It’s the first release from her home studio and record label, Red Lion
Heather Rice learned recording and video-editing software during the pandemic, allowing her to create her own music videos.
“I feel very strongly about not dying with your music still inside of you,” says Heather Rice, a Charleston-based singer-songwriter and mother of two young children. After a second pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, a long recovery after being hit by a car, and an anxiety-filled third pregnancy (her daughter, now one, is happy and healthy), Rice realized there was no better moment to go all-in on her musical ambitions. In 2022, she released a praise album, Matchbox Home, and recorded a forthcoming Joni Mitchell tribute. In 2023, she’ll release two EPs, with the first, Worth Loving, hitting streaming services this month.
“The music industry feels like the Wild West right now—there are no rules, and that’s really working for me,” explains Rice, who spent her childhood in musical theater in Florida, then focused on jazz before pivoting to become an Americana-infused singer-songwriter. “After becoming a mother, I said, ‘I don’t need to be in a box anymore. I can have unbridled creative freedom’ and that feels really good.”
Rice co-produced Worth Loving with producer/guitarist Thomas Kenney (of the band Doom Flamingo), developing a five-song collection with the theme of universal love. “It’s about people being different and not just worth loving or worth talking to or respecting, but really saying that everyone has a lovable quality—even the people that have had the most challenging lives,” she explains. “I truly believe that—everybody is worthy of love.”
“Natural With You,” a self-described power ballad, exposes Rice’s vulnerability with her husband, revealing fears that “you won’t remember my touch” and promising, “I will be natural with you.”
Worth Loving, out this month, is the first EP released through Heather Rice’s record label, Red Lio.
“Now It’s Out,” the first single and the album’s catchiest earworm, shows off Rice’s staggering vocal range, layering harmonies in an infectious chorus that inspires joyful sing-alongs. After laying down the bass vocals and instrumentation, Kenney encouraged her to press record and “go wild.” Her free-form stylings, sung with abandon and gusto, make Worth Loving sound alive and authentic. “I didn’t have anybody telling me not to be crazy and silly and imperfect,” Rice laughs.
Worth Loving is Rice’s first release from her home studio and record label, Red Lion. During the pandemic, she learned recording and video-editing software, enabling her to take a song from concept to finished product after putting her kids to bed. “I was up until 1 a.m. last night releasing a song,” Rice admits. “The reality of being a musician without a big budget is that you do a lot of things yourself. But once you hone those skills, you have more freedom than you’ve ever had before. We have TikTok! We have hashtags!”
It’s only been since early 2022 that Rice has focused on social media and creating music videos for her pop songs, and she’s quickly seeing a surge in attention and public encouragement. “I’ve always loved making music,” says Rice. “If there’s one person or 5,000 people listening, it doesn’t really make a difference. I’m still going to wake up, love music, and work hard.”
Creative Freedom: WATCH Rice’s music video for her song ”Natural With You”