As someone who headed off to college the year YouTube launched, it’s been wild to watch the platform go from a place where one could spend all night watching ‘Tiny Toons’’ clips instead of studying to a site that has launched legitimate careers. That includes helping Heather Walton go from covering songs to creating her own. We talked about her YouTube start, her latest “I Wanna Know,” and some of her personal missions.
Kendra: As someone who is a fan of romance and love, were you inspired as a child by the voices of Disney Princesses and whatnot? Or were you always tuned into the radio?
Heather Walton: I do love romance and love. I often listened to the music of Disney when I was little (especially Disney princess songs) as they fit so well with my voice and I enjoyed singing along. However, I was inspired by the music on the radio as well.
Kendra: You hopped on YouTube and started putting out covers a few years ago and like Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber, you were discovered. Were you surprised when that happened?
Heather Walton: I uploaded my first cover, and hours later I was discovered by a Canadian mastering engineer who wanted to work with me and is still one of my biggest supporters today. I wasn’t expecting it to happen after my first upload. At the same time, I’ve been working on music my whole life and was ready, willing, and feeling like it was my moment to finally share my art with a bigger audience.
Kendra: For me, some of the best content on YouTube are the covers artists do. I think growing up during the start of ‘American Idol’ instilled that love of cover songs in me. For you though, what do you believe makes a cover song stand out as something sort of original?
Heather Walton: When I do a cover I make it my own for sure. If I don’t feel a buzz when creating it, I know that no one else will either. So, I work on it until I feel that it’s uniquely me.
Kendra: Now you’re making your own music. Can you tell us more about working with Sonos Music Records and getting your latest, “I Wanna Know” out and about for all to hear?
Heather Walton: Working with Sonos Music Records has been amazing. They respect and take care of their artists. My arranger is top-notch and is a dream to work with. I’m grateful to have a professional team backing me. Love my dream team! I Wanna Know is the song I always wanted to write, and now I have the resources to help me spread the word so that others can enjoy it too.
Kendra: “I Wanna Know” takes me back to a time when these beautiful ballads owned the FM dial. In today’s landscape of music, it’s as though the romance is sort of well…a little nonexistent when you look at artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Jessie Reyez who aren’t shy about telling past partners who’ve scorned them what’s up. Does that make an artist that is filled with so much love and romance feel a little uneasy, or do you see it as a challenge to make these types of songs huge hits once again?
Heather Walton: My personal mission as an artist is to help others feel love, passion, and light. I think artists must share what resonates in their hearts the most. We are all unique and have our own story to tell.
Kendra: Which, when I think of those big ballads, I think of some of your heroes like Whitney, Celine, Mariah, and Christina. With that, we’re going to play a game we often play here and that is Cover, Duet, Tour With. So out of Celine, Mariah, and Christina which would you want to simply cover for fun, duet with in the studio, and which would you hit the road with – and yes, we’re omitting Whitney because she takes the cake in all three categories. After all, she is the Diva of all Divas.
Heather Walton: Whitney really is the ultra diva! I would want to cover Celine, duet with Mariah, and hit the road with Christina.
Kendra: Lastly, it’s getting a little easier with the vaccine rollouts, but it’s still kind of hard to have a definite answer when it comes to future plans given the current state of everything, but as far as what you can control when it comes to your career and creativity – what do you have planned in the coming months for yourself?
Heather Walton: Right now I am composing my EP which will be recorded in Italy this Fall. While I am there we will have a music video shooting as well as photography. In the coming years, I hope to perform on big stages with an orchestra or even smaller events with a string ensemble. I also want to collaborate with some artists like Andrea Bocelli, Hauser (cello), Pia Toscano, David Foster, and Carrie Underwood. A massive dream is to get the opportunity to create art with the incredible Hans Zimmer! Go big or go home. I also want to collaborate with Disney. I am open to so much. With effort, passion, and faith I know the universe will bring exactly what is meant for me.