“The No Resume Culture” Interview With Heather Widener

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“The No Resume Culture” Interview
With Heather Widener
The beautiful writer and creative mind behind Herfection.com

So Heather, if I can call you that. If you want I can use an alias when posting this interview?

Certainly, you can go by whatever.

So, you’re a proprietor of a really well known and well respected Hip Hop blog, what does it feel like to garner that kind of attention and respect?

It’s honorable. I never take for granted the people, events, & music my blog has allowed me to encounter. I love what it’s done for me so far and the places i hope to go with h.e.r.! Very thankful.

Was this always the position you had in mind for yourself?

Not necessarily. I first created a blogspot to have a place to vent feelings, collect photos to admire, write down moments to remember, or just for therapeutic reasons. I never thought i’d put energy or effort into writing solemnly about music because i’m not a good enough writer to explain how colorful music makes me feel. Anytime i did though, write my feelings of new music, i’d get a reaction so it became a hobby that i enjoyed once i knew people related.

What would you say has changed from before the explosion of your blog to now?

A lot more emails. Invitations, connections, broader audience, i feel relevant even if just a little. It’s linked me to a lot of good people that i admire, respect, and appreciate to call some my friends now!

You know your blog is successful, I know your blog is successful, and hundreds to thousands of people may know as well. But what do you think is successful about your blog, and what do you base the “success” off of?

I’m not sure if i am comfortable saying my blog is necessarily successful because i could be doing much more. But.. I think sometimes because i had done it for years prior, where as now it’s every-bodies new “thing”, is my little one-up. I wanted to be the girl, if not the only girl, writing about hip-hop and i made an effort to push that title to the internet. I gained an audience who took me seriously without altering my style of narrating, my southern twang in typing, or without gossiping or disrespecting the artist. I base the success of herfection off of things like Rapradar launching and joining their blogroll lol. I have a difference sense in success besides the google check that comes in the mail each month. If i can host a Diesel rap battle and watch one of my favorites, Common, perform live, then it’s a success to me. I’m very far behind though, so don’t think that’s all there is! There’s still a goal to be reached.

In this life, hard work accounts for a lot. But connections rarely hurt. From beginning to this point, what are some of the connections you have made that have better your situation?

Connections are any-one's best friend. It’s still true, “not what you know but who.” I figured that out early, i knew the internet was almost like a diploma if you knew what to do with it. Herfection became my resume, and if i wanted to talk to someone i’d toss my resume at them in hopes of getting a response. I have made friends with a handful of people at many different labels, magazines, etc. If they genuinely like you or believe in you (or your brand) they will reach back out. I’m grateful for the relationships, not just connects, that i’ve been able to build thus far. Most of the time people just want, want, want, & never give (esp in NY) but there are some gems (Mike Navarra from Columbia) that are still out for the greater good of both sides.

I can only imagine that in your field, knowing people is everything. In fact, what would you consider your job title to be?

I hate the term ‘blogger.’ Sounds so washed up, used, and sounds like an excuse. I’d rather say writer, but again, i don’t believe myself to be a good quality writer. When people ask or when my mom decides to go into a rant with her friends, i just tell them i review music.

What would your resume read in explaining this position?

Doing what i love. Listening to music and grading it. Rating the quality of sound and overall projects from the artist. Writing reviews.

Well the whole reason behind this interview is to realize the effects of communication in this technological age. How human interaction has far surpassed the general effects of a resume, and that in this world of today, it’s better to be a proactive human being, than a really great looking piece of paper. So tell me what you think when you hear that our generation is the “No Resume Culture?

That it’s not about having a degree anymore or spending all your money at a college if you can learn on your own. You can be a one man band if you figure out the rules and regulations and really love what you’re passionate about. If you’re curious, and eager enough you’ll make your own route and find the people you need along the way to help you move up without jeopardizing your character.

What can you say about the importance of making those much needed connections and garnering the highest amount of exposure, when it comes to the job field and doing what it is you want to do?

I still have a lot of work to do as far as where i want to be. I wouldn’t be so to say, where i am now had i not built connects, even with just my audience from herfection. It’s so important to stay hungry even when you get to the point you hate what you’re doing. Those are only moments, you have to remember your cause and purpose and push through those days. You never know when that label exec or magazine corp is watching you and looking for a position you’d have to go to school for years to earn. Use all your outlets, i hate facebook but i still use it.. because it’s another site to gain another viewer. I used myspace for everything it had when it was relevant and it was a major push to where i am now and it was free! Always introduce yourself and present yourself to be welcoming even in a negative environment. Literally “refuse to be forgotten” if you really want to be remembered. Fake it til you make if nothing else.

What do you consider to be “successful”, and do you feel you’ve made it?

Successful is being happy everyday with the choices you’ve made and the path you’ve decided to embark on. I am hardly successful as i want to be. Moving to New York is the most successful thing i’ve done lately, i’m hoping it inspires me to push where i need to be so i can become ‘successful.’

Interviewer: Darius Frank
Date: 10.13.2010
Publication: www.defcise.com

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