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HEFF VANSAINT speaks out on visibility for masc presenting queer people with new single 'Jane'





Scottish indie-pop singer songwriter Heff VanSaint kicks off 2023 with her mischievous new single ‘Jane’.

Produced by Raff (Callum Rafferty), Heff’s sound effortlessly transcends genres by blending elements of pop, electronic and indie with 80s influences. Written last year in the midst of a heatwave, ‘Jane’ is imbued with a playful, sexy, up all night energy. “It’s horny but melancholy, like a cry-wank”, says Heff. A quintessential rebound relationship anthem, the track is drenched in yearning, sensuality and cheeky optimism - an ode of hope to all the sad bois, queers, misfits and everyone in between.

The track is about an older woman called Jane who I was dating in my early 20s. I’d just had my heart broken for the first time and she was the one who patched it back up again. She sort of took my hand and told me it would be ok, without really putting any pressure on me or wanting anything more than I was able to give. It was a fun but messy time in my life. Sometimes I look back and wonder if I’d met her now things might have developed into something more lasting. Right person, wrong time, maybe.”

Naming iconic songwriters such as Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young as their main influences, Heff thrives on being able to experiment with her music and the concepts and emotions she’s able to portray through her songwriting. The London-based artist draws in her listener by telling stories with expressionism and relatability but with an angstful yet roguish honesty at its core.

“I’ve always loved words, so songs with a strong focus on lyrics and storytelling had a huge impact on me growing up. A huge part of songwriting is trying to make sense of your life experiences and finding a resolve or a perfect cadence to it all. Wrapping it up in a 3 minute pop song makes it seem less overwhelming and like you can finally understand and make peace with it all. I also loved any artists with a queer or androgynous edge to their songwriting, like The xx, Frank Ocean and St Vincent, and of course Prince and Bowie.”

Born and raised in Aberdeen, Heff has been playing in bands since she was a teenager - mostly made up of straight boys with an indie sound, in keeping with that classic Scottish tradition. Having moved to London in her early 20s, she formed an electro-pop duo that went on to amass a decent following. “I always wanted to do something a bit more queer and less straight male. That cis het take on swagger always bored me. After I left the duo, I went solo and I became more focused than ever on making the kind of music that I wanted to hear growing up, from people that looked and sounded like me. I started writing music from a more personal place, exploring themes like loss, sexuality and telling the stories of the people and community I’ve found in East London.”

As an artist, Heff wants to combine queer culture with themes that are universal and just part of the human condition. “I’m passionate about achieving more visibility for masc presenting queer people. I think representation matters for all of us and it’s empowering to see yourself depicted in pop culture.”

‘Jane’ is the first single from Heff’s upcoming EP, set for release later this year.


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