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On Radar: H3rizon, The Australian RnB Girl Group Putting Out Serious Hits And Empowering Women of Colour.

By October 12, 2021 No Comments

H3rizon is an Australian R&B girl group made up of Bernie, Taya and Gabby. The group is quite well-known seeing as they have forged a space for themselves in the entertainment world while also being viral stars on the popular application, Tiktok where they have amassed over 1.7 million followers. The group recently released a catchy new single called Serious in August,  the song is sassy and Y2K-esque talking about a relationship that shouldn’t be taken too seriously rather it should be laidback and fun.

Th group has been working carefully on their sound and image and are hugely driven to spread their message of sisterhood and female empowerment. With Filipino and Mauritian heritage, Bernie, Taya and Gabby want to step up as role models for young women of colour in light of their personal struggles to find women they could identify with in western media, to look up to while they were growing up.

In this interview, H3rizon tells us about themselves their music, influences, goals and topics such as as self esteem, body image and mental health.

Bernie, member of H3rizon

Hi H3rizon, can you introduce yourselves to us?

Hey thanks for having us! We’re a three-piece girl group from Sydney, Australia.

Tell us about your background, where are you from, family, education etc.?

We were all born and raised in Sydney, Australia, but our ethnicities are Mauritian (Tay) and Filipino (Gabby and Bernie).

Gabby, member of H3rizon

 

Taya, member of H3rizon.

How did the three of you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?

Gabby: Growing up in a Filipino household, I was always drawn to the karaoke machine to sing for my family and in a way, I used those opportunities as a creative outlet for myself because most of the time I was that shy and quiet kid. My mum then enrolled me in singing lessons when I was 7 and piano lessons when I was 9 to put me more out of my comfort zone. Since then, I became more immersed and interested in music, which led me to study at the Conservatorium High School from 2014-2019, where I became more involved in classical music both academically and in performance. I grew my passion for classical composition and vocal arrangements, and starting up H3rizon opened up a new avenue for me to explore songwriting for Pop/RnB. 10 year-old me would never guess that music could potentially be a full-time career, but I’m so grateful that’s changed and I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at now with the girls.

Tay: Spending lots of time in my backyard and being a huge Disney fan, you can only imagine how many Disney songs I’d be belting at the top of my lungs! As I got older, singing outside felt so natural, calming and therapeutic and that’s all that I would do in my spare time. This was and still is an outlet and a way for me to connect with myself and others who enjoy music. My mum could see how engaged I was with music and put me into singing lessons at the age of 10. During my teenage years, I performed in several singing competitions which helped me gain confidence and became more in touch with my artistry. I finished high school in year 10 to pursue my solo career with a huge interest in RnB/Pop. Along the way, I met the girls and knew that this group would be right for me as I enjoyed every musical moment with them. Finding H3rizon opened my eyes to a whole new world and our journey has been thus successful. I cannot wait for what our future has in store for us!

Bernie: Like Gabby, I grew up in a household that embraced the Filipino culture and the music that was instilled in it. I was around 7 years old when I threw myself into learning instrumental music. I tried out EVERYTHING including piano, guitar, trumpet, flute, French horn, and tenor horn. Don’t ask me to attempt to play any of the last few instruments now because those skills are LONG gone! Anyway, somewhere in the middle of it, I finally added in singing lessons. And I’m so glad that was the only thing I didn’t drop. I honed my craft even further when I attended Newtown High school of the Performing arts where I immersed myself into choral and vocal ensemble music, which continued into my tertiary education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. It was there that I also discovered my passion for music production. My musical journey led me to forming H3rizon with two other talented women, and now I’m lucky to be able to pursue a career that involves everything I’ve learnt and love about music and performing.

Your group is fantastic, we can’t help our curiosity. How did you meet each other?

We had previously met each other through mutual gigs, and as we got to know each other more, we we had so much in common. We all loved songwriting, performing, singing in harmony – we couldn’t miss the opportunity to form a girl group and so we officially banded together in 2018!

What is the music scene in Australia like?

There’s so much talent and diversity within the Australian music scene who deserve the world stage. We’re always inspired by our fellow Aussie artists of whom are women especially, and a few mentions are A.Girl, Cat & Calmell, Thando, Lara Andallo, Jessica Jade, and Rachel Maria Cox.

Group picture of H3rizon

What girl group(s) can you say inspired H3rizon?

There are so many girl groups we could name that have inspired us over the years! Destiny’s Child, the Spice Girls, TLC, SWV, Red Velvet, Girl’s Generation, Little Mix, The Veronicas, to name a few.

One in particular that we’d say is one of our biggest inspirations of today is Chloe x Halle. We love how sophisticated, nostalgic yet modern their music is and how they aren’t afraid to go outside the box. What’s even more special is that they shared our cover of their song “Forgive Me” on their Instagram and we went crazy over that! Hopefully we reach the next step of performing live with them because that would be the ultimate dream come true.

Your group seems to be big on sisterhood, inclusivity and positive mental health. Give us your insight on these topics and how you wish to encourage it?

