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Heather Nova Biography

Last updated: 08/25/2014 08:00:37 AM

BORN: 1968

Heather Nova was born Heather Frith on July 6th, 1968 in Bermuda. Her family on the father's side is one of the oldest in Bermuda, with their history on the island going back 200 years, while her mother is of Canadian origines (and Nova being a surname present on this side of the family).

She spent most of her childhood with her family, sailing off to sea in a 40-ft boat, with her mother, father, sister and brother, a dog, a cat and a power generator, the latter one being useful to blast off her family's records. Heather quickly showed an interest in music, and started learing to play the guitar and violin and writing songs at a very early age.

"I was stuck on the boat, really. Luckily I have a nice family. There was a lot of time for imagination, no other kids or TV. This small wind generator only powered the tape deck, so for the most part, I would listen to my parent's tapes. My mother taped all of her records before we moved onto the boat. I remember, like, never knowing the end of some songs, because she would keep taping until the tape ran out, so for years I never knew how some of the songs would end. I listened to classics like 'The Beatles,' 'The Rolling Stones,' 'Van Morrison,' and I played guitar, violin, and wrote songs. I started playing guitar when I was about 14 because I liked to sing and I needed something to back me up. I was making up songs when I was 8 or 9."

When Heather was 16, her family moved to the US, and a few years later she enrolled in college at the Rhode Island School of Performing Arts, with the idea of majoring in visual arts. She developed a strong interest for painting and the moving image, but also attended classes on poetry and kept writing music, most notably for her short films. It was during this period that she realized that what she really wanted to do was trying and become a professional musician.

"I guess up until college, I was a closet song-writer, keeping it to myself. Then I just started writing a lot, it felt really good, I just felt like I was able to articulate something that I couldn't in day to day life; communication is often so complicated. I got into film making. I did films where I would make the soundtracks first, and then do the 'Super 8' films to go with the soundtracks; then these films started taking the form of songs. "

She moved to New York first, and then to London at the end of the '80s, searching for a recording contract and a musical community to fit in. In Europe, she was able to put out a first EP titled "Heather Frith", which was released by Rough Trade in 1990. Due to record company problems, not much followed that release, but Heather kept writing more music and playing the occasional gig. This lead to her first album, "Glowstars", in 1993, which received also the attention of the media and allowed Heather to start touring outside of the UK. Some of her live shows were recorded and a live record titled "Blow" was released on that same year.

In 1994 Heather entered the studio to record her breakthrough album. "Oyster" received a wide release and was followed by a World tour that ended in 1996, after which Heather returned home to Bermuda to relax, sort things out and write more songs.

"Siren" would end up being released in the summer of 1998, another critical and commercial success, and Heather embarked on a new long promotional tour that again last more than a year.

On New Year's Eve 1999 Heather Nova played for the first time in her own home country of Bermuda, launching off the Millenium to the sound of Bob Marley's "One Love". A nice way for bringing it all back home.