Singer-songwriter Gillian Hedi is one to keep your eye on as she continues to put out R&B-infused pop music that’s so poetic, you wouldn’t believe she’s only sixteen. “What It Felt Like,” the single off of her first EP Unbridled, has over 250 thousand streams on Spotify, and her music only keeps getting better.
Her latest single “fray” comes out today, and we got to talk with her about her previous single “desperate” and her upcoming album!
CROWDSURFER: Your single “desperate” recently came out! Tell us a little about the inspiration and story of this song.
GILLIAN HEIDI: “desperate” is definitely one of the more fictional songs I’ve written. One of the biggest parts of the writing process was developing the characters who exist in the song. Though the emotions I expressed in the song are authentic to my life, the story is fictionalized in some aspects. “desperate” portrays both the guilt and thrill that comes when you have feelings for someone else while in a relationship.
CS: Do you have a favorite lyric?
GH: My favorite lyric is definitely “but there’s something about your danger that makes me fall for your taboo.”
CS: I hear that “desperate” sets the tone for your upcoming album 3AM. Walk us through how your sound and you yourself have changed since your debut EP Unfiltered.
GH: I think that Unfiltered was an undeveloped version of my current sound. 3AM is definitely darker and more mature than anything on Unfiltered. I think that this development really just came from growing up and changing as a person.
CS: When does 3AM come out?
GH: 3AM should hopefully come out early next year! Until then, I’ll be releasing a bunch of singles from it.
CS: You’re sixteen! And yet your music feels so mature. Where does your inspiration for this sound and these lyrics come from?
GH: I think that my inspiration comes from all of the music I’ve listened to as I’ve grown up. Some of my biggest inspirations are Taylor Swift, Amy Winehouse, and Ella Mai. I think that listening to other artists can really help spark ideas and inspiration in my own work.
CS: What’s your songwriting process like?
GH: I usually start a song with one line or a few lines that I really like, and build around that. I try to stay inspired by doing writing exercises each day, which has really helped improve my process.
CS: What made you decide to pursue music?
GH: I can remember the first time I heard “Love Story” by Taylor Swift on the radio. I was 6-years-old and at that moment I knew that I wanted to write songs. Cheesy, but true.
CS: If you’re still in school, how are you balancing everything?
GH: I am still in school! I take academics very seriously and it has definitely always been a priority for me. Sometimes it can be difficult to balance everything, but I try to make time for the things I love, like creating music.
CS: What else do you have in store for us before your album drops?
GH: I’m dropping a new music video very soon and I’ve also got a bunch of new singles lined up. I can’t wait!
CS: Do you have any goals for this year that you’re super excited about? Whether music-related or not?
GH: This year I want to start recording some of my new music. Since recording 3AM, I’ve definitely further developed my style, and I can’t wait to work on my next project.
You can take a listen to “desperate” here, and stay tuned for more from Gillian Heidi!