Interview: Claudia Heidegger

Hey guys,
I'm really excited for you to read the interview I've done with the lovely Claudia Heidegger.

Claudia is an Austrian singer-songwriter who moved to London (England).
She's known for fragile songs with a touch of "Alice in Wonderland" and lyrics that tell stories coming straight from the heart.

In the interview she talked to me about moving, her favourite spots in London, the endless list of musicians she loves and shares a part of lyrics from a brand new song with us! 

house in the sand: You have studied classical music, is that right? Your sound is more folk-ish and acoustic guitar based. Would you say classical music has influenced you?

Claudia: Yes, definitely! Well, I think everything that I've experienced in my life so far, everyone I've met, every encounter, everything that was important to me and 'concerned' me, all of this has made me who I am now. 
I think with music you really need to (as cheesy as it sounds) 'feel it', this strange believe/conviction/inner knowledge that you just 'have to do it', that you wouldn't be happy without making music.
I've always had this feeling, I've always known that I wanted to spend my life doing music, but it took me a while to figure out in what way and I think that's where my 'classical background' comes in. 
When I was growing up I just happened to be in this 'classical music' environment. I was learning how to play the guitar and the violin from an early age, I was part of different youth orchestras and projects, and it was a big part of my identity back then. I even wrote little pieces of classical music as a child and performed them . As a 'logical next step' when leaving school I started to study to become a music teacher. Leaving school and going to University was an important stage in my personal development as well, because I felt I had gotten the chance to completely 'reinvent myself'. I had spent a lot of my time growing up trying to 'please', trying to be how I thought others would expect me to be, and now I felt I could finally 'be myself'. And I think that's when I realised that classical music for me is not necessarily the most natural way to express myself, and I started to play around with other genres and started to write my own songs.  

In retrospect I think I needed the classical route to find out who I really was and to gather the strength to dare to 'have my own back' and find my own voice. Through this whole process of 'growing into myself' I developed my own sound. It took a while, but when I moved to England two years ago I was writing songs that I now think are really 'me' and it's such an amazing experience to get to know myself better with every new song I write. 

house in the sand: What or who inspired you to write your own songs?

Claudia: In my third year of studying in Austria I started to play in a band we wrote our first own material. I really liked what we did - it just felt so natural, easy and honest. It opened up my mind towards this whole new world of expressing yourself and communicating through music, it just felt perfect. As if after spending years surrounded by water finally realising you could swim all along… As soon as you find the trust and faith in yourself there's inspiration everywhere! Most of my songs are based on very personal thoughts, feelings, situations and experiences, but when I start writing it turns into something 'less obvious'. To me my songs are extremely personal, but even people who know me really really well don't always know what exactly I'm referring to. That's why it's not a problem to perform the songs in public. I am turning my heart and soul inside out for the world to see, but in a kind of 'encoded' way that makes it safe to do so. 

house in the sand: What is your favourite piece of lyrics you’ve ever written?

Claudia: Lyrics are extremely important to me - maybe another reason why I ended up as this folk-ish acoustic singer-songwriter. Singing to me is like storytelling and songwriting is like explaining the world to myself. Sometimes it's like my unconscious mind is making me aware of what I'm feeling. 
I don't have a favourite piece of lyrics as such, but I'm gonna give you a part of a very new song that I feel very close to at the moment: 

forgive me for I haven't sinned
my lips are sealed, I'm growing wings
and give myself to the laughing winds 
to take me to the ground

I'm shouting kisses at your soul
we breathe champagne, we lose control
the stakes are high, I've lost my goal
to take you to the ground

I'm changing the shape of your shadow
I sing you the songs of my soul
I'm changing the sheets on my bed
only whispers of wishes and wonders will carry me home

house in the sand: You moved from Tyrol to London in 2011. Was it hard to leave your hometown or were you craving for London’s adventures?

Claudia: It was hard decide to leave a very familiar and comfortable environment, but I had come to a point where I didn't see any progress or opportunity in staying. The decision totally made sense and came at the right time. In London I discovered a whole new world of opportunities, development, creativity, surprise and adventure, and I felt free to make the most of it without any preoccupations or expectations. 
And I never felt like leaving my friends and family behind, because I knew I would not lose sight of those who were close to me. It's really not hard to keep in touch with people who are important to you, and in a way moving to London even made my worlds move together a little closer. 

house in the sand: Who are your favourite musicians?

Claudia: Joni Mitchell, Tina Dico, Agnes Obel, Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, Crosby Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Reinhard Mey, Phillip Glass, Sting, The Staves, Liz Green, Emmylou Harris, First Aid Kit, Indigo Earth, Feist, Alanis Morissette, Julia Stone, The Civil Wars, The XX, The Lumineers, Gillian Welch, Nate Ruess…  I can't name a few 'favourites', because there's so many great musicians I love! And the list is never complete, constantly changing, ever evolving and strongly dependant on my mood…! ;-) 

house in the sand: When people come to one of your gigs, what can they expect?

Claudia: Fragile sounds, soft guitar chords, subtle finger picking, and a clear voice telling honest stories about life & love, hopes & fears, dreams & thoughts and about finding yourself in a world both terrifyingly beautiful and beautifully terrifying...

house in the sand: So a question that’s not music related: where is your favourite spot in London?

Claudia: There's loads of amazing places in London, and so many new things to discover behind every corner. It's great how much is going on here every single moment, you really don't get bored here. 
But I also love being close to the river and the canals, I think flowing water calms me down sometimes, and makes the London life appear less fast and busy for a moment…. 

house in the sand: Please finish the following sentence: I am Claudia Heidegger and I …

Claudia: ... am a storyteller in my own mind who would like you to invite my music to find a place in your world.

house in the sand: Is there anything else you would like the house in the sand readers to know?

Claudia: Dolphins sleep with one eye open. :-)
And I've released my first EP - "The Other Side"! You can get it from iTunes Amazon  and loads of other download platforms…
You can also listen to it on Spotify: :-)

If you want to keep in touch you can do so on Facebook or twitter.
Please say hi and leave a message or comment :-) 

house in the sand: Thank you so much for answering the questions, Claudia. It was lovely talking to you! 

Claudia: It's been my pleasure, thank you Vanessa! 

Watch Claudia perform her song "You're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight" live:

Here are all of Claudia's links again:

I hope enjoyed! : )


  1. Listened to all her songs on youtube and then bought the songs on iTunes, who is this girl and how has she got into my head so quickly! Great music lovely to listen to and so many layers i can listen to it again and again.

    1. That is amazing! I completely agree, she's got so much talent. Super nice to read that comment. :) x


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