H.E.R. Talks 5 Grammy Nominations & Staying True to Herself: 'People Just Love the Music for What It Is'


“It’s not about seems, followers, clout or something. It’s nearly pure music.”

When H.E.R. awoke early Friday morning (Dec. 7), she thought her I Used to Know HER Tour was coming to an abrupt finish. Shaken by the chance, H.E.R.'s supervisor stated they wanted to have an emergency assembly with a view to save the tour. Already feeling sick, the singer couldn't bear extra unhealthy information. When she walked into the assembly, she realized that she had been duped and that her staff was really there to have fun her 5 Grammy nominations.

"It took me a second to register," H.E.R. tells Billboard. "And I began crying and everyone was going loopy. We had been all screaming and crying. It was a second to be surrounded by my band and the individuals I like. To get that information, it was a lot at one time."

This yr has been an entire blur for the precocious singer/songwriter. Not solely has she earned two No. 1 songs on Billboard's Adult R&B Songs chart with "Focus" and "Best Part," that includes Daniel Caesar, however she additionally obtained seven nominations final month on the Soul Train Music Awards. After nabbing two awards there, H.E.R. is trying to take residence extra at subsequent yr's Grammy Awards, as she's been nominated for album of the yr, greatest new artist, greatest R&B efficiency, greatest R&B tune and greatest R&B album. 

What's much more mind-boggling for the younger songstress is that she has but to dole out her major-label debut with MBK/RCA. After the success of her debut EPs — H.E.R. Vol. 1 and H.E.R. Vol. 2 — in 2017, she mixed each efforts right into a singular challenge, aptly titled H.E.R. The finish consequence? Effusive reward by media publications, to not point out her fistful of accolades. In the case of H.E.R., it's actually solely the start. 

Billboard spoke to H.E.R. about her 5 Grammy nominations, breaking by means of into the mainstream as a black feminine artist, and if she'll contemplate revealing her identification on the 2019 Grammys. 

I noticed on Twitter that you simply stated that you simply had no phrases to say with reference to your 5 Grammy nominations. Are you continue to speechless on the second? 

I'm simply overjoyed. This is loopy. [Laughs]

Where had been you once you first received the information? 

So what occurred was … I used to be asleep and I get a name from my tour supervisor that stated my supervisor needed to have a gathering. He stated that the tour may must be canceled and that it was an emergency and that everyone wanted to return to my room. So I'm pondering, "Oh wait. Hold up. Something may actually be happening." You know, it sounded critical. They performed it very effectively. Everybody got here to the room and we're all drained at 7 a.m. or no matter time it was, and he was identical to, "The tour must be canceled… since you're nominated for 5 Grammys!" I'm like, "What?" It took me a second to register. And I began crying and everyone was going loopy. We had been all screaming and crying. It was a second to be surrounded by my band and the individuals I like. To get that information, it was a lot at one time. 

Let me checklist your nominations in case you forgot, however album of the yr, greatest new artist, greatest R&B efficiency, greatest R&B tune and greatest R&B album. 

Crazy! Album of the yr, loopy! Like, I didn't even give it some thought at this time. Everybody was anticipating it, however I've been tremendous sick for the previous couple of days and I've type of been down and attempting to kill these reveals and simply be effectively. It took me without warning. Like I used to be not ready for that info. 

Which nomination shocks you probably the most? 

Album of the yr as a result of I didn't even drop an album. It's my challenge, it's my two EPs collectively and it's not even an album. It was actually a "It's time for me to drop music. I lastly realized who I used to be. Let me simply see what occurs" [kind of thing]. Then, two years later, a sold-out tour and 5 Grammy nominations. 

Which surprises you probably the most: that you simply've been in a position to get these validations with out having to indicate your identification, or getting these seems with out dropping your major-label debut?

It's each. It's each, as a result of it's only a lovely factor that my identification isn't hooked up to my music and it's proof that folks simply genuinely love the music. That's what I actually needed to occur. It's so lovely that it's taking place that approach. Like individuals simply love the music for what it’s. It's not about seems, followers, clout or something. It's nearly pure music. That's such a blessing. But I don't know, and simply the truth that I didn't even drop an album, I'm simply so grateful. I don't know which is extra shocking to me. 

You know what's loopy? For some years now, a number of younger African-American ladies have been attempting to interrupt by means of the doorways of the mainstream however weren't lucky sufficient to seek out success. With you having 5 nominations on the largest platform, what does this imply for up-and-coming black feminine artists trying to crack by means of those self same partitions that you simply had been in a position to?

I feel it's actually don't attempt to conform. Like, be your self on this planet of what's taking place, you understand what I imply? People need one thing that they’ll establish with and join with or can really feel, however on the identical time, what makes you stand out or what makes you totally different from everyone else that's popping out with music, you understand? I actually simply attempt to keep true to myself and my story and converse my reality in my coronary heart. That's one thing that I dwell by. You can't attempt to be one thing else and anticipate to get acknowledged for attempting to be one thing else; you must all the time be you. Do what you need to do and make music that's trustworthy to you, no matter your reality could also be. 

What is it, like 12 nominations in two months? Because you bought seven at Soul Train. Has the variety of nominations in 2018 hit you but?

Crazy. Wait, no! Not even 12, as a result of on the BET Awards I used to be nominated for one. So it's 13! That's loopy. [Laughs] Man, I don't even know what's taking place. It's loopy.

Does this provide you with any type of stress when it comes to creating your major-label debut album because you're nonetheless engaged on that?

Man, not a lot stress from the skin, however stress from me. I'm all the time giving myself extra stress. But yeah, if I attempt to overthink it, that's when issues will go downhill, however I simply gotta bear in mind why I even received this far or why I'm even nominated, as a result of I wasn't fascinated by accolades. I used to be fascinated by, "What are individuals going to carry onto? What's going to make me an artist that stays for a very long time? How can I make traditional music? How can I make music that everyone can take pleasure in and may relate to?" Yeah, I don't know. I'm attempting to not put that stress on myself, I'm attempting to proceed to make no matter I really feel, however elevate, you understand? 

Pressure apart, how do you propose on celebrating?  

I don't even know! I gotta see this physician and ensure I'm OK, then, we'll determine it out. [Laughs] But I don't actually drink or something. So I'm in all probability going to have dinner with the individuals I like and, you understand, simply dwell within the second. 

If you win album of the yr, will you contemplate taking your glasses off and revealing your identification? 

Oh my God! [Laughs] But at that time, it wouldn't actually matter if I did or not. It wouldn't matter as a result of individuals already love the music and I did precisely what I wanted to do. So it wouldn't actually matter. I don't know. We'll see.

H.E.R. Talks 5 Grammy Nominations & Staying True to Herself: 'People Just Love the Music for What It Is'