Christchurch based singer/songwriter HERA has been living, writing and performing in New Zealand for 12 years now whilst carving out a very successful career in her native country of Iceland. Not an easy task given the global separation, but one that was richly rewarded in 2003 when she was named Best Female Artist at that year’s Icelandic Music Awards, a category dominated for the previous 10 years by global superstar Bjork! Hera’s Icelandic debut album also delivered her a Gold Record there being backed up by 37 live concerts in two months, the most extensive Icelandic tour ever undertaken by a solo female artist...
A prodigious talent from an early age, Hera began playing classical guitar in Reykjavik at the age of 8 building an impressive collection of her own self-penned songs by 13… In 1994 her family moved to New Zealand where she started playing her own shows in and around Christchurch, grabbing some key support slots on visiting tours including Goldenhorse & Glenn Tilbrook. Hera’s first two albums were independently produced, published and distributed in New Zealand, slowly helping to build her a small but very dedicated fan base.
In 2002 aged just 18, one of Hera’s tracks from those early recordings, “Itchy Palms”, was performed as part of a live-to-air phone interview on Icelandic radio and fortunately spotted by the producer of a planned Icelandic film production “Hafid (The Sea)”. He tracked Hera down in NZ and “Itchy Palms” was chosen as the film’s title song with Hera being invited to perform it live at the Icelandic Premiere. The film eventually went on to win eight Edda Awards (Iceland’s Oscar equivalent) being distributed in over 30 countries worldwide.The music video with clips from the movie was also featured on the global DVD release. With the track appearing at a very poignant part in the film, it quickly gained strong radio and TV support propelling Hera into the Icelandic media limelight. With all this media activity, relocation to her native Iceland became essential, so at the end of 2002 Hera moved back to Reykjavik…A recording deal was secured with Skifan Records and her career was launched!
Live shows continued through 2004 & 2005 with supporting slots for both Nick Cave and Joe Cocker in Reykjavik’s biggest concert arena. Her next album “Don’t Play This” released mid 2005 was supported by another multi-date national tour with the Icelandic music website - www.tonlist.is - featuring 8 of Hera’s songs on their Top 10 Most Played List simultaneously! She also performed shows in Belgium, Holland, Italy and UK including a slot at the famous (and rain-soaked) Glastonbury Festival. Hera ended off that year with a concert in one of the most remote places on the planet, Ammassalik in Greenland, creating yet another unique milestone for this talented and adventurous performer.
In August 2006 after 3 years of travelling back & forth between Iceland & NZ, maintaining an involvement in the NZ Music Industry Commission Mentoring Program, Hera decided the time was right to permanently move back to her “other home” in Christchurch and focus on building her career here again. She has been playing regular solo shows, easily rebuilding a loyal fan base with her new songs and charming live performances. In March 2007 with support from the newly formed Christchurch Music Industry Trust (CHART), Hera secured a showcase slot at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin USA and on her return was awarded a New Recording Artist Grant from NZ On Air. Last September Hera teamed up in the Roundhouse studio with Wellington producer David Long (Fur Patrol, Lucid 3) to record a brand new song “Feels So Good”. The result is a delightful uplifting debut NZ single!
A 2nd Glastonbury appearance and a tour of Iceland is scheduled for June and July this year.
That’s the story so far. In 2008 it seems there is a lot more to come… If this is your first time, be prepared to be charmed, intrigued, moved & occasionally shocked by the music of HERA!