Exclusive Interview with Heidi Raye
Why country music ?
~ The stories! The drama. The heartaches, the romance, the parties, the inspiration. Country music sings about anything and everything and I love that when I'm listening to country radio, you can hear a song about drinking, a song about Jesus, a song about divorce, a song about fighting cancer. Everyone can relate to something about country music.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included), which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ The Beatles and Willie Nelson.
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ "Good Either Way". I wrote it about two months after I moved to Nashville with my good friend Isaac Rich. It's an old school country ballad about the breaking point in a relationship when you know it's over, they've done you wrong and you're moving on. It has some powerful lines in it.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ I think Dolly would write something very Heidi-appropriate! Country, colorful, funny or shocking.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ I have a small fear of the ocean. I say small because I LOVE going to the beach, standing in front of an ocean taking in all the wonder of it, wading around a bit... BUT I don't think you'd catch me deep sea diving or anything where I couldn't make a quick escape back to the sand. Too many scary things in those waters!
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ What is your most embarrassing or laughable moment on stage? (I like this question because I have lots of these and they make me laugh, and I love laughing at myself). One that comes to mind is I was in a large theatre production of "The Wiz" and I was playing Dorothy. I was so in the moment I wasn't aware of my surroundings and tripped on a prop, fell over backwards (in a dress) and the audience got a good laugh at my expense. I had to stay in character and act like that was part of it but everyone knew that me flashing the audience wasn't part of the script.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ I don't really care about the esthetics, the whole recording experience is exciting yet somewhat stressful as you're working hard, trying to be creative and not make any mistakes. For these reasons, my favorite studios are those that are comfortable and have a laid back vibe. Some comfy couches, a kitchen with coffee and snacks, some dim lights and good company!
Johnny or June ?
~ Johnny. I love Johnny Cash so much. I cover his songs nearly every show and it doesn't matter who the audience is; young, old, everything in between: everyone sings along to a Johnny song.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ I do not get nervous. I can probably count on one hand the times I've been nervous in my 25 years of performing. Being on stage is my favorite place to be! I look forward to it with great excitement and anticipation, not fear or nervousness. I do have one ritual and that is I like to have a moment alone before I hit the stage to have a quick talk with God.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ July 9, 2015. I had cold called a particular publishing company for weeks trying to get a meeting. I finally got a meeting on July 9th with publisher Melanie Howard of Harlan Howard Songs. I left that meeting and got in my car and cried in the parking lot because I knew things were about to change. I've called Harlan Howard Songs my musical home ever since.
For more info about Heidi Raye you can go to:
Answers given on March 26, 2018
Photos by David Abbott Photography