Scottish indie-pop singer songwriter Heff VanSaint has shared her new single ‘Ladder Rungs’, delivering one of the most impressive pop tracks of the year so far. Produced by Raff, ‘Ladder Rungs’ further showcases Heff’s versatility as an artist. Combining elements of pop, electronic and indie with 80s influences, the track opens with Heff’s captivatingly husky vocals which builds alongside a driving beat.
Taken from her upcoming debut EP, ‘Odes Of Hope For Sad Bois’, which will be release on the 8th June, the new single is a gorgeous re-introduction to the rising talent, and presents the perfect opportunity for us to get to know her a bit better.
Wonderful to have you here, Heff. Let's get right to it - where did you journey into music begin?
"I’ve been making music for years, since I was a very young kid. I taught myself guitar when I was around 14 and then formed a band in my home town. I guess like most musicians I started playing covers before I branched out into writing my own stuff. Back in the day when I played in bands I always wrote with other people which was cool, as it taught me to approach songwriting from a different angle but I've only ever really been comfortable writing on my own terms, by myself."
There is a lot of talk about your sound, calling it modern, polished, and alternative, but how would you describe it?
"It’s alternative pop, a little bit indie, some electro thrown in. It’s bruised and sad a lot of the time, but there's plenty of hope."
Tell us about your new single ‘Ladder Rungs’, is there a special meaning behind the single?
'Ladder Rungs' is about the hustle. It’s about holding on and not giving up on your goals. It’s something I think every artist can relate to, finding the will to keep going and to keep picking yourself up, over and over again.
Is there a particular influence or inspiration you lent on when writing it?
"Life, the human conditions, why we make the decisions we make and how they impact our lives. Love, heartache, loneliness."
What is your songwriting process? How does it all come together?
"So, I start with lyrics and go from there. I always have a few lines of poetry/lyrics all based around a certain theme and then I flesh out chords and melody on acoustic guitar to apply the words to."
What’s the most important thing for you when you’re writing a song?
"That I get the words right and I’m able to say what I want to say. I like writing about the big things, big questions, big themes and topics. I want to be able to succinctly encapsulate the way I feel about those things."
Looking forward, what’s next for you as an artist?
"I’m releasing my first EP, 'Odes of Hope for Sad Bois' which is out June 8th. I’m stoked!"
A few last questions before you go; what would your dream collaboration be, and what advice would you give to artists who are looking to make their mark?
'I’d love to collaborate with Syd the Kyd. I love their voice and that laid back dreamy quality they have in their delivery. As a singer-songwriter I’m a huge Paolo Nutini fan, so I’d love to observe his process and how he gives shape and form to his ideas."
"To get out and network as much as possible. Theres people out there who can help you and its important you make yourself known to them."
Born and raised in Aberdeen, Heff has been playing in bands since she was a teenager - mostly made up of boys with an indie sound, in keeping with that classic Scottish tradition. Having moved to London in her early 20's, she formed an electro-pop duo that went on to amass a decent following.
Naming iconic songwriters such as Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young as their main influences, Heff thrives on being able to experiment with her music and the concepts and emotions she’s able to portray through her songwriting. The London-based artist draws in her listener by telling stories with expressionism and relatability but with an angstful yet roguish honesty at its core. On ‘Ladder Rungs’, Heff explores the difficulties of ‘the hustle’ of being an artist or a creative in London.
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