As a girl group, our main message to other women and young girls is to always empower and uplift each other. Up to this day, women still continue to face issues such as inequality and mistreatment especially in the music industry, and as Women of Colour, we can observe how poorly we’ve been represented in the Western media thus far. We all feel so strongly about encouraging & supporting women of all ethnicities because we resonate with them completely and we want to continuously speak up and act upon these challenges as upcoming female artists. We also want to represent today’s society & the challenges our fans face day to day, including issues of Body Positivity, Inclusivity/Diversity & Mental Health. The fact that we’re able to bring light to these issues through our social platforms and bring international awareness is something we’ll always use to our advantage to especially bring women from around the world closer together.

I heard your new single ‘Serious’ and I have to admit, I live for it! It gives off all the right vibes. Can you tell me how the song came about ?

This is the second song we’ve ever written together! This was around 3 years ago when we were just starting out as H3rizon. We’ve come a long way from writing this song in Bernie’s cozy bedroom with a supply of endless snacks, to being glammed up and wearing boujee outfits for our music video.

Starting out, we wanted to add our own personal touch to the beat of SERIOUS. So we got our producer to take Gabby’s voice memo of a composition for her school assignment, process and manipulate it, and turn it into this vibrant, Y2k-esque beat. Then during the writing process, we wanted to create a cheeky, saucy take on dating life from the perspective of someone just wanting to have fun through it all. It was so fun bouncing off each other to create that chorus. And we had our own verses to write which ended up being the parts we sang solo, so each verse is unique to us! With this music video, we wanted to broaden the meaning of SERIOUS, and just remind everyone of the times we didn’t take life too seriously. Getting our music out there helps us remain positive during these times and we hope it provides a little piece of happiness to our fans too.

H3rizon seems to already be carving a space as Gen Z icons. I mean, 1.7 million followers on TikTok!!! I went through your profile, and what’s not to love? Can you each describe your style in one word?

Gabby: To be frank, my clothing style is kinda all over the place so I can’t really put a name on it haha, but I love wearing really elegant pieces like corsets, skirts and dresses. I’m always open to other styles and aesthetics, and I especially love the fashion trends from the past, including the 90’s and 2000’s since they’re still trending today!

Tay: I can understand where Gabby is coming from because I’m exactly the same! My style is constantly changing on the daily but I have to say I’m mainly influenced by y2k type fashion. My favourite pieces include baggy pants, crop tops and as long as bright colours are involved, you have me hooked! If I had to describe my style in one word, I’d have to say it’s always extremely colourful!!

Bernie: To be honest, I think I only just scratched the surface of fashion, and I really want to dig deeper and find a style that feels like me. I love different aesthetics from classic, to Y2K, to cottage-core, to edgy! So at this stage of my exploration, I’d say my style is multifaceted!

Group picture of H3rizon.

Individually tell me what social issues you are passionate about and a message you’d like to share to the world?

Gabby: As a Filipina raised in Australia, racism isn’t a foreign concept to me and my Asian family and friends, and growing up, it became more clear to me how normalised it is. I’m very proud of my culture and my heritage and I only wish for people to accept that and continue to celebrate the rich diversity that is apparent here in Australia. And being in this girl group, I especially want to represent the Asian community and bring more recognition to those that are trying to make it in the Western music industry.

Tay: Homelessness has the centre of my attention. I feel that every individual is entitled to basic necessities such as food, water and shelter and we aren’t seeing enough of that today. This has been going on for as long as I can remember and I think it’s time that we band together and really provide the support that we should be receiving in the first place. We’re all human, we all deserve to be treated equally and in saying that, whenever we can provide a helping hand, especially to a stranger, we should. There’s a shortage of amenities for some, so with the people who may be more fortunate, we should strive to give back.

Bernie: The girls and I are fierce allies of the LGBTQIA+ community! It’s heartbreaking to know that the health and wellbeing of people within this community is negatively impacted, even to the point of death, due to a range of discrimination. As allies, we must use our position of privilege to combat discrimination against marginalised groups. We must amplify their voices, listen and learn, and educate ourselves in order to create safer and affirming environments for everyone.

What has been the greatest moment for your group ?

As much as it was rewarding to receive recognition for our music on social media, we can all agree that the greatest moment for our group happened behind the scenes. It was our very first time in the studio, recording our first song, ‘Paradise’! It tied everything together and it was the moment that we really felt like a girl group. We remember each of us playing only that song on repeat all the way home after our session. It was a precious time that we’ll never forget!

What goal is your group looking to achieve, in the long-run or short-run?

For the moment, our short-term goal is to write and produce a few new songs to prepare for our next release 😉 but our long-term goal is large-scale in comparison. The ultimate goal for us is to be able to have our very own H3rizon world tour, where our fans would sing along with us to the lyrics we wrote. It definitely won’t happen soon since the world is in such a crazy and unpredictable place. But to us, it means we’ve got plenty of time to keep improving so we could deliver a show as amazing as the iconic groups that preceded us like TLC, Spice Girls, and Destiny’s Child. Why not aim high?!

What is a typical day in the life of H3rizon?

Despite us being in lockdown, we’re actually keeping super busy! On a typical day, we’re creating a lot of content, zoom-calling and messaging each other almost every hour, planning for the week ahead and finally having some time off for ourselves at the end of the day (which is very important obvi) We might sound like we’re going a little crazy, but we’re living out our dream job and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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