands for… I wanted to know how the artists get there, and where do they go from there? What are they really feeling in retrospect, and how have they personally been impacted? Those are the conversations that I dreamed of initiating.
There is so much more that goes into that one song than meets the eye. There is love, and passion, and heartbreak, and anger and… it’s more than just a 3-minute song. It’s a collection of real thoughts, emotions, and experiences that an artist has poured their soul into, and shared with the world – never truly knowing on what playlist it would land or who it will by some chance resonate with.
With all that goes into a song, and hoping that perhaps it will fall onto that right playlist or media outlet… I cannot begin to imagine the disheartening impact of seeing a headline that picks out one personal flaw, or one aspect of your past, or the name of someone you’ve been associated with – and that being the prominent headline that overshadows the song that you put every piece of your heart into.
I have a wildly vivid memory of seeing a headline in my favorite music outlet that terrified me. While these days, terrifying headlines are seemingly inescapable… my 17-year-old self was genuinely distraught. When I began heirwaves in 2013, the only real goal I had for the site, was to stand out through honesty. I wanted to “keep it real” in a sense… not with news, or gossip, but by sharing real stories, authentic perspectives, and music that truly inspired change.
It still breaks my heart every time I read a piece focused on the flaws, using degrading language, sourcing every ounce of potential gossip, and sharing every name association that is nothing more than pure clickbait. I am in no way insinuating that the blog I started in my bedroom in 2013 has the power to change that, and I’m definitely not saying we’re in any way better or above that. Trust me, there have definitely been moments where I’ve been tempted to stoop to lower standards for likes.
But, I’m only human. My headlines are far from perfect. Some of the descriptive words I’ve used should definitely have been discarded… but in an ever-changing world, and an ever-changing industry there is always going to be a learning curve – especially in modern journalism.
I definitely don’t claim to have all the answers… and that’s kind of the beauty of our site. It’s genre-less, and label-less… it’s unfiltered, beautifully bold, and strikingly honest. We talk about those mistakes that make us human, and the flaws that make us unique, and the pain that’s made us strong.
We share the stories that are often difficult to tell, and the emotions that hit too close to home. We share the stories of artists who are using their music and their platforms to ignite change, share their beliefs, and inspire others through their own personal undulations of life. We ask thought-provoking questions that inspire artists to think deeply and see their art in a new light.
heirwaves is a platform for artists where they can comfortably be the most unfiltered version of themselves… it’s not a structured interview – but an open-ended conversation that delves off the beaten publicity path to discover new insights about music and life in general. It’s where we can all share the songs and the stories that have inspired us and impacted us, and further emphasizes the infinite power of music by initiating important – sometimes difficult to have – conversations that can truly stem a positive social change.
It’s my wildest dream to connect even just one person with one song or one artist that genuinely impacts them, or inspires them… and maybe, just maybe, when they’re standing on that E train, surrounded by strangers, and that song comes on – the story will become more personal. Maybe they’ll feel a little less alone, a little more understood, and hopefully, a lot more inspired.
Keep Shining On.
xx Abigail C | heirwaves Founder & Editor
Follow Abigail: Instagram