The groundbreaking artist talks creating joy during lockdown, her love of disco and her upcoming tour
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY LUCY POPE
Whilst many of us spent our lockdowns picking up new skills such as learning to knit, or keeping up our Duolingo streaks, LGBTQI icon Heather Peace was working on her fifth album titled This Love. This was a new learning experience for the groundbreaking artist, as our “new normal” meant she had to take on the role of producing the album from her attic. The album became a form of escapism from the stress of life in the pandemic, inspired by afternoon dances that she shared with her wife and children. Inspired by retro disco, This Love serves up some much needed queer joy. Here’s what Heather had to say about the experience.
DIVA: How would you describe this album in three words?
Heather: Positive. Upbeat. Joyous.
How are you feeling in the lead up to the release of This Love?
It’s been quite a whirlwind really as it was only meant to be an EP, so 5 tracks and then my old manager came back on board after having brought up her own daughter and said, “Do you want it to be an album?”
I’m excited because it is very very very different for me. I’ve always written songs on the piano, guitar or gone into the studio with the band and created that way, so they’ve always had a lot more artistic input. This is the first album I’ve completely produced on my own. It’s all been done upstairs which is really odd, probably a real positive to come out of the pandemic because I just had to learn a lot of stuff and find new ways of doing things.
Do you think this experience has made you eager to fully produce other projects in the future?
I think so. The one thing I have is time, I say I have time, what I mean by that is, I see with music, mainstreamed and everything else, like all craziness, constantly trying to find a way of making things viable. As much as I adore going into huge studios, they’re a massive expense. And so it does make it a lot easier for me to produce more music by being able to just go to my top floor in the evening and carry on writing and producing it and ultimately, I love it. So I’d be doing it if nobody was listening to it.
I know that the album portrays aspects of married life and parenthood. Have you let your wife and kids listen to it? What do they think of This Love?
The kids come upstairs all the time and have a dance around. They love it. And Ellie has been involved throughout the process. I play her songs as soon as they’re written before I’ve started adding anything to it. So they’re usually in their rawest forms. They’ve been part of the process all the way along. And a lot of the themes that are explored are about long term relationships, marriage if you like. Which is why the last track I wrote was called This Love. It felt like it was a good title that sort of encompassed the whole album.
I know that you nod to retro disco within the album. What inspired this?
I was, as we all were, getting a bit unhealthier during the pandemic, whether it was because we ate the wrong food or drank too much wine or didn’t move around enough. So I really wanted to kickstart my health again. I’ve always been a big Kylie [Minogue] fan. I think she’s ace. I didn’t know she had a new album out and she had this disco album out. I loved the way it made me feel in the air pods on my runs. It felt really motivational because it was super upbeat and fun and brilliantly produced. So that was what got me going.
I’ve only got a few really upbeat numbers. And I always look forward to those points in the show. And I thought “Well, why don’t I just write a whole album of upbeat stuff?”
And now that we’re allowed back outside, how do you feel about taking it on tour?
I’m really excited. I mean, I’ve got six dates at the end of April and the beginning of May. And the dates that should have been done in 2020. It’s about time. I’m nervous, but excited. I know that it’s going to be a really fun album to play live. And it’s going to be one heck of a party. I know a lot of people who come to my gigs. I know their faces. I know their names. And I haven’t seen them for years. It’s gonna feel great.
Want to see Heather live? Why not book yourself a ticket here.
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.