The guitarist relied on her best friend’s advice to develop an approach that felt different from her “incomparable” sister Ann Wilson, whose lead vocals make Heart easily identifiable. You and Me will be released on May 7.
“Doing this album, I really could relate to my university-girl self,” Nancy told Consequence in a new interview. “It was inspiring, and it made me build some confidence that I hadn’t really had in a long time, even as a singer. I mean, I sing everything, basically, on the album with other guests stars. So, it was like, how do I approach being the lead singer on a whole album? That was another big first for me.”
She continued: “I found my way to a persona that was definitely not the Heart persona, because in Heart, I had always tried to compare myself with the incomparable Ann Wilson’s voice. I’m a guitar player. I’m not like a premier lead singer. So, I kind of found my persona with a lot of help from my collaborator, Sue Ennis.”
Noting the pair have worked together “forever,” Wilson said she and Ennis are “besties, and she kind of helped coach me on a lot of the vocal stuff in the best way to take the Heart aspect out of trying to be impressive as a singer or trying to push it. What she told me a long time ago, which was really great advice, was, ‘Don’t worry about perfection. Just tell a story.’”
Speaking of her formative years, Wilson recalled she “went to university knowing full well that I was going to join Heart. It’s kind of like saying, ‘Before I join the army and see the world, I’ve got to go get some university for myself.’… I took a lot of creative writing and [read] a lot of papers and literature. I played a lot of coffeehouses solo, too. … I was preparing myself to join the band and practice what I was going to bring to the band.”