'Come Dance Into The Sunshine'
Heiarii (pronounced like Ferrari) was born in Papeete , Tahiti , French Polynesia , where he taught himself the English language and eventually began singing at the age of six.
It didn't take Heiarii long to make a career decision, and by the time he turned 15, he was singing and dancing his way into the Winners' Circle at every major competition he could enter. Heiarii came out the winner in Tahiti 's Search for Stars Contest, Original French Song Contest, and was voted Tahiti 's Most Promising Singer and Best Male Vocalist in Hawaii . Whether he sang in English or French, Heiarii's angelic voice touched people everywhere.
After winning every award and honor imaginable, Heiarii set his sights on America and, at the age of 20, moved to Los Angeles . “I was alone and a little scared when I came to Los Angeles but I was serious about pursuing a career as a singer and dancer. Los Angeles was the place to be. It was the first time I was ever out of Tahiti , but I moved with no second thoughts.”
Heiarii enrolled in the vocal program at Hollywood's prestigious Musicians Institute and was soon selected by two major record company A+R Directors as the winner in that school's Artist Development competition. It was there that the artist befriended manager/producer Kenny Kerner who is in charge of the school's Music Business Program.
Kerner then began the long process of finding the right material for Heiarii. Together, the two would listen to song after song until they came up with the selections that comprise the artist's debut CD, 'Dance!'
Kenny Kerner (himself a legendary producer for such international stars as KISS, Gladys Knight, Jose Feliciano and Badfinger), teamed with British producer/engineer Cameron Leonard-Schroff to deliver a contemporary, cutting edge electronic pop- dance CD filled with creative beats, pounding rhythms and soaring melodies. “This CD just makes you wanna get up and move,” said Heiarii, “it's edgy, it's sensuous, it's romantic.”
Chatting recently with Heiarii, and knowing that he had been born in Papeete, Tahiti (French Polynesia), I first wondered how easy (or hard) it was to have taught himself the English language? "It was hard, but thank God I learned a little English back in High School. If not, I would be lost by now. I really wanted to succeed so I had to put my tongue to work."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new 'Dance!' CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "I would describe it as fun, edgy, sensual and REAL. It’s a pop album with a dance feel to it. The ballads are really emotional and heartfelt. There’s also one song sung in Spanish and one in French on the CD."
Your album title 'Dance!' obviously tells it like it is, but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? "I love to dance and when we recorded the song and looked back at all 12 tracks, that word seemed to sum up the feeling of the CD. It’s a very up CD."
Why is it do you think that you are so hugely popular in Scandinavian countries such as both Sweden and Denmark?! "I’m also huge in other places. I guess it’s my music and my sex appeal."
If there was one track on 'Dance!' that truly encapsulated Heiarii at his musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "My favorite track is “Love is to Set Free”, which was a Top 5 hit in Tahiti. I love singing ballads more than anything else and the lyrics and melody of this song are really beautiful."
Having made it known early on that you were gay, has this had any adverse effects on your career thus far? "None whatsoever. This is who I am. It doesn’t really matter in the music industry and it shouldn’t matter anywhere else, either. People just listen to my music and watch me perform."
And, based on the above, do you think you will ever be comfortable living back in your homeland of Tahiti? If not, where would you then call 'home'? "I live in Los Angeles and although my roots will always be in Tahiti, I call America my Home."
Just for fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'Kiss Me Goodbye' - OK, if you could have anyone kiss you goodbye today, who would it be ... and why?! "Colin Farrell, because he’s HOT!… But I wouldn’t want it to be Goodbye!"
'Distracted' - What or who in this world distracts you the most ... and why?! "Oh God, do I really have to answer this one? Well OK … men in uniform and lately, rocker guys with Tattoos. Sizzling."
'You'll Be Mine At Midnight' - If you're not out at a club dancing or performing live, what are you usually doing away from music at midnight? "Rolling around in bed on my cream-colored satin sheets!"
It's claimed that your favorite song is Leo Sayer's 'When I Need You' ... which is great to hear as he is such an underrated singer! What is it about him you love? "I actually heard Celine Dion’s version of the song first, and fell in love with it. She’s my favorite vocalist."
What other '70s, '80s or '90s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "I’m afraid that you’re gonna have to wait until my next CD comes out to get the answer to this question. But I can tell you now it will be worth waiting for!"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you? "LOL … I think they’re really cute, but they make terrible house pets!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Heiarii's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: In addition to a killer cover of the classic, “I Was Made For Loving You ,” 'Dance!' boasts four ballads that truly showcase this artist's amazing voice. But, which band did he cover for the abovementioned classic?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before June 15th with your answer and the subject title 'HEIARII SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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