With a diverse experience that exposed her to travel, music, culture, folklore, and the vibrance of the world in general, alt-cinematic pop musician HEIR– also known as Patricia Manfield– has cultivated a varied range of interests ranging from music to fashion. Following her empowering Daddy Issues EP, Manfield is set to with a sound that’s minimal yet more intentional.
HEIR talked to us about upcoming music which she describes as “sweet revenge songs,” the singer who endorses honesty, vulnerability, and being yourself at every turn in life, delves into her first memories of music, the meaning behind her name, the inspiration behind Daddy Issues, how her sound has evolved and much more.
If you could introduce yourself to the world in a song, which would it be?
“So Good at Being in Trouble” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Trouble just finds me, my friends find it very funny and entertaining.
Do you remember the first memories of being attracted to music? Where did your musical journey begin?
My parents are classical musicians so music was always present in the house. I’d wake up to my mom practicing in one room and my dad in another.
What’s the meaning behind your moniker, HEIR?
It’s an homage to my parents, I’m their heir.
As someone who has been around music from a young age, how would you say your sound has evolved? How do you envision it evolving going forward?
It’s evolved for sure. Daddy Issues was very experimental, we didn’t think of any genres we just did what we loved with it. My sound moving forward follows more of an intention. It’ll be more minimal, fewer sounds.
Having been exposed to life experiences and the world through traveling, what stands out about the way you create music?
I am very attached to folklore– as in every country I’ve traveled to has got its own musical culture and instruments and I’ve realized that as long as it makes you feel good, music is a powerful tool that doesn’t necessarily need to follow a trend like most things.
You’ve experienced the fashion industry in your modeling days– now crossing over to music, what has the transition been like?
It felt pretty natural, modelling kind of just happened at first and if we’re being honest, it was good money for somebody going to University and figuring things out. Investing in music was tough at first because you need time and resources and I had so much going on. Building credibility is also extremely hard in every industry but I’ve been lucky to have the best support system.
Who are some of your fashion inspirations?
My mom is definitely an icon for me. She’s so elegant and timeless. She’ll walk in a room and she’ll have all eyes on her even though she’s so lowkey.
What are some of your favorite pieces? Why?
When it comes to fashion I can be very versatile, I like playing with fashion. I like a crazy print but I also love sleek and simple. A staple piece in my wardrobe is an oversized fit suit, it’s so simple to style for any occasion.
In terms of songwriting, is your music more introspective or do you draw inspiration from the world around you?
Both. I listen a lot. I listen to my friends and I talk to strangers all the time. Hearing other people’s stories can be very inspiring because I haven’t lived enough to experience everything. But I’m an empath and I was gifted with a wild imagination. I will often write songs about my best friends’ heartbreaking moments in life and they will cry their eyes out. I will also write from personal experience and I think music’s the only outlet for me to really express my crooked nature sometimes.
If listeners could take away one message from your music, what would you want it to be?
That it’s okay to be honest, life’s too short not to be yourself.
What’s the best part of the music-making process? The most frustrating?
The best part is the first times you listen to new demos on repeat because you get excited about your new songs (which is what my best friends & I are doing right now) and the most frustrating is release timings. It sometimes takes such a long time and it gives you too much space to overthink.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Classical music is a big influence, I realize it sometimes takes me seconds to hear what doesn’t fit in a melody or harmony because I’ve grown up around a mathematical way of reading and writing music with my parents. I’ll also listen to classical music daily, it’s always in my playlists. Definitely listen to Erik Satie and Johannes Bornlöf. My fav artists are.. mm there’s too many. From Nina Simone to Badbadnotgood, Everything is Recorded, Justin Vernon, Frank, James Blake, Alt-J, iconic Italian artists like MINA.
Tell us a bit about Daddy Issues. What inspired the EP?
My relationship with men was definitely the key subject. I grew up wanting to be independent and a boss but in my relationships, I was extremely needy. I still that word. One day I was told I had daddy issues and that stuck with me. I wanted it to be an expression of empowerment instead of something negative. Yes, I’ve got Daddy Issues and I’m owning my daddy issues.
Which track on the record is most personal to you? Why?
“Eternal.” It’s vulnerable, when I heard the track I put lyrics down on the spot, and 2 minutes later I was in the booth. We used that first take.
How do you feel your songwriting has evolved since the first track you wrote?
The first song I wrote on Daddy Issues was “Soundtrack,” and the last one was “My Love.” There’s a huge difference, one is heavy-produced the other one is literally guitar & vocals. I feel like I can say and express a lot more when there’s an emptier territory to write on. But I have a lot of fun writing to dance songs. Joe & Jeev, my producers are very good at getting both sides out.
What do you hope people feel when listening to Daddy Issues?
You might have some live performances in a post-COVID world, have you started thinking about what you’d want your visuals to look like? What can fans expect when you start touring?
We’re going to release a new EP soon. The first single probably around late January and the visuals will be very special. I was supposed to play in festivals and have a mini-tour with the last EP but it was all canceled. We’ll start touring in a pandemic free world but we’re currently planning showcases digitally.
What’s on your bucket list as an artist?
To make my hometown Napoli proud.
In three words, what can we expect from your upcoming releases?
Sweet Revenge Songs
Who are some artists you’d love to collaborate with?
I’d actually love to collaborate with Enzo Avitabile, an iconic musician in Napoli.
How have you been spending your time in lockdown? How have you been trying to stay creatively motivated? Have you picked up any new hobbies?
New hobbies for sure, I love cooking now. I’m a pasta queen. Another hobby is video games, I went back to being tomboy 7 year old me during the lockdown. It hadn’t been easy, I had a death in the family back in Italy so there was a lot of mourning and the thought of not being able to go back was excruciating.
It was very tough to be creative. But I picked myself up and somehow managed to bounce back. It’s really important you keep going and keep pushing. We’re alive and young and we have to make the most of it.
What’s been the most surreal moment in your career so far?
Oh, everything crazy surreal like meeting an idol will sound so cheesy lol. What was surreal was probably my very first performance in Berlin. That just felt unreal.
How do you unwind?
Wim Hof Meditation, watch trash TV (especially the Italian ones), I love traveling but right now that’s a bit trickier. I’ll typically take it easy, cook with friends, karaoke with them, and hang out in our sweats.
What’s up next for you?
New EP. And some other surprises I’ve signed NDAs for. But I can’t wait to talk to you guys in a couple of months. <3