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Doing it HER way: singer rises as focus remains on music

NEW YORK — When Gabi Wilson is H.E.R. — her RB singer stage name — she is usually rocking big hair and big sunglasses, rarely showing her full face to her fans.

The point is to give the public one simple thing to focus on: the music.

But other days, her hair is pulled into a ponytail or a bun and her face is clear, like the time she was being driven in an Uber with a friend and “Best Part,” her Top 5 RB hit, came on the radio.

“I love that song ‘Best Part,'” H.E.R. recalled the driver saying, adding that he was in his late ’60s. “It reminds me of my wife.”

“I wanted to cry,” she added. “It was so special.”

That anonymity proved two things for the singer: Her choice to release music without giving too much detail about her life worked, and her fanbase is not just made up of teenagers who mainly consume music through streaming — RB purists love her, too.

Since Sony’s RCA Records announced H.E.R. mysteriously in 2016, she has become a rising RB star, achieving success on the road, on streaming services, the charts and even at awards shows.

Songs like “Best Part,” ”Focus” and “Losing” perfectly blend the alternative RB sound that’s popular today with the traditional RB sound that some feel is missing from the contemporary music scene.

Her first two EPs — “H.E.R., Vol. 1” and “H.E.R., Vol. 2” — gave her an immediate fan base thanks to the songs’ honest lyrics and vibey melodies, as she sang about complicated relationships and love lapses. Most people wouldn’t think she just turned 21 months ago.

“The way that I released the music did exactly what I wanted it to, which was make people just listen to the music,” said H.E.R., which stands for “Having Everything Revealed.”

Article source: http://www.startribune.com/doing-it-h-e-r-way-singer-rises-as-focus-remains-on-music/499945411/

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