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Houston Heard performing at Virginia Beach's Shaggfest.

Houston Heard performing at Virginia Beach's Shaggfest.

DOUG ARCOS

DOUG ARCOS

Houston Heard performing at Virginia Beach's Shaggfest.

Emily Spence, Reporter

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Beginning in sixth grade Houston Heard was told to write a song for his science class, and he decided that writing a rap better suited him. With the help of his Rock Band microphone and beats from Youtube, he produced his first song. Since then, he has not stopped producing music.

“Artist Nathaniel Rateliff has been a big inspiration being soulful and down to earth.” Heard said. “Having been through so much and how he communicates that through his music, I really look up to. He is my biggest influence.”

Writing songs and producing a beat doesn’t always come naturally to an artist. Heard has been working on a new album for the last year and a half. “I can write a song in an hour,” Heard explained. “But if I want to get it perfect, it can take two to three weeks to a month to get everything in line.”

After winning a series of local showcases, Heard performed on the main stage at Virginia Beach’s Shaggfest in the summer of 2015.

“I can’t just write anything unless I’m inspired to, like I used to do,” Heard said. “Whether it’s just something that happens or if I hear something that interest me. It’s mainly just things that happen in my life. Which is the only way that I can really express myself.”

His modest attitude is what makes Houston unique as an artist, and it allows his fans to relate to and understand his music. “I’m not rapping about money or the girls because I have neither of those,” Heard said. I’m just rapping about what I do and not trying to be someone I’m not.”

A fan of Heard’s, senior Paul Keurajian appreciates Heard’s musical talent. “His ability to create and write about situations relating to the life of most high school students makes his music easy to understand,” Keurajian said. “He can play any instrument from the guitar to the harmonica and his ear for producing music and writing is really special.”

As he heads to Belmont University, in Tennessee, Heard will study the music business, where he will learn more about the label side of the industry. “The cool thing about Belmont is that they encourage you to stay creative throughout your education,” Heard explained. “I’m always going to make music and being able to do it professionally is my main goal.”

 

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