Let’s have a to-to-to-to-to-toast for Angela Hesse.
The Comfrey native and country music hopeful has released her debut single “Hot Summertime” and is nearing the July release date for her debut album.
And just like her lyrics say -- “Raise your gla-gla-gla-gla-gla-glass tonight to our hot summertime” -- Hesse has reason to celebrate.
“This has been my dream since I was a little girl,” said Hesse, who will play during the Comfrey Community Days parade at 7 p.m. tonight. “It still feels a little crazy.”
About six months ago, Angela Hesse packed up her belongings and left Minnesota to chase her dream in Nashville.
She left her tight-knit family in Comfrey. She left her amalgam of Twin Cities jobs (nanny, music camp director and waitress) and she left the comfort of the only state she’s ever called home to risk it all on the chance to become country music’s next household name.
Her album, titled “BitterSweet,” is independently produced and recorded. Her single was included on an artists’ compilation CD and sent to more than 2,000 radio stations nationwide, already notching regular airplay in South Carolina and parts of Georgia. Still, she’ll spend much of the summer on a radio tour, conducting interviews and promoting her music with anyone willing to listen.
In addition, Hesse said she’s constantly trying to connect with fans through her blog and social media sites as well as continually refining her music.
“I don’t expect anyone to do this for me,” she said. “It’s a little bit scary, though. I’ve invested a lot in this.”
Hesse displayed her talent at an early age, singing along to Shania Twain songs when she was only 5 years old. In high school, she participated in band and choir, and was a 2005-06 selection to the Minnesota All-State Choir. At Bemidji State University, Hesse directed the women’s choir.
Even with such experience, it took a roommate to convince Hesse to pursue her goals.
“After I graduated from Bemidji (in the spring of 2011) and moved to the Twin Cities, I started writing again” she said. “I never really had the confidence to put my music out there, but my roommate said, ‘Just do it.’”
Hesse moved to Nashville in February and didn’t waste time introducing herself to the epicenter of the country music universe.
She’s been a regular at singer/songwriter workshops and has landed several performances, including a handful of up-and-coming artist concerts. And her music is starting to get noticed.
“Hot Summertime” is a twangy ode to short (Minnesota-style) summers and allowing the seasonal heat to inflame summer passions. The made-for-radio single is sexy, swinging and makes for easy listening. But Hesse has even more to offer on tracks like “Burn Baby Burn,” a bluesier number that pits Hesse’s soulful vocals against a swampy guitar as she croons: “You didn’t listen when I told you I’m no good for you.”
Her video for “Hot Summertime” has been picked up by the Country Network and she’s planning to film another video in the coming months. After that, Hesse is planning to play as many live shows as possible and is also considering a Christmas-themed released.
“It’s about hard work and dedication,” she said. “If you believe truly in your dreams, you can make them happen.”
Hesse is also involved in a number of charitable efforts, not the least of which is an effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society. All sales from her iTunes-available song “He Smiles” will go toward the charity. The song is also included as a bonus track on her forthcoming album “BitterSweet.”
For more information about Hesse, visit her website (angelahesse.com) or Facebook page (search for “Angela Hesse”).