By Jake Kaufman
The music industry is one of the hardest fields to make it in. With young artists trying to make their voice heard every day, it can be very stressful knowing that there’s people out there, the same age as you, or younger *cough Billie Eilish cough* who are further ahead, or doing better than you. But that doesn’t stop this University of Kansas student from pursuing her dream of being a Grammy Award winning artist.
Kansas City native, Heather Jones has always had a passion for music. Growing up with three sisters who all sing, play the piano and shred it on the guitar, Heather has been around music her whole life.
“My grandpa actually used to sing in the choir at his church, and he used to force us to listen to all of his old choir tapes. He was so good at singing, so he passed that down to my mom, who in turn used to write Christian worship music when she was around my age. It just kind of runs in the family,” Jones said.
While Heathers grandpa was out rocking it in the choir, she has turned to different venues to express her voice. Heather has had live performances singing at the JazzHaus, and Live Music Tuesdays at Bullwinkles Bar in Lawrence, Kansas.
“I think I’ve done it four to six times now, but I just remember doing it and thinking this is the scariest thing in the world,” Jones said
Although Heather was scared at her first couple sets, she said the more she did, they got easier and more fun. But who’s to blame her? Can you imagine how terrified some of the best artist in the world were when they got their first gig? No pressure, no diamonds, right?
“I realized these are my peers, these are my friends who I see in class, these are people who are just having a good time, some not even paying attention to me half the time,” Jones said.
While Heather has killed it in a handful of sets, singing popular songs that everyone knows, her passion for music reaches much further than that. She also writes her own music, and hopes people can relate to them in their own way.
“I have six songs out right now. For me, I do think about what my songs are going to say to people, but I don’t know if I have any specific messages. It’s more so here’s me, here’s my vulnerabilities that nobody else really gets to see, and I hope that no matter who you are, you can connect to these feelings and emotions,” Jones said.
While Heather doesn’t necessarily have a specific message in her music, she knows where a lot of it comes from. Being a 20-year-old woman, she has found people she cares about, has had heartbreak, and has felt that excitement that everyone going through young adulthood has felt.
“In the past, I really used to focus on breakups. I went through a really hard breakup a couple years ago and a lot of my music was inspired by that. But recently I feel like it’s now about the excitement to be my own person again, and experience life in a whole different way,” Jones said.
Experiencing life in a whole different way is something that Heather does every time she writes music. To be the best, you have to believe you are the best, and picture yourself at the world’s biggest stages.
“I realize when I write my music, I’m writing it in the thought of how this would sound at a live concert. I’m picturing myself at an EDM festival blaring my music, asking myself if I would like to play this at a festival, and I’ve realized that that is my dream,” Jones said.
While it’s every young artist’s dream to make it big, perform in arenas and music festivals around the world, it doesn’t come without believing in yourself and having confidence.
When asked what message she has for other young artists, Heather said, “You need the confidence. That is the biggest thing in the world, is you really need to get the confidence to put yourself out there, to say this is me, this is my music.” And arguably more important, “If you feel proud of it, put it out there.”