Interview with Jason Reeves of High Dive Heart

High Dive Heart are a talented pop duo, Jason Reeves and Nelly Joy, from Nashville/Los Angeles. They’ve had a lot of success with their music and have just released a new single, “Misfit”, which has a great anti-bullying theme. The band have teamed up with The Bully Project for this single and will be donating 100% of proceeds from the sales on iTunes http://apple.co/21dlO8Y and Spotify streams: http://bit.ly/1UzZtOm, along with the “Misfit” T-shirt sales (http://bit.ly/1URrL6K) to The Bully Project for a limited time.

High Dive Heart’s Nelly Joy explains, “Our goal is to use music to help turn the tide in favor of kindness because there is too much hate in our world. If we can contribute towards letting all the misfits know that they fit in fine being themselves, we can change the way bullies behave. Hopefully someday we can put an end to the ignorance and lack of self-love that cause bullies to put others down.”

This is such a worthwhile project. Bullying seems to be increasing, especially now that much of our communication is online. It’s wonderful to see bands taking a stand against the hate.

Take a look at this moving video for the “Misfit” single, featuring teen transgender activist Corey Maison.

After hearing about this project, I was keen to interview the band to find out more about them and their work.

Interview with Jason Reeves of High Dive Heart:

[Photo credit: Patrick Tracy]

Welcome, Jason! Tell us a bit about High Dive Heart, and your musical backgrounds.

High Dive Heart is myself, Jason Reeves, and Nelly Joy. I have been playing music since I was 5 years old and started writing songs when I was 17. I have made 6 solo albums and 2 EPs and write songs for artists like Colbie Caillat, Demi Lovato, Jesse & Joy and Lenka. Nelly was in the hit country duo The JaneDear Girls and also started writing song when she was 17. She writes songs for artists like Kelly Clarkson, Big & Rich and Jesse & Joy. We have been a duo for about 2 years and have been writing songs together since 2009.

How did you get together?

Before I lived in Nashville, I got set up to write songs there by my publisher and Nelly was the first co-write I had. We wrote a song that ended up on her album and then started writing all the time. We wrote most of my last 2 solo albums together called “The Lovesick” and “Songs Are Silent Films”.

Love that album title, “Songs are Silent Films” 🙂

Who came up with the band name “High Dive Heart”?

I actually came up with it, but it was a collaborative mission. We talked a lot about what we wanted our name to represent and I started writing down a page full of ideas using abnormal word combinations. When I had filled a page with potential names I showed one of our good friends who was at our house and she immediately picked High Dive Heart out of the list!

That’s an interesting way to choose a band name 🙂

Who are your musical heroes?

We both have so many musical heroes and inspirations. A short list would be Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, James Taylor, Coldplay, Death Cab For Cutie and John Mayer.

Some great artists there!

Who usually writes the music vs. lyrics or is it a collaboration between you both?

We both write the music and lyrics together. Songs always come into existence in different ways, but most of the time the melodies arrive first and the words seem tied into them somehow.

Your new single “Misfit” was recently released. There’s an important message in this anti-bullying song. What was the inspiration behind the track?

We are all Misfits in some way, and most of us have experienced some form of bullying. Bullying has become such a rapidly spreading social epidemic and we wanted to write a song encouraging people who are experiencing it. There seems to be so much hate and misunderstanding in the world and our goal is to make music that spreads light and love to hopefully balance it out, at least partially. Nelly in particular experienced some pretty severe bullying in high school and this came from a very personal place for her.

Sorry to hear that about Nelly. It’s great that you’re able to use your experiences to encourage and promote change.

You recently teamed up with teen transgender activist Corey Maison and The Bully Project. How did that came about?

We saw a photo of Corey on the Internet and were very inspired by her story and strength. We knew she hadn’t gotten to tell her whole story yet and thought our song would be a good fit for her to tell it using notecards. We got a hold of her parents and they loved the idea so we made it happen! Her school actually allowed her to film the video in the school’s bathroom, which was very cool of them. Once we had Corey on board, we knew we needed to partner with an organization that was anti-bullying. The Bully Project was the perfect fit. They are incredible and do amazing work in the fight to put an end to this horrible problem. We are so grateful for both of them and can’t wait to see where the relationship takes us all.

You have an EP called HDH VS. MTR (Part One) due for release this summer. What can you tell us about the tracks on the EP? What does the title mean?

The title HDH vs. MTR means “High Dive Heart vs. Morgan Taylor Reid.” Morgan is the incredible producer and songwriter we made the whole album with and we wanted to give him a shoutout in the title because he is such a big part of the album’s sound. The first single is “Misfit”, which is an anti-bullying anthem aimed at self-empowerment. The second song is called “Playground” and is a song about wishing we could have stayed on the playground instead of growing up. It’s a song about the beauty of innocence and the joy of being young and free.

I love that idea! 🙂

The third song “Dirty $$$” is about how evil and corrupt our world has become because of money. The last 3 songs are “The Rain,” “Camera Song” and “Stars Fall Down.” They are all their own mini sonic universes and were produced edgier and more “pop” than our first EP (Sonic Graffiti that came out in 2015).

It sounds like it’s going to be a fantastic EP. Can’t wait to hear it!

Do you have any gigs/tours planned?

We have a couple of radio shows this summer, and this fall October – November we are going out on the road with Colbie Caillat and Justin Young for The Malibu Sessions Acoustic Tour. We’re so excited about it because we get to open for Colbie and then get up and play with her for her set. We wrote and recorded her new album together in a beach house in Malibu and we can’t wait to play the whole thing live for the first time!!

Awesome!

Which are your favourite social media sites, and why?

We love them all! They’re all different forms of communicating with our fans and because of that we can’t pick favorites. Each platform from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Snapchat to Flipagram has its own unique way of connecting with people from all over the world and it’s so fun to experiment with them all. We are extraordinarily grateful for our fans and want to give back to them as much as we can. Being able to connect with people all around the world is a pretty magical thing to do.

It certainly is! It’s hard to keep up with all the different social media sites 🙂

If you could write/compose a song with a musician (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

I would have to choose Bob Dylan because he is the reason I started writing songs and is my main inspiration lyrically. Nelly would choose Chris Martin because he is so brilliant melodically and musically. We are both massive fans of him and I would have to say he’s at the top of my list as well.

What have been some of the band’s highlights so far?

We have had so many incredible moments as a duo so far! One of our favorites was our first tour last summer. We got to go out on the road with Colbie and Christina Perri and they are both such fun, beautiful, inspiring souls. Also, our fist single ever “Vintage” went to #1 on Spotify’s Global Viral Chart, which was an incredible way to launch our project.

The most recent highlight is the reaction our Misfit video with Corey Maison and The Bully Project has gotten. It went viral and got over 1 million views in the first two days and has gone on to get many millions more. We’re so thrilled her message is moving people around the world as much as it has moved us!

That’s amazing, and such good news. It’s a powerful video!

Any other news for your fans?

Yes! We have an official video for Misfit coming very soon and the first half of our new album “HDH vs. MTR (Part 1)” comes out this summer. Meanwhile, we are in the studio in Nashville and LA writing and recording Part 2. There will be much more to come!

Brilliant! I’ll look out for those. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Wishing you continued success with all your projects!

 

Follow the band:

Website: www.highdiveheart.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HighDiveHeart/
Twitter: twitter.com/highdiveheart

Find out more about The Bully Project: www.thebullyproject.com

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