Professor HER is reporting for duty!
The Back of My Mind songstress is ready to pass on her skills to aspiring songwriters with her brand-new Stripped-Down songwriting class.
Speaking to PEOPLE about her newest endeavor, the musician (whose real name is Gabriella Wilson) says she felt inspired to share her “gift with other people.”
“One of my main goals when it comes to just my career and things that you hope for, is always encouraging, inspiring and empowering, and I feel like this is one of the best ways I could do that,” the singer, 24, says.
In other ways, this was an opportunity to fulfill a career move she might’ve pursued if she didn’t become a musician herself.
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“People always ask me, ‘Oh, if you weren’t a successful musician, what do you think you would do?’ And, for me, besides being in the medical field or something, I would definitely have wanted to be a music teacher,” she says. “So this was a really cool thing.”
In Stripped-Down Songwriting, students will spend 30 days with the “Damage” singer and experience her songwriting process first-hand as she writes two full songs and breaks it down step-by-step. With enrollment opening Monday on Studio.com, students will go through the class in cohorts of 20 with no instruments required.
“You’ll be able to learn how to get into melody and how to come up with melody, how to even get inspiration for your concept. If you do have an instrument, how to come up with the chords,” she says. “Even just how to tap into concepts and what I think about when it comes to concepts.”
And don’t worry, anyone is welcomed.
“I think that’s the beautiful thing about this class is it’s for any level. And this is the thing about music. It’s not a skill-based thing. Music is very subjective and it’s all about tapping into your own creativity.”
For HER, songwriting is something that “came naturally” — though she does credit her early days of poetry writing as a major tool.
“I actually started writing poetry when I was a kid. And I was 5 years old, 6 years old and I wrote these really silly poems. And my mom, she compiled them all,” she says. “She collected them and she published a little book out of it. But I was really young. And so I think the poetry was kind of the beginning of it all.”
Recalling the first song she ever wrote, the singer says she had a little bit of help from her mother.
“My mom used to write down titles on a piece of paper and then I would write a song to them. And this song was called ‘Keep On.’ I was like 6 years old, 7 years old. And this song was like, ‘Keep on going, don’t give up, do what you believe. Because…’ It was very encouraging and it was cute.”
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After years of learning what works and what doesn’t — the singer finds that her songwriting element is in the comfort of her own home.
“I think my most classic, simple, most comfortable environment is always my room, my bedroom, just sitting on the floor or on the bed. And the lights are dim,” she explains. “It’s usually really late at night. I don’t know why. I think all our minds kind of wander at night and that’s when I get inspired the most.”
Aside from her upcoming teaching duties — the musician is fresh off the Grammys ceremony where she earned an award for best traditional R&B performance for her song “Fight for You.” She also delivered a stunning performance alongside Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and Lenny Kravitz. And now, she’s on the road for her Back of My Mind tour.
“I actually am so excited to be in front of people, my fans really, people who love my music and who know all the words. I forgot what that feels like. So to be back is really special,” she says.
Enrollment for HER’s songwriting class is open now.