It's the Small stuff that matters...
We catch up with Heather Small following her V Fest performance...
More from GT Music
In light of her recent V Festival performance alongside M People last weekend, plus her support for Manchester Pride this weekend, we decided it was time to catch up with the delightful Heather Small...
So, Heather, how are you feeling about headlining Paradise Factory’s 21st birthday shindig at the Albert Hall on Saturday?
It’s been quite a busy time for me, but I’m looking forward to it. I say that, I love performing for any audience, but I hold a special regard for a gay audience.
Does that mean having a gay audience holds personal meaning to you?
To an extent, yes. I understand that people make assumptions about you due to your class, your race, your sexual alignment – that has nothing to do with anything. What you put forward in your day-to-day life as opposed to your preference is nobody’s business. And I understand that you can be persecuted for something that you intrinsically are, and can’t or don’t want to change, but you’re still made to feel inferior because of it.
So what does Pride mean to you in your everyday life?
What I do admire is how my gay friends look out for one another. They make time to go visit each other. They travel up and down the country, outside of the country – I say, "where you off to?" and they say, "oh I’m off to visit this friend," and it’s a real community, I like that. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m about family, making family feel like friends, and friends feel like family. So I can really relate. The happiest couple I know, I went to their civil partnership, and we’re all aspiring to their relationship! [Laughs] They’re happy – they still love each other! You find that, people say we’re all different, but the more you travel the more you find that we’re all the same. We all wanna be happy and create a safe place for our family and for our children. Seeing other people’s cultures, and being able to dip in and out of that - that’s a privilege in itself.
What can we expect from the birthday party show?
I always like to have hope and energy, and to sing songs that people can relate to. I grew up in the era of singing along to songs, so I like that people can sing along to any song that I’m going to do. I just want people to come and enjoy.
As big fans ourselves, we can safely say that your music is timeless, and known to so many people. Would you agree?
I’m slightly biased, so I’m going to say yes! [Laughs] I’ve been singing for years, but now I’m more experienced as a singer, I’m more experienced on stage, and I give them a little twist on the songs that they know and love – I keep it fresh and lively for myself, and hopefully that’s what goes straight to the audience. It was a dream as a young person to have a signature song, and we have a few where people play the first few bars, or hum the first few lines, and they cheer and sing along – that’s the stuff that you live for. I always say, when you’re on stage and it’s all going well, you feel like if you jumped off that stage you would just fly, buoyant on the energy. That’s what I live for, I love it!
What is it that you get out of performing at so many charitable shows?
If your heart’s in it, and it’s something that you believe in – I don’t have an abundance of money – but you know, I have my talent, and if I can do something that in turn brings about something positive, then thats a privilege for me. Just to make a positive change, however small. Some people who have an abundance of money, if they give back, they give back. But it’s the people with time to give – it’s all about giving what we can, and that’s what makes me feel like a human being, in touch with humanity. I hold on to myself and my values, and that’s not going to change.
And if we may indulge in what must be your most asked question, what have you done today to make you feel proud?
Haha, I love it! Well, I haven’t done it yet, but what I’m doing today is taking my young nephew who is 12, and my young cousin who is 11, I’m taking them bowling for lunch. I’m doing my auntie bit today and I love being with them, they are funny, funny, funny! [Bowling]’s not my skill at all thought [Laughs] But my efforts are comical, so it’s worth it in that sense. Everybody gets to have a laugh.
Manchester’s Paradise factory birthday party show is at the Albert Hall on Saturday 23rd. Tickets can be found here
Words Will Ross, @WillRoss94
Want more brilliant interviews, features and news? Then pick up the latest GT in shops now, or download from gtdigi.co.uk from just £2.49/$3.99.