Online Platform HearRVA Draws Attention to Local Richmond Music Scene

Illustration by Rachel Farzan

Mia Richards, Contributing Writer

The music scene is always growing, and according to the online platform HearRVA, Richmond, Virginia could be the best place to start making long lasting connections with other musicians.

HearRVA is dedicated to securing local artists with connections within the Richmond community and is gaining traction in the city’s emerging music scene. The platform consists of curated playlists, vlogs, local event information and Liner Notes, a podcast featuring local musicians. 

The founders Rian Moses-Hedrick and Elijah Hedrick have lived in Richmond since 2006, but the duo stated in an email that HearRVA’s journey began while they were traveling out of the country. After traveling to 17 different countries for 11 months, they realized they could experience scenery, history and art back in the city they knew best, according to the Hedricks.

“The city has so much to offer, and we weren’t taking advantage of its gifts,” the Hedricks stated. “We came back to the same house but with a new attitude — getting to know our city better.”

By creating a space for the community to immerse themselves in new albums, artists and events, HearRVA gives opportunities for new artists to expand and market their music. 

The duo continues to develop HearRVA as a stepping stone for striving artists to grow by giving them the necessary tools, connections and opportunities to be spotlighted, according to the Hedricks. 

“When we started HearRVA, zero people knew who we were,” the Hedricks stated. “It’s grown bigger than we imagined in such a short time and we are still growing. All of this happened during the pandemic, so we are eager to see what happens with no limitations.” 

At the start of HearRVA, interviews were with emerging artists that the Hedricks knew well, had seen at events or by reaching out to those who sparked their interest. Now, they have artists who reach out to them to be interviewed on Liner Notes, the Hedricks’ podcast that promotes the Richmond music scene.

“It [COVID-19] showed us community. A lot of artists were losing a lot of gigs. When that happened, we wanted to help support them, and so HearRVA because of that just kind of sprung up,” the Hedricks said. “We were trying to share ways to help support the local musicians around.” 

Elijah Hedrick talks to guest Sneeze for HearRVA’s podcast Liner Notes. Photo courtesy by Tommy Caprara

HearRVA’s first podcast guest was Richmond native Devonne Harris, known as DJ Harrison. Harris is a producer for the band Sons of James with singer Rob Milton and the keyboardist for funk and jazz band Butcher Brown, according to Harris.

ESPN released a re-recorded rendition of rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard’s 1956 “Rip It Up” with Butcher Brown’s version as their pre-game hype song for “Monday Night Football” during the 2020 National Football League season, Harris said in the podcast.

“A sense of being a part of history in that way just being from Richmond and getting that amount of press, like ‘those guys did this, they are a part of that lineage,’” Harris said.

The job of a producer is to find their way into the artist’s world, their “vision,” according to Harris. Elijah Hedrick and Harris also discussed Harris’ role in the music industry and the Richmond scene.

“People are starting to pay close attention to Richmond in general with the groundwork that we laid off of legit hard-work, time and effort,” Harris said. “No façade, no smoky-mirror, no magic tricks. Everything is authentic and real.”

In a later episode, the Hedricks interviewed Erin Lunsford, a folk singer-songwriter from Fincastle, Virginia on Liner Notes reflecting on her latest album titled “The Damsel,” and discussed how the pandemic moved Lunsford to live-streaming during the album’s release in 2020.

Lunsford is also the frontwoman in “Erin & The Wildfire” and said she began her band as a couple of college students in Charlottesville, Virginia who made music for fun. 

Elijah’s questions blew me away because they were so thoughtful and so researched,” Lunsford stated. “He actually listened to my solo album, read interviews I’d given about the meaning behind the lyrics, and then had follow up questions.” 

After moving to Richmond in 2018, Lunsford found that Richmond has a challenging environment  for the artist to “climb higher and play better,” Lunsford stated.

“It’s people like Elijah and Rian and the HearRVA crew that make me so proud to be in this scene with folks who truly lift each other up and mention your name in a room of opportunity” Lunsford stated.

Elijah Hedrick and Rian Moses-Hedrick are the co-founders of online platform HearRVA dedicated to Richmond’s artists and music scene. Photo courtesy by Rian Moses-Hedrick

The duo strives to remind artists that musicians are able to flourish in Richmond, and that to be successful they do not have to seek out into cities like Los Angeles or New York City, according to the Hedricks. 

“They can find the same sounds they crave from super stars, right here in the city any day of the week,” the Hedricks stated. “Richmond, Virginia will soon be the city that out of state musicians and creatives flock to.” 

Spectrum Editor Gabriela de Camargo Gonçalves contributed to this report.

 

5 Comments

  1. This is a great thing for the RVA set! Thanks to the talents of HearRVA team members and founders for promoting the music scene, much love to you all!! Peace

  2. So excited to hear more about the success of Elijah and Rian in connecting Musical Talents in the Richmond Area .Uplifting, and looking forward to seeing a lot of Good Things break New Barriers for Musicians and Great Music on the Horizon. .

  3. Thanks for highlighting HearRVA! Now more people will start supporting the musicians in the cities. Great read, Mia, and love the illustration, Rachel.

  4. HearRVA has put a spotlight on not only the AWESOME MUSIC SCENE in Richmond . They have also been pivotal in the importance of buying, eating and participating in our community. The passion Rian and Elijah have for the community is contagious. You can feel the energy through their platform. Weather they’re interviewing a popular artist or a neighborhood entrepreneur. They make you want to participate and indulge in all that the great city of Richmond has to offer. I’ve also had the privilege of seeing and hearing they’re talents in they’re separate passion projects. Rian as the artist and creator Rian L. Moses of “Richmond Now”.Elijah as the rapper Eliturite. Their positive promotion and involvement in the community is quiet yet impactful. Thank you to you guys and all your team. For all the GREAT WORK you all do for this AMAZING CITY!

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