Words by by Nicole Lovett
I stumbled upon the music of H.E.R. thanks to a friend who was frantically gushing about it on social media.
After finding her music on Spotify, and putting it on repeat for days, I decided to delve into her social media. I was surprised that I couldn’t find any pictures of the artist, just silhouettes of her figure or other hazy images–mostly in hues of blues and blacks. Scrolling through the comments on her Instagram (@hermusicofficial), I realized other fans had been trying to put together the pieces of the singer’s identity as well.
H.E.R. is an R&B artist who released an album titled “H.E.R., Vol.1” in September, concealing her true identity. Currently, the seven tracks on her Soundcloud have gained millions of plays–and that’s not counting the streams on Spotify. And, it’s well deserved.
People who are fans of The Weeknd, PartyNextDoor, or Abra, are likely to gravitate towards the sound of H.E.R. In an incredibly soothing, low register, H.E.R. sings about love, heartbreak, and toxic relationships. The production on the tracks are also beautiful. With strong but subtle bass lines and dark sultry undertones, the sounds ultimately carries H.E.R.’s melancholy vocals to the light. The relaxed and hazy feel H.E.R.’s music pairs nicely with the mystery of her identity.
The Weeknd, who also concealed his identity while singing dark R&B tracks in the beginning of his career, attracted fans very quickly. Not only does everyone love a mystery, but perhaps it also gives people more time to reflect and connect with the music.
Personally, after the initial frustration I experienced after not getting a clear answer of who H.E.R. was, I went back to her music feeling like it was more about me than the actual artist. And, maybe that’s the point. What H.E.R. and The Weeknd wanted to accomplish by concealing their identities from the public was to put all of the focus on their music. With no distractions of superficial aspects of the artist’s lives, the music has a chance to speak for itself.
In the end, no one can really be mad with H.E.R. for not wanting to show her face–she’s given the world incredibly vulnerable, beautiful music. What more can you ask from an artist?
Nicole Lovett is a writer from Oakland, CA. She is the editor in chief of marginsmagazine.com. You can find her on Instagram @thebosseditor and on Twitter @mynameislovett