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Hen Hud Grad Making Name for Herself in Music Industry

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Hendrick Hudson alum and Montrose native Heather LaRose may be on the track toward stardom after several high-profile performances and tours.

The past two years have been a whirlwind for Montrose native Heather LaRose.

The 2011 Hendrick Hudson graduate released her newest single, “Mixed Tape,” on Sept. 7, and it has already topped 40,000 live streams.

That recording follows up on the 2015 release of her EP “Beachside” that caught the attention of many people when the Hillary Clinton campaign used one of its cuts, “Run With Me,” as a walkup song at some of the presidential candidate’s 2016 rallies and appearances.

LaRose describes her music, which she writes and performs with her band as one of three guitarists, as “fun, fearless pop,” combining what young listeners are tuned in to with serious musicianship. All of the members of her eight-piece band, which also includes an electric bass, keyboard[s], drums and two backup singers, are music school graduates. LaRose, 24, is an alum of SUNY Purchase’s studio composition program.

“It’s been so fun just developing the new sound and mixing with what’s popular on the radio with what we all know and are trained to do,” LaRose said.

“We’re trying to bring the art back to electronic music, and instrumentation back to it. It’s so fun and there are so many new things that you can do with it that I think aren’t being fully tapped into with the element of live music,” she added.

It hasn’t just been the accolades from her recordings that has gotten LaRose noticed in the music industry but her live shows as well. LaRose has performed at a variety of venues, from the Montauk Music Festival in May, 2016 to the famed Whisky a Go Go nightclub in West Hollywood where last November she opened for 1970s heartthrob Leif Garrett.

A musician friend of LaRose’s who has contacts in the fashion world suggested to her that she appear at Los Angeles Fashion Week last March, where she performed on the runway. Her Fashion Week appearance helped LaRose to make connections with people in the music industry and she stayed in Los Angeles for five months.

Always toting her notebook around to write down fresh lyrics and music whenever an idea may come to her, LaRose has had a lot to draw on lately.

“I’m definitely very inspiration driven,” she said. “In the past six months a lot has happened to my life. So I’m really drawing on my experiences. I always know what I like to listen to. That affects me as a writer as well, when I read and listen to the lyrics with the compositions of other artists.”

Her manager, Natalie Jansen, said she happened to be at Whisky a Go Go last November when Larose performed. She wasn’t familiar with her beforehand, but LaRose was sensational and Jansen knew she wanted to work with her.

“Nobody was there to see Heather LaRose except for the people she invited. They were there to see Leif Garrett,” Jansen said. “But she drew a crowd. They all lit up and watched her. When she puts on a show she gets people into it whether or not they were there to see Heather.”

Music and performing has been in LaRose’s blood since early childhood. LaRose recalled that when her grandmother sang to her, she insisted that she sing the song back to her. She also regularly performed in school and church plays.

By high school, LaRose would also write her own music, and began carrying her book to jot down lyrics. After one incident, where students took some of the pages and plastered them over the school’s lockers, she pleaded with her parents to attend music school.

For her junior year, LaRose began attending Lagond Music School in Elmsford, where she would eventually meet some of her future bandmates. She was also a multiple finalist for Westchester Teen Idol.

During her final year at Purchase, LaRose performed more frequently in clubs and venues throughout New York, although she conceded her grades suffered.

However, that experience and her performances on both coasts over the past two years, has made her an increasingly in-demand performer. Over the summer, LaRose opened for Rachel Platten in Connecticut, and last week appeared at the Revolt Music Conference in Miami. During the next two weeks, LaRose will be traveling throughout Texas for a leg of the High School Nation Tour and will be able to meet with many of her fans and continue to make an impression on them.

“These are the kids who are the real tastemakers and set the bar for what’s going to be popular, and they’re going to be the ones sharing their music and promoting it to their friends,” LaRose said.

For more about her and her music, visit



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