HVN, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter signed to local youth-run label Syryn Records, will be releasing her first official single and music video, “Attention Whore,” on October 6. Syryn Records is a youth-run record label owned and operated by Girls Rock Santa Barbara, a local organization seeking to empower young women and girls through musical education. Syryn Records only releases music created by young women and gender expansive folks ages 15-25. The label’s newest compilation album will be released in November and will include the work of 8-13 of the label’s artists. In addition to running Syryn Records, Girls Rock Santa Barbara provides a summer camp in Ojai for 4th-12th graders called Amplify Summer Camp.
“Attention Whore” is an edgy, punky pop song which urges young women to exist unapologetically and shamelessly, and to either reject or slyly reclaim harmful labels imposed on them. The vocals in the song are powerful and raw, reminiscent of the playful yet cutting pop-punk sound of Paramore. The lyrics are angry and raw, but dryly and sarcastically so, perfectly representative of the familiar frustration experienced by many young women who feel as though every action earns them a new label or limitation.
The music video is appropriately indignant — we see HVN carrying a tray full of drinks through a club crowded with rude customers. When one of them bumps into her, causing her to spill, she throws the tray down in frustration. She then emerges in a loud, attention-grabbing cartoon print dress with strappy leather accents on top, belting the chorus: “Attention please / Blow me an X and an O / Bat your eyes like you don’t know / Boys will be boys / I know what they fall for / Attention” — here, she turns the stereotype of a doe-eyed, attention-loving girl on its head, and calls out the reality that boys like attention, too, and rarely get bombarded with misogynistic terms due to that fact.
HVN, full name Heaven Lee Nevarez, is a 21-year old vocal powerhouse from Santa Monica, now bursting into the music scene. After graduating high school at age 16, she earned her associates degree in audio engineering from Los Angeles Film School. Her songwriting ability has been recognized by the International Music Software Trade Association (IMSTA), earning her first place in their 2018 LA FESTA event and, more recently, the title of 2020’s IMSTA Songwriter of the Year.
When asked about her inspiration and her hopes for the song, HVN explained, “I am reclaiming what ‘Attention Whore’ means, and when people listen to the song I hope they gain the confidence I did making it. It’s time to step into our ‘villain’ era and take up space!”
This bold embracing of her “villian era” is evident not only from the cold, unsympathetic lyrics, “I had to misuse you / Abuse you just to miss you / I had to melt your mind / To cover up my issues,” but also the menacing, low drone of the verses, which is especially dramatic when juxtaposed with the explosive, loud vocals in the chorus. This juxtaposition addresses the intense, explosive anger which can result from the exact kind of quiet repression that’s encouraged from women.
For more information about Syryn Records, visit syrynrecords.com. “Attention Whore” by HVN will be available on all major streaming services starting October 6.