Musical star H. E. R., whose actual name is Gabriella Wilson, has been singing since she was a small child. She landed her first record deal with Sony at 14! Her stage name is an acronym that stands for Having Everything Revealed.
The singer-songwriter spent the early part of her career working to keep her identity a carefully guarded secret. She performed in giant sunglasses and released her album with no biography. Even her album covers were ambiguous silhouettes. Her quest for anonymity stemmed from her desire to have her music speak for itself.
These lyrics, and other H. E. R. quotes, prove how powerful a message her music can deliver. Beyond being a talented vocalist, she can also play five instruments, including the piano, drums, and bass, acoustic, and electric guitar!
Keep reading through these H. E. R. quotes to learn more about her life and musical career.
Don’t forget to also check out these Maria Felix quotes that reveal a lot about the Mexican diva.
H.E.R. quotes about being anonymous
1. “I just love music, and that’s what I want people to see and respect.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
2. “I wanted people to just accept the music for what it is without any judgment and being anonymous was the best way to do that.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
3. “People are gonna listen to the music whether or not I reveal myself.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
4. “Whether you know who I am or not, you don’t really know who I am.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
5. “Being anonymous, I thought I’d just release the music and see what happens organically.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
6. “Some people want the attention, some people want the spotlight, and that just wasn’t it for me.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
7. “I wanted it to be about the music, so maintaining that is kind of difficult. But it’s something I found made the most sense because it’s about the music at the end of the day. That’s what I’m most passionate about.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
8. “I always feel like we focus too much on image and the flashiness of what it means to be an artist.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
9. “I think people often tend to listen to music with their eyes and not their ears, and I just wanted my work to shine, and to be able to convey my message without imagery taking away from that.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
10. “I don’t want people to love my music because of what I look like or who I know or whatever.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
11. “Some people, they make these assumptions before they even listen to the music.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
12. “I’m so thankful that at this point, even if you see my face or know who I am, it doesn’t matter because you already love the music.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
13. “Sometimes it’s all about hype, and I didn’t want hype.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
14. “I really just wanted it to be about the music, and get away from, ‘Who is she with?’ and ‘What is she wearing?'” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
H. E. R. quotes about her parents and growing up
15. “I was a kid. I would go home and play instruments, and I would be at school on the playground the next day.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
16. “When I was a little bitty kid, I was listening to the stuff my parents were listening to. My mom was a huge Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige fan. My dad had a cover band that I sang with, and he loved Parliament, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, the blues, James Brown.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
17. “It’s one thing to be able to sing well, but another to be an artist and find your own voice within music. And that’s what the goal was for me in my teenage years. I had to find myself.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
18. “Throughout my teenage years or whatever, I’ve been so uncomfortable, or I’ve made mistakes and I’ve felt like I’m the only one who has done that.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
19. “Music was all around me from the time I came into the world.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
20. “My parents have very different tastes. They exposed me to so many different things. I represent both sides.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
21. “My dad had a cover band. They would rehearse in my living room while my mom was away.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
22. “When you’re growing up as a young woman, you develop all of these insecurities, and then there’s boys and all of that stuff on top of that.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
H. E. R. quotes about living as a young black woman
23. “I think most women; we have intuition. We always know what we always want to find out. We always want to be wrong, and we hate when we’re right at the end of the day. People say we love to be right. That’s not true. We don’t like to be right, because usually, we know when it’s the truth.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
24. “A lot of women need to know that they don’t have to conform, they don’t have to take no for an answer.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
25. “I was almost afraid to speak on the things I’ve dealt with as a woman.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
26. “As a black woman, I’ve always had to work hard to earn my respect as a musician – and as a young woman, too. As a writer, in certain sessions or certain rooms, people think, ‘Who’s kid is this? Who’s this little girl?’ I’ve had to prove myself.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
27. “Black culture, to me, is so important and I identify with young black women.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
H. E. R. quotes that are all about the music
28. “I’d rather have quality over quantity. It’s about perfecting each song and making sure it’s what you want to do. And then even with what I share, it’s all very strategic.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
