While this singer’s fame started on Twitch, she is starting to make headway in the music scene with her skills has an instrumentalist and multilingual songwriter. Heavenly Reyna just released her acoustic version of her single “EXIT” which compares heartbreak to traffic in LA. We sat down with the singer to discuss her inspirations, favorite artists, and what’s in the cards for her in the future.
Beyond The Stage: When did you first get into music?
Heavenly Reyna: I’ve always been very musical. My mom says that, even in the womb, I kicked in time to music, and I walked and talked at 6 months. Even as a baby you couldn’t stop me from singing and dancing. I started learning the violin before I was 2 and started learning the piano at 3 years old. I did my first paid singing job at 12 years old where I sang in Mandarin at a Chinese wedding and won a singing contest. That’s really when I began the serious pursuit of a musical career!
BTS: Did you play any instruments growing up?
Heavenly Reyna: I played violin and piano very early on, but it became more challenging after my fifth birthday as I was started traveling the world with my parents as a digital nomad. We travelled the world non-stop for a decade, so I had to take lessons online. I later added the didgeridoo in Australia, mainly as a healing technique as it was recommended for me. It’s an ancient aboriginal instrument. I started playing the guitar at 13 years old and then later the Ukulele. My most recent addition is an electric guitar!
BTS: What/who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to your music?
Heavenly Reyna: I have so many inspirations that it’s hard to say. It’s an evolving, ever-changing process. I always wanted to sing those really big, emotional songs as a little kid doing karaoke, so I definitely look up to artists like Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Adele, and Nina Simone. I also wanted to be like Selena Gomez and act as well as sing, but as I matured, I also found that I love the harmonies and lyrics used in the classics by artists like Simon & Garfunkel and the Beatles. During my teenage years, I was largely inspired by Halsey’s and Billie Eilish’s first albums. I also love Lorde and I’m currently listening to a lot of Julia Michaels and Omar Apollo.
BTS: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
Heavenly Reyna: I’ve been told I have a unique and pleasing tone, a natural cry, and a big range. One producer described me and my music by saying “it’s like Birdy and Julia Michaels had a baby,” so I guess I’d say that!
BTS: What can we expect from your acoustic single “EXIT”?
Heavenly Reyna: “EXIT” has lyrics that everyone can relate to as everyone has been in traffic jams and has experienced some form of heartbreak. My large, global audience on Twitch fell in love with it and urged me to release it!
BTS: What made you want to make your video for “EXIT” so simple?
Heavenly Reyna: I think the simplicity captures the song well with the focus on the emotion and the lyrics. My Twitch audience really loves this song, but they always see me performing it in my tiny bedroom on a digital keyboard, so I wanted to shoot this video in a large, open space on a white piano to share a different perspective!
BTS: What made you want to start going by your birth name and not “Mozart”?
Heavenly Reyna: I’ve always wanted to use my real name instead of my nickname, but because I was a public person as a child and my family received a lot of attention for pioneering the digital nomad lifestyle and blogging/vlogging about it, we were advised to use my nickname for safety reasons. I’ve always loved my real name. My mother actually came up with my name in a dream ten years before she had me and before she had even met my dad!
BTS: What was it like being raised in 48 countries? Did that impact your sound?
Heavenly Reyna: It was an amazing way to grow up. I am really grateful that my parents made the choice of wanting me to be a global citizen and experience this beautiful planet, its wonderful people, and its many different cultures. It has had a profound impact on my sound and really everything I do. How could it not when I grew up hearing so many different sounds, languages, and cultures?
BTS: What was it like working alongside Ariana Grande and Bebe Rexha?
Heavenly Reyna: It was really wonderful and they are both amazing artists that I deeply respect. Sitting next to Ariana and being part of her “God Is A Woman” music video was a dream come true. Ariana was the very first concert I ever saw!
BTS: What made you want to create such a different sound for your acoustic single “EXIT” as compared to “Push You Harder”?
Heavenly Reyna: I think if you compare the acoustic versions of “Push You Harder” and “EXIT,” you can see that they have some similarities. My lyrics are really important to me, and I hope that people can see that in both songs. I’m constantly evolving and creating, and I don’t want to limit myself. I have over 100 unreleased songs that share different parts of my personality and, as I grow older and experience new things, I’m sure there will be even more!
BTS: What inspired you to write music in languages other than English such as Mandarin and Spanish?
Heavenly Reyna: I was blessed to be able to grow up globally and have been trilingual since I was a child. I want to make it my unique mission in life to help bridge cultures and unite our world through my music. That is my big goal. I really enjoy singing and writing songs in my other languages. It is especially thrilling to sing songs in Spanish for a Spanish audience and sing songs in Mandarin for a Chinese audience because it embraces that part inside of me. I am half Latin and grew up also in China and Asia. I went to school there, so I also feel as though it is part of my culture as well. They are very important parts of who I am. So, it is natural for me to sing and create songs in all three of my languages.
BTS: Would you say gathering millions of views and likes on TikTok and Twitch has helped you grow your platform?
Heavenly Reyna: Twitch has been life-changing for me as I love how it has allowed me to connect with a large global audience and get their responses, feedback, and support in real time. It is awe-inspiring to perform my music and connect with an amazing, devoted audience around the world five times a week every week!
BTS: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since being in the music industry?
Heavenly Reyna: That it is really a tough business, but you can make progress if you work hard, are flexible, and never give up. The pandemic was a major blow for the music industry, especially with live performances, but by thinking out of the box a lot of artists have been able to adapt. It’s actually been an amazing time of growth for me because I worked with producers around the world in all my languages and started live-streaming on Twitch to a global audience… all from my tiny bedroom. I had to learn a lot of tech and new ways to do things as I’ve been doing it all myself, but it has been exciting.
BTS: Are there any other genres you’ve thought about pursuing in the future
Heavenly Reyna: My Twitch audience requests songs & live-learns in so many genres, so I’ve really enjoyed stretching out into many different genres there. I’ve been told that some of my songs have even started to lean a little alt-R&B in their vibe and some of my covers, especially the ones I do of Alicia Keys, are really popular. That might be something I consider!
BTS: What artists would you say have inspired you the most throughout your time as an artist?
Heavenly Reyna: Halsey and Billie Eilish’s first albums inspire me a lot, but I pull inspiration from many different artists. I love Adele, Lorde, Julia Michaels, Birdy, Pink Sweat$, Finneas, Harry Styles, the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston… The list goes on!
BTS: What can we expect next from you?
Heavenly Reyna: After my produced, official version of “EXIT,” which is next, I’ll be releasing a new song! There’s lots more to come!
Tune in to Heavenly Reyna’s live release party for “EXIT” on Twitch at 9:00 P.M. on July 21 here.
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