Q. What inspired you to start writing songs and playing music?
A. Music has always been a part of me, really since I was just a little girl. I recall having church at my grandma"s and family reunions and we would all just sit around and play and sing gospel songs. I didn't start playing the guitar until I was about 14, and I asked my uncle David Clark to teach me. I'm grateful I had someone that cared enough to invest time in me and help me understand how to play. After I learned a little on the guitar, that's really when I began writing music. When I was younger I was pretty shy and timid, and playing music helped me to break out of my shell. When I would sing it just felt so natural to me, and I just always knew that singing, writing songs, and playing music what I was born to do. It was when I was most comfortable, and happy. I've never been one with words, so being able to express myself through song I believe is God's way of allowing me to be who I am and share that with the world.
Q. Could you name a few special people who have encouraged you along the way.
A. Well, one would be my mom and dad. When I would sing and play on stage, I knew how proud they were of me and I could see the belief they had in me in their eyes, and it kept me believing in myself. My mom really pushed me and encouraged me and I'm so grateful I had someone who believed in my dreams as much as I did. I'll never forget doing my first talent competition and when they called my name as the winner I saw tears in my dads eyes, that was enough to keep my dreams alive forever.
Two, would be my two childhood best friends. I learned and grew with these two for so many years. We taught each other how to love, how to sing harmony and how to laugh over absolutely nothing. They played a big part of making me who I am, and making my music what it is today.
Three, would be my husband and best friend, Ryan. When I met him, I became who I always wanted to be and my future became clear. Even at the tender age of 16, I knew it was him. I knew the rest of my life I wanted and needed him by my side. He taught me how to love and share my heart completely. When I think of my future, my past, it all leads back to him and our precious family. God blessed me way more than I could deserve when he gave me him, and our family. Angelina and Jonah are our whole world. We are truly blessed that God saw fit for us to raise such beautiful souls.
And fourth, would just be anyone out there who invested in me and took some time to help me along the way. You and the center, Kathy Joy Daughtery, David Clark, Randy Jones, just to name a few. I often think of those special people and I hope they all know I am thankful for their believing in a girl from a small town with a guitar and big dreams.
Q. What was it like growing up on Rattlesnake Ridge?
A. When I think of where I grew up, I can't help but think that's what played such a big part in making me who I am. There were no stores around, just woods and the mountains. I think growing up there made me appreciate the small things in life, like simplicity. I realized at a young age that material things didn't matter, and as long as you had love you really had it all. When you grow up in such a small place, I just think it makes your heart a little bigger. I got to see Gods beauty first hand, and when I think of my childhood I think of running around barefoot, breaking beans on the porch swing with my grandma and watching the sun go down in my backyard. I wouldn't trade those memories for nothing.
Q. Will you share your story on getting your first real guitar through the Christmas program at the Community Center?
A. Of course! I think I was around 15. I had a guitar bought for me by my uncle, which is what I learned on. I remember asking for a guitar and my parents really couldn't afford to buy one at the time. When I got the guitar from the Christmas program I remember feeling so special. Someone out there who didn't even know who I was, bought me a guitar. That was pretty amazing to me. I remember just really wanting to thank them for that. It was beautiful, and to me it was the best guitar I had ever played. I was young and full of inspiration and to have a guitar like that made me feel kind of invincible as silly as that may sound. It's truly a humbling thing to look back on. That's definitely an act of kindness that I wanna pass on.
Q. Will you share about singing at the center the times you have?
A. Singing at the center is something that I've always enjoyed. Anytime I got to sing I was grateful for the opportunity, but being able to sing for people who believed in you and you could tell we're proud of you, was just really inspiring. I always told myself no matter where I go in life big or small I'll never forget where I came from or those who helped me get to where I am.
Q. Who is the most memorable act you've ever opened for?
A. I guess it would have to be Dailey and Vincent. I had attended one of their shows when I was 15 and I was a huge bluegrass gospel fan. In the lobby after the show I was talking to Darrin Vincent and I'm not sure how it came about, but we sang a song together and the whole lobby stopped to listen and clapped when we were finished. When you are 15 and someone who you look up to takes the time to sing with you like that, it's just something that you don't forget. A few years later I got the opportunity to open the show for them and they were just really nice guys. I still love to hear them today!
Q. Who are some other acts that you have opened up for?
A. John Anderson was the first act I ever opened up for. Ronnie Milsap was next. Both of those were amazing experiences. Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Dailey and Vincent, Lonestar, The Isaacs, are also a few that were really big moments to me.
Q. What exciting things are happening with your career right now?
A. We recently signed with Mountain Fever Records out of Willis, Virginia. We released our first self titled cd with them "Heidi and Ryan," in December and that was so much fun and just a great experience. We've been traveling and singing in lots of places and God just keeps opening doors for us. We just wanna go where he wants us to go, and that will always be enough for us. We love music so much and just getting to do what we do is amazing, but we do our best to remember HE is the big picture. It's so much bigger than just us. We are excited for the future to say the least!
Q. What is you next big dream?
A. My dream is to just keep doing what I'm doing. I don't think I'll ever outlive my dream of being on stage and singing for the world, it's just who I am. It's what I was born to do, and I'll never be able to let that go or give that up. I always believed in dreaming big, because I'm a firm believer that if you wanna do something, you can. I never let anyone or anything stop me. I saw too many people let fear keep them from living, I never want to be one of those people. Even if it scared me, that made me wanna do it more. I believe in overcoming your fears and letting your dreams become reality. Looking back to a few years ago I never thought I'd be where I am today, I had hoped I would, but to see how far I have came just gives me the motivation to keep going. Making music and singing my heart out is just what I do and who I am, and God has shown me where he wants me and that's where I'll be until he has other plans for me. I really just want his will for my life. That will always be enough for me.