10 Questions with ... High Dive Heart
November 2, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighDiveHeart Twitter: https://twitter.com/highdiveheart Instagram: https://instagram.com/highdiveheart Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/butr/high-dive-heart-vintage YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcONh_n3_qHq1t7spQVe3MQ Flipagram: https://flipagram.com/highdiveheart
High Dive Heart (HDH) is a pop duo composed of multiplatinum award winning singer/songwriter Jason Reeves and Nelly Joy, who is one half of the ACM nominated country duo the Jane Dear girls.
Reeves has collaborated with artists such as Colbie Caillat, Lenka, Katharine McPhee, Angel Taylor and was the ASCAP award winning iTunes Indie Songwriter of the Year for 2007. His album "The Lovesick" debuted at #5 on the Pop iTunes charts as an indie artist in 2011. He has toured with Colbie Caillat and OneRepublic, and more.
Nelly Joy has toured with Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and others.
Together, Jason and Nelly are spreading the message of love, peace and happiness through their upbeat, acoustic pop melodies that some describe as a 'Romantic Comedy on Tape'.
HDH was produced by Grammy winning producer Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban). "Vintage" is the first single from their "Sonic Graffiti" EP. High Dive Heart plans to roll out new music all year long.
1) Where did you two first meet each other? How long have you been performing together?
We met each other in 2009. We were both writing for Sony/ATV publishing. Jason was signed to the L.A. office, I was signed to the Nashville office, and we decided to write a song together. So that's how we met.
As a duo we've been writing together since we met, but we didn't really start High Dive Heart until a couple of years ago. We've been married for almost four years, and about a year into being married, Nathan Chapman heard this song that we had put out together that was on Jason's solo albums. He is one of our really good friend and an incredible producer (he's worked with Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and others). Anyway, he approached us about doing a pop duo together.
So we started writing and working with him. We've been writing and working on the project about three years ago, but we didn't really start performing the music until this last year when we launched the EP. We went out on tour with Colbie Caillat, Christina Perri, and did some dates this summer. Right now we're on a radio tour so it's been really fun. It's been a "Wild Ride" which by the way is one of our song titles. So that's sort of become our theme song.
2) You both had successful careers apart from High Dive Heart. Why did you decide to join forces and create this duo? How are things different since starting this group?
One thing for sure is that being an artist is the hardest job in the business. Being a writer is fun and will always be something that is super important to us. I'm not sure I would try being an artist again if it was not for Jason. I was in a duo for seven years and when the band broke up it was heartbreaking. It's hard, but it's so rewarding when it's something special that you feel really passionate about.
3) "Vintage" is getting big Shazam response and airplay in the Midwest, nationwide on Sirius XM and more. What do you attribute to this early success story?
NELLY: We were really blessed that this song went viral on Spotify and started getting played on radio in Milwaukee.
The most important thing is that Jason and I follow our hearts. A lot of people are having success by putting the music out and letting the fans spread the word. They've been amazing getting the word out online. And it's not just the fans, but we've chosen this amazing group of people we're working with. We call them our "Dream Team" as they have worked tirelessly to help us promote this song. Getting out of our record deal was extremely scary, but it didn't fit what we wanted to do.
JASON: Parting ways with our label meant that there was no one holding us back from seeing our vision and promoting the music the way we want. I've had my own label putting out solo records. But I've never tried to take it as far as we've taken it with this music, and I've never had as lofty as goals before. We're part of this team and we're putting it together ourselves so we're able to do so much more because of that.
4) Can you talk about the inspiration for your single "Vintage"? How did you come up with such an interesting production on the song?
It's really important as an artist to be who you really are. This is the first time we've done this on our own, and "Vintage" was our staple song that said who we are and what we believe in and the message that we're trying to spread which was "Love." The song almost didn't make it onto the EP and we were really disappointed about that. One thing I will say is that Ron Fair when he was at Capitol/Virgin really fought for that song. We were so blessed to have him on our team and allowing us to have that as our first single.
5) Please tell us about the making of your video for "Vintage"?
Patrick Tracey, who is our visual member of the band, had this idea to show how we recorded the song. Once Patrick turned the video in that's when we knew this was the song that we should release first. We didn't ask our label for permission to do this video, we just did it. It was great because we were acting out of faith and not out of fear.
6) Jason, you've written songs with many of the biggest names in the music business. What does it feel like to step out and work on your own project?
It feels good. I like going back and forth between the two aspects of the business. It's much easier to just write or produce a song for someone and let them do all the work afterwards. I've been doing this (being an artist thing) since longer than I've been co-writing. I was co-writing with Colbie Caillat when she was doing a solo album. We were living in the same city and that's how we met. And I've been doing this since I was 17, which was a long time ago. Ha! Ha!
The only thing that's new is having someone doing this with me and that has been extremely helpful. Everything is different about it when you have someone else to answer to or create with. It's a lot better on many levels.
7) Nelly, did you find it difficult transitioning from the country world with JaneDear Girls to more of a mainstream sound with High Dive Heart?
No not at all. To be honest with you, it was an incredible experience. But the one thing my label kept saying was that I needed to sing with more of a country leaning voice because my voice is very Pop. So when JaneDear Girls broke up, it was a natural transition for me to start doing the type of music I really like to write. It was a natural and freeing experience for me and Jason was very helpful to me with that.
8) Being a married couple in the music business together, is there anything silly that you fight about or have disagreements about?
Jason and I compliment each other really well. We're really blessed. The one thing we fight over is if we're going to watch baseball or Grey's Anatomy.
9) What artists have consistently inspired you both? Who would you love to work with in the future?
NELLY: I was raised on The Beatles and I think it's amazing that they were passed on by several record labels. Recently, Macklemore And Ryan Lewis are another favorite just because they are the ultimate example of an independent artist that is flourishing in the pop world. They are more than successful musically they are creating an environment that people want to be a part of.
I would also say that Taylor Swift is one of the best songwriters and artist of our generation. We just saw her play live, and the fact that almost every song off of "1989" is a single is why it is so big. Also because she's incredibly smart.
JASON: My main inspiration musically has always been Bob Dylan and that will never change. There are so many influences that it would be absurd to actually list them all, but I'd have to say Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, and Coldplay just as a good sketch. But I've been inspired by classical composers as well. I used to be involved with the classical choir and we actually won three Grammys when I was in high school for our music program. I really love classical and especially vocals. It all comes from somewhere and everyone is inspired by someone.
10) At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners will take away from your songs?
NELLY: It's really pretty simple. I hope that our listeners take away the message of love and peace. That's the message that we're trying to spread everywhere that we go. Love each other, and love this life.
JASON: Beyond the umbrella of love, we're really interested in saying things that are real and speaking truth, and writing lyrics that have substance. As we've progressed into the future, it's almost insulting to us because we try to write good lyrics. Some of the songs that are hits over the past five years have a literal disregard for the lyrics. Our desire is to say something and also spread the message of love. I don't understand what is happening to us as a culture where we can go from a whole room of people sitting on the ground and listening to the lyrics of Bob Dylan in the 60s and hanging onto every word he says, to some songs today where they are literally mumbling on a track. There is a recent hit song that is literally mumbling that you can't even understand it. It is our desire to say something while also spreading the message of love. That's where opportunity comes from when it's inspired by love and we want it to resonate with that.