Photography by Janneke van der Hagen
Eventim Spotlights spoke with Swiss star Heidi Happy about influences, achievements and being a multi-instrumentalist.
HK: What is your earliest memory of music?
Heidi: As a classically trained soprano, my mother used to invite musicians to our home. They wore funny clothes and brought weird instruments. I loved listening to them making music, with every instrument having its own distinctive sound and its owner moving as if I wasn’t watching.
HK: That sounds absolutely lovely! What made you become a musician and as a multi-instrumentalist what instrument did you pick up first?
Heidi: Music was all around me when I was young. My mother would sing with us instead of reading a fairy tale, so our house was full of instruments. I found it all fascinating, so it happened automatically. I’ve always preferred playing several instruments satisfyingly rather than playing one exceptionally well. I got easily bored with an instrument and hopped to the next one, which was a challenge for my parents who paid for my lessons…!
HK: Well it is definitely been worth it! For all our UK and international readers, can you tell us more about the music scene in Switzerland?
Heidi: In my opinion, our music scene has two problems. One is the low self esteem – there are a lot of people trying to sound like other bands and musicians here. Instead of creating something new that others might find terrible or great, they copy something that is already popular.
The other is the technical luxury – all of our venues and studios are filled with great technical equipment. We never have to make the best out of a show having a disastrous sound, it’s always good or great, so we don’t learn to catch the audience with anything but the sound. Great stage presence, nice costumes, exceptional light shows or thrilling performances are very rare.
Luckily, there are some exceptions, and the artists that manage to do that in addition to making music with their heart, are really fantastic!
HK: How did you come up with the name Heidi Happy?
Heidi: Some friends of mine organized a party and asked me to have my first solo show. They were graphic designers and wanted to have a good looking flyer.
So I needed a name that looked good.
HK: Tell us about your musical influences.
Heidi: The few moments I have time to listen to music, it’s usually old vinyl compilations with big voices and fancy orchestras, like Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, Nina Simone or Frank Sinatra.
HK: What is your greatest achievement so far?
Heidi: Collaboration wise that I could sing on two Yello records and perform in Stephan Eicher’s band. Solo wise my album “Hiding With The wolves” where I wrote and arranged 15 songs for voice, band and a symphonic orchestra.
HK: What influences you in your life?
Heidi: Everyday life is my biggest influence. The easiest way for me to get over something is by writing a song about it. I can also be inspired by nature.
Or I just imagine being somewhere I would like to be and build the images around me with the music.
HK: If you could tour with any artist who would it be?
Heidi: I’m a huge fan of Wallis Bird, Noah and the Whale, Mumford & Sons and Beck..but I mean, if Robbie Williams called, I wouldn’t say no either!
You can catch Heidi at Discovery 2 on 26 June at AAA. Find out more and get your tickets here.
Listen to La Danse below
You can find Heidi Happy on Facebook.