29. “It’s not a popularity contest to me. It should always be about the music.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
30. “I always say that my music is my diary. It’s very personal to me.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
31. “I’m a perfectionist and I want everything to be amazing every single show.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
32. “I’ve learned a lot about myself through my music and the way people perceive it, and the goal is for the success not to change me.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
33. “I don’t know if I have a favorite part of being an artist. I do love being on stage and performing with my band. I also love rehearsing with them and creating the show, that’s always a fun part. But there’s also nothing like being in the studio and being able to get back to myself and get back to my feelings.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
34. “The studio is the place for me to really confront my feelings and get it all out. I love being in that space and creating, doing what I love, making art.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
35. “Sometimes I’ll just go on my piano and just start playing what I’m feeling. It all depends on what I’m feeling at the moment.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
36. “Through the music, you can pretty much tell what I’ve been through and what I’ve accepted. And releasing it has made me realize I’m not alone in it, because of the reactions I’ve been getting.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
37. “It’s really powerful to have a strong base that genuinely loves the music and plays it over and over again.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
38. “Seeing people Tweet my lyrics and really feeling for me, feeling what I’m feeling… in one of my lyrics I sing about ‘the watch I just got for you,’ and some girl was like, ‘Yes! I bought him a watch!’ I can be happy because these women feel me.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
39. “I want people to feel the emotion, try to relate to the way that I look, or want to be like me in the way that I’m living or whatever.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
40. “I plan on donating a bunch of guitars to different schools around the country. There could be a new Slash out there, there could be a new Lenny Kravitz.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
H. E. R. quotes to live by
41. “As a person, I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday and continue to elevate.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
42. “To live your truth and sing your truth, that defines success.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
43. “Good things take time.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
44. “People have always tried to imitate, but at the end of the day, no one can do me better than I can do me, you know?” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
45. “People do things on Instagram and put on a front and try to live a life that they may not really want to live, or don’t truly believe in. And that’s the life that they portray. That’s not the real them. We all have to be more aware of what is that’s really happening inside. Are we really standing for what we believe in?” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
46. “I definitely study the greats.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
47. “I don’t like to rush things.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
48. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
49. “The fact that I can travel around the world doing what I love is such a blessing. I’ve learned that traveling is such an important thing; there’s so many beautiful things out there and we get worried about such little things.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
50. “I’m all about comfort.” — Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
H.E.R. quotes from her lyrics
51. “Careful what you take for granted, yeah/ ‘Cause with me, know you could do damage.” -H.E.R., ‘Damage’
52. “You’re the coffee that I need in the morning/ You’re my sunshine in the rain when it’s pouring.” -H.E.R., ‘Best Part’
53. “I liked you better on the first date/ I shoulda said what’s wrong in the first place.” -H.E.R., ‘Avenue’
54. “You’re like the sweetest thing I know/ Like my favorite lonely song.” -H.E.R., ‘As I Am’
55. “You can’t make me love you if I won’t/ You can’t change my heart, you’re tryin’ too hard/ You can’t make me love you, no, I won’t, I won’t.” -H.E.R., ‘I Won’t’
56. “You promised it wouldn’t change/ You’d stay the same/ But it’s different.” -H.E.R., ‘Gone Away’
57. “I’m walking on air/ Been scratching the surface/ It’s like you’re not here/ Say it ain’t no purpose.” –H.E.R., ‘Let Me In’
58. “I know what’s wrong, I know what’s right/ I see the truth, but I stay blind/ I say I’m fine, but I know there’s no hope inside/ Can’t even take my own advice.” –H.E.R., ‘Something Keeps Pulling Me Back’
59. “‘Cause you were once a diamond/ He made you feel like buried treasure/ I guess/ That nothing lasts forever.” –H.E.R., ‘Pigment
60. “When I hear your name/ Put a smile on my face.” -H.E.R., ‘My Song’
Which of these H. E. R. quotes is your favorite?
It became harder for her to keep her identity a secret when big-name musicians, like Drake and Rihanna, started paying attention. The 2018 Grammy nominations, one for Best Album and another for Best New Artist, also launched her into the spotlight.
Another big name in the music industry that sings her praises even gave her some life advice. “Alicia Keys told me that when it comes to music, all you need is three chords and the truth,” H.E.R. said to Refinery29. “I think you can apply that to life, too.” Gabriella is an inspiration to little girls everywhere, and when she speaks about what it is like as a black woman, you can’t help but feel moved.
She has come a long way from her Radio Disney contest days, and it is clear she has a bright future ahead of her. A future filled with haunting melodies and words that come from her soul; her truth.
What are your favorite H. E. R. quotes and lyrics? You can let us know in the comment section below.
March 16, 2022 7:00 AM EST