Heather LaRose is an American electro-pop singer, songwriter and guitar player from New York City with more than 54K followers. Best known for her song "New Moon," from her EP "Beachside", which was featured on MTV's Teen Wolf. Growing up, listening to classics like Abba, The Beach Boys and The Beatles along with early 2000s pop inspired her to begin singing and writing. Her upbeat blend of electronics and real instruments garnered her sponsorship by Gibson Guitars.
I sat down with Heather for an exclusive interview ahead of the release of her new video “Kerosene” on Friday December 14, 2019.
“The video was shot with some of my closest friends and bandmates James Byrne, David Vogel, Bianca Muniz, Jackie Muniz, Stefano DB, Michael Hojnacki, Takahiro Izumikawa at an awesome studio in Norwalk, Connecticut called Underground Studios. I think the live aspect of a song is important, it's a calumniation of all the words and emotions being brought to life. When you go through a traumatic experience, it's really important to be open with how you're feeling, especially to your friends. This live performance is so important to me because my friends have been such a great support system and you can hear that come through the way they help me bring "Kerosene" to life,” she told me.
She reflected on her writing specially her new single “Kerosene”, “For each song, my process is different. Most of the time I start with the chorus and build the story around my emotions or whatever triggered me to start singing. But for “Kerosene”, I started with the first line as the first thing I wrote and built the song from the ground up. I wrote Kerosene after my ex-boyfriend passed away from Cancer. I got off the phone with the friend that introduced him and I. I just remember going into a state of complete shock. I wanted to cry but I felt paralyzed.”
She continues, “It was a complicated relationship from the moment we met. It was the summer of 2014, I was going to school in New York and he was leaving to go to Tulane. But it was one of those instant attractions. We ended up spending almost every day together until the day him and his dad drove off. Even then we both face-timed each other for over an hour crying while he was in the passenger seat and his dad was driving. That was my first love. We both tried to make the long-distance work, but it was "summer dreams ripped at the seams" (Grease). Distance and priorities pulled us apart. But we seemed to get back together for a couple of weeks for the two following summers. It was never the same as that first summer, though. When he was diagnosed with cancer, it was almost a year since him and I spoke. That moment, I drove to his house and we just hugged each other crying. He and I forgot and forgave each other of all of the things we put each other through. In that moment, it was like the summer we first met. We kept in touch and it seemed like he was really on the mend. But then out of the blue I got the call he passed away.”
“Kerosene” is the day he passed away, but it's also the day I drove to his house, it's the day we first got back together, it's the day we first met.”
And this is what she said about the song, “Kerosene” is a dark electric blue. It's a pop ballad of hope and love burning through doubts and fears. I recorded Kerosene with the DJ duo CRWN, Crane and Charlie Brown (Millie Bobby Brown's brother). A few of the other singles are with some of my really close friends from Berklee: Jack Hoffman, greisun, Joel Ferber, Elliot Sorgen, Alex Venegas and my songs "Rumors" was with Greg Sgar (John Lennon Songwriting Contest) and Matt Pelosi. I love being able to work with friends as much as possible because you can hear the chemistry come through the track.”
In 2018, LaRose hit over a million streams. LaRose also gained recognition as opening act for Rachel Platten summer 2017, Drake Bell fall 2017, and for her performances at several of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign speeches, where Clinton also chose the Beachside EP’s “Run With Me” as her walk up song. Her fresh sound has taken her to the stages of NYFW, LA Fashion Week, Miami Swim Week, NYC’s Bronx Zoo Festival, LA’s legendary Whisky A-GoGo, and a headlining performance at Montauk Music Festival.
“I'm just wrapping up my recordings for an upcoming EP. I've spent the past year writing and reflecting, not just on my growth as a person, but also what it means to be a young woman in this era. My songs are about being bold, embracing who you are and what you've overcame. Since my ex-boyfriend passed away, I've had some extreme emotional highs and lows. I write a new song nearly every day. The EP is scheduled to be released in March 2019 just in time for SXSW. Right now, I have six unreleased songs but I might switch a couple out once I get back to LA in January. I already have some studio time booked. Music has been the best therapy.”
Heather is always perfecting her craft, she told me, “I was always a songwriter but singing was something I had to really train for. I could always connect with the story of a song and know the emotion to sing them with but I worked on a lot my technique by studying with teachers like Darryl Tookes (NYU), Amy Roslyn (Broadway cast Jesus Christ Super Star), while at Lagond Music School in Elmsford, NY, a nonprofit music school where I also worked. Then while I was in LA, I studied with Kira a celebrity vocal coach for the cast of Glee, Disney stars, etc. It wasn't until my second year of college where I really felt comfortable stepping away from my guitar and really calling myself a vocalist.”
Watch “Kerosene” video here: