Heather Nova Biography
On July 6th, 1967, Heather Frith was born in Bermuda. Several generations of her father’s family can be traced back for at least 200 years on this island, while her mother is of Canadian origin.
At the age of 7, Heather’s parents decided to drastically change their way of life and began to make a detailed plan about how to spend the following years with their three children, Heather, Mishka and Susannah.
Around 1977, her father finally decided to quit his job as an architect. He sold the house and took the whole family on a self-built, 40-ft. boat, in the direction of the Carribean Islands.
During that time Heather discovered her love for music while playing old cassettes of her parents idols such as Neil Young, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
She also learned the first steps of how to play the guitar and created her first original melodies.
At the age of 15, she left her parents and moved back to civilization to continue her education at school. On her own, she soon started suffering from problems with communicating and relating to her peers, because she felt that she didn’t have the same experiences as them.
In 1987, Heather finished school and started college at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, as she always has been very interested in painting as well as poetry. But very soon she realized how important music was to her, and shortly after she graduated in 1989, she moved (after a more or less unsuccessful intermediate stay in New York) to London in search of supporters for her music career intentions.
In 1990 she met lead singer Felix Tod of the band Candyland during one of the band’s local performances and fell in love with him. He and Abbo of Big Cat Records were responsible for Heather’s first record release in 1990 called “These Walls”, an EP with four tracks.
The next years Heather continued writing new songs and played live as much as possible until she finally had enough material for her first “real” record, called “Glowstars” which was released in 1993 under her new and more success-oriented name, Heather Nova.
This release allowed her to play concerts as opening act for Bob Mould and also The Cranberries. During that time she recorded “Blow,” a live album including the first appearance of her stunning live song, “Sugar,” a powerful song that showed her great musical abilities from this early point.
The final international breakthrough came with her next studio album called “Oyster” in 1994. Thanks to a radio-compatible single release called “Walk This World,” she was especially successful in Europe, but also met with approval in the rest of the world.
As a consequence, an almost two-year long world tour (1995-1996) was to follow, after which Heather returned to London and also to Bermuda again to regain the necessary energy for her next album.
In 1998 she released “Siren,” which ended up being the most successful commercial record release by Heather. Single releases of almost mainstream songs “London Rain” and “Heart And Shoulder” gave her a lot of TV presence on music channels like MTV, and raised her number of fans to a higher level.
Again, a long lasting world tour with focus on European concerts was to follow until 1999. During her concert tour in Germany she recorded her second live album called “Wonderlust” which could perfectly document all different upcoming moods during her shows.
In the next months Heather and her husband Felix began working on the next album called “South” (released in 2001) where she also worked together with musicians Bryan Adams and Eve Nelson. The album was later critizised by some media for being too commercial and having superficial lyrics.
Perhaps because of the criticism, she decided to do her next album called “Storm” in her very own way, totally independent of any external influences like record companies or radio stations. But before, Heather realised another wish come true when she published her first poetry book called “Sorrowjoy” in the spring of 2002, right in the time of working on her next album.
For “Storm” she returned back to her roots, and moved back to the Bermudas. There she recorded more or less the whole album alone at home with her acoustic guitar and without any further technical equipment. With the rough demo versions in her bag she went into the studio with members of Mercury Rev, who could perfectly supply the background of her songs. She had know this band since 2002, when both bands performed several gigs together.
The album was released in August 2003 at a time when Heather had already become pregnant, so after a few acoustic performances there was no more time left for a longer tour. It was perhaps the reason she and her management decided to record one of these rare acoustic performances for the DVD called “An Acoustic Evening With Heather Nova”.
On Monday, 26th of January 2004 Heather gave birth to Sebastian in King Edward’s Hospital on the Bermudas. Fans all over the world now wondered how this would take effect on Heather’s music career in the future. Would she even stop touring? But Heather could sweep aside all fears when she returned back again to “her” stage only a few months later and played a couple of concerts in Europe until middle of July. Highlight of this little summer tour were the two sold-out shows at the Paradiso club in Amsterdam two days in a row. Three more dates were to follow but then she decided to return back home again to the Bermudas.
Heather didn’t really intend to have more time to rest but to start writing new songs for her next album. All the new experiences of being a mother gave her a lot of inspiration. The result, a remarkable album called „Redbird“ got released in August 2005 and of course promoted with a couple of warming-up open-air gigs in the summer as being the perfect preparation for Heather’s extensive “Redbird” tour all across Europe. Unfortunately there was not a single song being released from this album.
End of 2005 Heather released her new song "Together As One" as a contribution to support the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, an organisation which is trying to improve the social spirit among Bermuda's youth. The single was exclusively available from BSF and thus raised a lot of international attention to this project. Around this time she also recorded her poems of “The Sorrowjoy” on CD.
In March 2006 Heather entered again the music stage with her ten concerts lasting "Intimate Evening Tour" across several countries in Europe but surprisingly excluding Germany for the first time ever. Heather played a more than stripped down set of her songs together with two fantastic musicians, violin player Fiona Pears and Ian Tilley playing the piano. The sets were split into two parts with a short break in between and contained old jewels like “These Walls” or “Mothertongue” as well as most of her popular songs. To everybody’s surprise she sometimes even performed “Sugar” in the encore part with a stunning acoustic version. At the concerts it was also possible for the people to buy her Sorrowjoy poems on CD which again is not available in the shops so far."
In 2007 Heather performed a few live shows for some non-profit Bermudian charities e.g. “Greenrock” or “Picnic In The Park” which were intended to keep the island interesting for its younger generations and to raise some sense of responsibility in them and so help to save the natural atmosphere of the island.
On Oct. 10th 2008 Heather released her next album called “The Jasmin Flower” which was recorded in her own studio on the Bermudas and got promoted by the kick-off for her next European Tour with her full band for two and a half weeks all across Europe.
2009 was time for another European acoustic tour of Heather along with her bassist Arnulf Lindner from Austria where she offered the unique chance to some pre-selected fans to enter the stage and play an instrument in one of her very stripped-down songs together with them.
With thanks to Manhard Schlifni, heathernova.de and heathernova.com.