Ronnie Heart has been a fixture in the scene for several years now, having spent some time in the very successful Denton project, Neon Indian, before branching out on his own in 2011 to finish school and pursue a solo career. His passion for danceable grooves is obvious in his music and just lend a general feel-good attitude to the output. Check out his new EP You(r) Mine at the end of the article, and catch him around when you get a chance.
Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?
RH: I started playing music in 2002, when I was close to turning 17. My family had moved to Pueblo, Colorado from Houston. I danced in Houston and imagined that I would continue dancing once I moved to CO, but that wasn’t the case. There was no dance program in that town (ed: like Footloose or something) I became friends with a kid at my high school who would bring his guitar to school almost every day. I asked him to teach me a riff on it and he taught me the opening line to “Come As You Are” by Nirvana. I was hooked after that! A few years after all that, and living back in Texas, I began heavily emerging myself around music and musicians, deeply seeking and consuming all sorts of music. I’ve always wanted to make money from doing something I love. It isn’t so easy making money at being an active musician but I am still pushing forward to do so and succeed at it.
Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
RH: To quote the Kindness’ instagram handle… “too damn funky”
Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?
RH: Jimmy Page, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Prince, David Bowie, ELO, Claude Debussy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Quincy Jones, Timbaland, Pharrell, DJ Premier, Dr Dre, Erik Satie, Kendrick Lamar, Can-I-Bus, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Herbie Hancock, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and many, many more. I love all these musicians because they put passion into their music. They are extremely daring, sensitive, and thoughtful. I celebrate and try to employ those traits whilst creating music or performing it.
Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?
RH: “Tasty Destination” immediately comes to mind. It was the first song I started writing for this project. I was writing “Tasty Destination” and learning how to use the program that I was writing it on, at the same time. That program is Ableton, by the way. Although, all the songs on You(r) Mine are close to my heart, it’s hard to beat a first experience.
Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
RH: If I could open for any artist, it would have to be a tie between Michael Jackson or Prince. I’d love to be part of a high level production like theirs.
Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?
RH: Locally, I’m really into Squanto, iill, Sam Lao, -topic, Bobby Sessions. Not so locally: Anderson Paak, Vulfpek, the Stepkids, Shafiq Husayn
Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?
RH: I’d take the Astrud Gilberto album. It features compositions by Antonio Carlos Jobim sung by Astrud.
Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?
RH: I’m having a hard time writing a response to this because I am happy with the people I interact with so I feel nothing negative is going on around me. I fight hard to only allow good things to happen in my life.
Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?
RH: I love the Bomb Factory. I’m a huge fan of huge stages and big crowds. The staff is sweet and professional.
Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?
RH: See above
Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
RH: I probably spend as much time listening to podcasts as I listen to music.
Thanks so much to Ronnie Heart for taking the time to sit down with us. Be sure to check out his fire new ep, You(r) Mine, and keep an eye out for tour dates coming soon.
Update: Ronnie will be playing a set at KXT’s annual Summer Cut event at Southside Ballroom on June 3, along with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, the Relatives, the Wild Feathers, San Fermin, Bib Bourelly, BKA Alum Claire Morales and Siamese.
Ronnie Heart – You(r) Mine