Storyteller by Heston
I have to share an interesting story before I introduce this delightful cd. After I saw Heston open for Kindred last year, I knew I was going to look for his cd in stores. But, by the time the concert was over, I had forgotten his name. Well, ever since I started this blog, I’ve been thinking hard about artists that I’d like to feature. As I was considering my choice for today’s CD of the Week, I thought about the concert I saw last year but I still couldn’t remember Heston’s name. I tried a few online searches this week and those didn’t produce anything (it’s kinda hard to search for someone when you don’t know their name). So, I decided to look for a new cd instead. I purchased Storyteller because I really liked the song titles and I recognized one of the guest artists.
The next day, before I opened my new Storyteller cd, I wanted to try again to find music from the artist I’d seen months ago. So, I emailed the concert venue to ask for his name. Later that morning, I opened the Storyteller cd, and as I started listening, the voice sounded so familiar that I started smiling. A few hours later, I got a response from the concert venue. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the Storyteller cd that I had purchased the day before was by the artist that I was trying to find.
Although it was a little hard for me to find him, Heston is definitely not a newcomer to the soul music scene. He is from Dominica West Indies and has been writing and performing songs for years. He also produced the majority of the songs on his album, which is a product of his own label, World Soul Records.
Heston’s debut cd is very appropriately titled. With each song, not only does Heston have good stories to tell, but he presents them in a way that seems as if he’s spoken to you before. From the first track, I was immediately drawn to his sincere writing style. For instance, Your Perfume describes his vivid memories of a past love and Good Morning America describes a soldier’s perspective of war. One of my favorites is his last track Songbirds, which includes thank you’s to several artists who came before him. (You’d have to like anyone who’d thank Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson for their music, right?)
I wanted to interview Heston just to give you all a little more insight about what inspires him and his music. Here’s a little of our conversation:
Mimi Soul: Why did you choose Storyteller as the title of your album?
Heston: Well one consistent thing that people keep saying is that they love the stories in my songs. So, I just thought it was an appropriate title for the album.
Mimi Soul: What are some of your goals as an artist?
Heston: It has always been a life goal to not compromise my musical integrity. I want to make albums that people will remember. I want to make timeless music. For example, Sade did The Sweetest Taboo so many years ago and it still just feels so real, so present, so today. I wanna know that my music is gonna move and I want people to notice a level of quality with the music. And, it’s always gonna be a continual goal of mine to grow as an artist, songwriter, and musician so that I can keep taking it to the next level.
Mimi Soul: If someone were to ask you to describe your music using only 3 adjectives, what are the first 3 that come to mind?
Heston: Timeless, world-soul, and feel-good
Mimi Soul: You’ve been quite successful as an independent artist. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from that aspect of your musical experience so far?
Heston: Having a team is so so so important. The team is paramount because you just can’t do it on your own. You can have all the talent and songs in the world but you need a team of people to help you. A mediocre album with a great team will do so much more than a great album with a team that’s not cohesive or no team at all.
Having a team of people to support you gives you the time to be creative and do what you’re great at. I can handle the songwriting, performing, and production but I know I need help with marketing and promotion. I need those people to assist me in doing those things so that the entire process can be moving.
Mimi Soul: That’s a very good point. I know it must be very important to figure out who you want on your team, right?
Heston: Absolutely. It’s important for the people helping you to realize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’m comfortable with that because I know that I don’t just have one more song in me. I’m going to continue to grow. This first album is doing so much more than I expected it to but I’m always looking forward to growing more as an artist so I need a team that knows that it’s a long haul and if their hearts are in it, then that’s all I can ask for.
I really have a passion for what I do. I do music not because I want to, but because I have to. I have to do it because that’s just who I am.
If you’re looking for a cd that’s good from start to finish, one that can present everyday situations in a way that is all too familiar, pick up Heston’s Storyteller at CD Baby or iTunes today. As it was with me, I think his cd will be just what you’re trying to find.