Kaotican Alphabet

Interview with H.E.R.

Interview with H.E.R.

H.E.R. has performed as the special guest on the Music Of The Spheres World Tour at shows in Latin America, Europe and North America – from the very first night to the most recent date in LA. We spoke to her on the day of her final scheduled show with the band, to hear how the experience has been.

Hi, how are you?
I’m doing great. How are you?

Very well, thanks. So today is your final scheduled show with Coldplay.
It is!

An adventure which stretches right back to Costa Rica.
That’s right – I was there on the first night of the tour in March 2022.

How did you come to be on the tour?
I remember CAA, my agency, was kind of bringing it up, but then Chris Martin FaceTimed me and said, “Would you like to go on the road with us?”. I was so honoured that he asked me. I said yes immediately. He knew I was excited that he was a fan and that I would love playing in a stadium.

Is Chris someone you knew already then?
Yeah, we met at Global Citizen Festival in 2019. I was totally fangirling because I’m such a big Coldplay fan. And he’s just kept up with me since then.

When did you get into Coldplay?
Oh, man, when I was really little. I remember doing a cover of Viva La Vida on YouTube when I was like 9 or 10. And I also sang Yellow at my uncle’s wedding when I was 15. So I have a deep connection!

Do you think if we looked we could dig out your Viva cover?
Possibly! I can try to find it.

Have you done many support slots? They can presumably be quite different from doing your own headline shows?
I’ve only done a few, but each time, they’ve helped me grow so much as a performer. I love the fact that I get to kind of stretch out and do a bigger show on a bigger stage.

How did you feel on that first night with Coldplay in Costa Rica?
Oh my gosh, honestly, in South America the crowds are just insane. They’re like the best crowds ever. They’re the loudest. The livest. Most of the time when you’re the opener, people are still kind of trickling in. But in Costa Rica the whole stadium was full by the time I got on stage. So it was honestly one of the most amazing experiences, to play in that packed stadium. It felt like, “Oh, wow. This is what I want to do.” I know a lot of people don’t feel that way in a stadium, but I absolutely love it.

Have you adjusted your performance for those bigger stages?
I don’t want to say that our show was made for a stadium, but to be honest I don’t think there was too much adjusting that needed to be done. I really love to make my show feel massive but very intimate at the same time. And I think those types of shows fit the best in a stadium. You want to fill it up, but also make people feel like they’re right there with you. But there is a lot more ground to cover on a stadium stage. I was definitely excited to be able to take advantage of the runway and to run on both sides of the stage.

The band’s support acts have often said in these interviews that Coldplay’s crowd are really receptive and willing to listen to music that they don’t necessarily know. Has that been your experience?
Absolutely. They’re super excited. And even if they’re kind of in their own world during the first song, by the time I get to the fourth song of my set, they’re completely locked in, which I love and really appreciate. A lot of the people in the stadiums probably didn’t know who I was, and that’s the beauty of it. Being able to be on this stage in front of these people, I’m kind of bringing Coldplay’s fans onto my journey.

And for any Coldplay fans who haven’t yet checked out your music, how would you describe it?
It’s just good music, I guess! I don’t think I can be put into any genre or any specific style. But I love to play guitar, so the live experience is very electrifying. It’s a lot of fun.

And what’s the experience been like of being on a tour of this scale?
It’s honestly crazy. There’s so many moving parts. Just watching Coldplay and the amount of crew they need for this tour is insane. It takes a really huge village to pull off a show like this. It’s definitely very inspiring. And I love that they’re such a tight knit team. It’s like one big family. I absolutely love it on this tour. Everybody is so friendly, and that obviously starts from the top down. They really create such a beautiful environment of really nice people. We have a lot of fun backstage.

And you’ve obviously been part of the band’s actual show as well, performing with them on the C Stage. How’s that been?
Oh, man, it’s so cool. I love singing Let Somebody Go with Chris Martin. And the amount of love that the crowd shows is pretty surreal. I love the fact that the bracelets light up, and when you’re on the stage, you really feel the energy. It’s a really cool experience.

You even did Let Somebody Go at the Buenos Aires show which was shown around the world in cinemas.
It was so cool that they did that. They’re definitely good at bringing people together.

Presumably you’ve seen the band’s show quite a lot over this last 18 months.
Yeah, I’ve seen the full show a lot, and it never gets old.

Had you seen them live before this?
No. Okay, so I gotta tell you a crazy, crazy thing that you actually just reminded me of. So another reason why I’m such a big Coldplay fan is because my little sister has been a huge Coldplay fan since she was like five years old. We always used to sing their songs in the car together. Anyway, we’re nine years apart so I’m like the ultimate big sister and kind of a second mom to her. And when she was six years old, I said to her, “One day, I’m going to take you to a Coldplay concert,” because their music is something we bonded over. And I did not know that I would keep the promise in this insane way! She was able to join me on the road a lot. She came to London and Belgium and a few other places. But looking back, I’m like, “Wow, I can’t believe I’m here,” you know?

What a lovely thing. And hopefully you both enjoyed seeing the show.
Absolutely. The show is just insane. You know, I recommend everyone to see it, Coldplay fan or not. It’s that amazing.

Are there particular parts you enjoy most?
Oh there’s so many. I love when they do Yellow. And In My Place. And Fix You. And when they do A Sky Full Of Stars and there’s fireworks and the whole stadium is jumping up and down with this crazy energy and good vibes.

Have you managed to enjoy visiting all these places on the tour too?
Absolutely. There were tons of places I’d never been to. Belgium. Costa Rica. Argentina. So many. And I kind of made a promise to myself that I’d take advantage and see the cities I was in. You know, experience all the cool stuff and the people and the food.

Have there been any highlights?
OK, one highlight would have to be when we went bowling in a random town in Virginia, somewhere around Arlington, It was me and Chris Martin and BTS! And nobody had any idea who we were. We had so much fun just bowling and playing in the arcade.

That’s amazing.
It really was. At one point, this guy asked Chris Martin to take a picture of him and his friend. He’s like, “Hey excuse me, can you take a picture of us?” He had no idea who Chris was. That was pretty funny. It can be hard to have some regular normalcy when you’re on the road, so to have a night like that was really cool.

And how are you feeling about tonight being the final Coldplay show in your diary?
Honestly, it’s really bittersweet, because I’ve been on tour with them for so long. I’m ready to get creative and get back into just making music. But at the same time, this is an experience that I never thought I would get and I’m so grateful to them for their kindness and just how much fun it’s been. I have no words for all of this that I’ve experienced, but I’m just so grateful. So I’m sad, and I’m going to miss them. But, you know, it’s time to get back to my project.

You’ve certainly won a lot of new fans in the Coldplay world. What can they expect from you next?
I’m just in the studio right now working on my album. That’s coming soon, so keep a lookout.

And the final question we always ask is, what’s your favourite Coldplay song?
Oh, man, it’s so hard to pick just one! But I think it might be In My Place. I love the beat and how those insane drums come in. And it sounds so intimate but huge. What a song.