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heather small - proud of manchester
Heather Small
"Everyone has an ego… and I get so much pleasure singing in front of a large group of people. I don't sing to be famous or rich, I sing because it's what I love to do. I want people to understand and enjoy my singing." - Heather Small
click here to read our exclusive Heather Small interview.

Singer/Songwriter Heather Small will be showcasing her unique vocal talents during a short solo tour in June 2003 when she will be performing at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall as well as York, Cambridge, London and Southport. The shows will be a preview of new material along with an eclectic mix of jazz and soul standards such as 'The Way you Wear your Hat' and 'Private Number' and more than a few surprises too. Although yet to be confirmed, Heather's 5 piece band will undoubtedly include saxophonist Snake Davis, who has played on M People's 'Movin' on Up'.

Born and raised on a West London council estate, Heather battled with shyness and a profound desire to sing from an early age. Captivated by gospel music's inspirational elements and influenced by '70s reggae and soul, she joined her first group, the blues and soul-tinged band 'Hot House' while still in her teens. Although their potential was never fully realised, Heather had a fortuitous meeting with Mike Pickering; a DJ at Manchester's famed Hacienda nightclub. After hearing Heather's unique voice, he persuaded her to collaborate with a group he'd just formed called M People.

Although Heather's statuesque vocals have become synonymous with the sound of M People, they took on a new identity on 'Proud', her first solo album released in May 2000. The album produced two singles, 'Proud' and 'Hold On', as well as the duet with Tom Jones, 'You Need Love Like I Do'. 'Proud', the single, was co-written by Heather & Peter Vettese and produced by Peter Vettese (who has also worked with the Bee Gees amongst others).

Heather's distinctive voice confirms what a jewel she is in the UK's crown of contemporary singers. In the decade she was with M People, the dance/soul/pop group sold in excess of 5 millions records. As fabulous singing live as she is on record, it is on stage where she feels totally 'empowered'. She says, "Everyone has an ego… and I get so much pleasure singing in front of a large group of people. I don't sing to be famous or rich, I sing because it's what I love to do. I want people to understand and enjoy my singing."

Heather Small is quick to assure that M People have not split up. She said "We played and created collectively, but I came to realise there were certain experiences I went through as a women - growing from a shy teenager, becoming a mother - that didn't include the band. I thought, maybe I could find a way of expressing this myself".

Since 'Proud' Heather has been spending time bringing up her son as well as performing guest spots with the Snake Davis Band. She also appeared on the Manchester saxophonist's brilliant 'Snakebites' CD in 2001. A duet with Michael McDonald in Mexico in January 2003 for a private show was one of the high points of her career. She also appears on the 'Gaia' Album Project to Benefit Global Education where she sings along with 350 artists. Her most recent one-off concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in December 2002 was a sell-out success, and testament to her loyal fan base.

With a new look and a new raft of songs, Heather Small was eager to get back on stage and perform. She returned to Manchester playing The Bridgewater Hall, giving Pride Of Manchester an exclusive interview before hand (click here to read it). A new solo album is highly anticipated later in the year.

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[see official Heather Small website]


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