INTERVIEW: healer

Hi Bryce, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

hey 🙂 Thanks so much for having me! I’ve been pretty good; just chilling at home these days (like most people) but I have been lucky enough to have my music to keep me busy.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Cat’s Meow”?

“Cat’s Meow” is my second single under the healer project and it’s one that I’m super excited about. It’s a really lighthearted and fun song that kind of emerged from all of the gloom of this year. It talks about sadness in an endearing and optimistic way, and my hope is that people will take this song as a reminder that it is ok to not be ok right now, and that we will figure this out together. I really think the world needs more songs like that right now.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

In my opinion, one of the greatest things about writing music is that, even when I am writing about myself, I am not just writing for myself. Songs take on their own life when released and mean something different to every single person who listens. That being said, at the core of “Cat’s Meow” is the universal experience of feeling lonely and missing someone that you care about. I wrote this song about someone I love who is really far away right now, and even though it is tough to miss them so deeply, I feel so lucky that I have someone so special to miss.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

Yes! A lyric video is dropping on Thursday along with the song. I’m not gonna spoil it, but cat suits are involved. It was super fun to make!

How was the recording and writing process?

I started working on “Cat’s Meow” some time in April while I was still living on the Central Coast for school. It was one of those songs that just kinda came out all at once. I wrote it and produced the first draft in one sitting, while I was still trying to figure out the “sound” of healer. Because I am completely self-produced, I was able to spend a ridiculous amount of hours refining the mix; as any self-recorded musician knows, the work has really only just begun once the song is written. I finished up the song in September while staying in a cabin in the mountains with some of my musician friends. I think the timing worked out perfectly because crafting “Cat’s Meow” started as such an individual experience, and by the end we got to breathe some much needed liveliness into it with my friends adding harmonies and ad libs and stuff like that.

How did you come up with the genre ukulele-trap?

It kind of, weirdly enough, was a natural progression for me. It rose out of me wanting to have more fun with my music. I spent my teen years writing mostly slow, sad songs (which will always hold a dear place in my heart) but I was really wanting to express this entirely different side of me too. Last year I was fortunate enough to live in a house in San Luis Obispo that hosted shows in the living room on the weekends. Seeing bands like Honeyboys bring so much energy, really connect with the crowd, and have so much fun doing it made me want to figure out how to do that for myself too while still staying true to who I am as an artist.

Can you talk to us more about your music and how it intersects with psychology?

Like I said if you know my other projects, you know that my music has always been rootsy and melancholic. In the past I was using my art as a tool for self-discovery and expression and I think I just got to a point in my life where I wanted to take that personal healing and figure out how to bring that to other people too. I still wanted to make very authentic art and sing about issues that mattered to me, but I wanted to focus on the growth and the healing and not just the feelings themselves. I think I only just recently got to a point in my life where I feel qualified to take on a role like that, but without a doubt I feel like that is my purpose. I want to be able to take a stance on issues that matter to me and help other people navigate those issues too. I have always seen music as a way to do that; and as a recent psychology graduate, as someone who has struggled with mental health issues themselves, and as someone who tries their hardest to embody love, kindness, and empathy everyday, I feel that I approach those issues through an honest and (hopefully) useful lens.

With the major reception your music has gotten – do you feel any pressure while putting this new single together or rather the opposite?

It’s always nerve-wracking to put something out into the world that you’ve entirely poured yourself into. That’s a really vulnerable thing to do; I think it’s a very good kind of vulnerability but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do! At the end of the day I feel very good about what I am doing because I know that I am spreading love and kindness through art and that’s worth any second guessing or personal pressures that I could throw at myself.

Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?

Oh yeah, I’ve got lots of songs written and we plan to release steadily through early next year. It has been so cool to watch this project develop in real time and I’m so excited to see where it goes next.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The third single is called “Are you Glad” and it will hopefully be out in late November 🙂

What else is happening next in healer’s world?

Ultimately, I am trying to create a soft space where people can feel comfortable being themselves and feel loved and supported. For me, that journey starts with music, but I have so many plans to grow healer beyond that too. Even I don’t really know what will happen next with healer but I can definitely say that I am very passionate about creating a platform that is a force for good in the world, and that will always be at the center of what I create.

Listen To: “Cat’s Meow”

Watch: “Make You Sad” Video

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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