Hirie

ABOUT

Countless musicians receive gifts from their fans. But the relationship between Trish Jetton, front
woman of the pop-reggae act Hirie, and her fans is particularly unique. Their offerings are special:
lovingly curated to nurture her psyche, to stoke her self-care, her idiosyncrasies. Late last year, Trish was
particularly moved when given a copy of Women Who Run With the Wolves, a book that explores
feminine instinct and power. It celebrates, as she says beaming, “that wild woman archetype.”

The gesture anticipated the theme of Dreamer , Hirie’s latest album, which features the free-spirited
anthem “Stay Wild,” inspired by that gift. A sonic journey baselined by reggae beats, Dreamer at turns
celebrates the bold, joyful, and even messy impulses that drive the female experience. “This album is
about raw honesty,” Trish says. “I feel like I was braver with exploring my emotional state and how that
swings back and forth—allowing myself to be brutally honest.”

SEE MORE

“I’m Messed Up,” a chilled-out Mexi-Cali reggae cut (its life-affirming video featuring a mariachi band), is
Dreamers ’ first single. “Social media makes it really easy for us to pretend to be something we’re not.
We need to admit defeat, our vulnerability,” says Trish, whose finances have forced her, her husband,
and her daughter to bounce from Airbnbs to friends’ houses.“We’ve lived out of suitcases for a year and
a half. We’re messed up, but that’s okay!” A pair of related tracks, the ruminating mid-tempo “Better as
Is” and the soulful “Stay With Me” likewise ride the ups and downs—the acceptable imperfections— of
her relationships. For her, life has never been easy, but it’s always remained an adventure.

Trish, who mostly resides in San Diego, has lived an itinerant existence. With her English father working
for the U.N., she was raised the Philippines, Italy, then Hawaii. “We never stayed rooted to one place for
long,” she explains. “Hirie” is a nod to that multiculturalism, a mix of “Hawaii” and “irie,” the Jamaican
term for one’s state of mind. “Most of the radio stations on the island were reggae,” she explains of her
upbringing on Oahu. “It fits the lifestyle so effortlessly: ditching school and blasting all this music about
emancipation from mental slavery.”

Still, growing up between cultures was tough. Though extroverted in personality, Trish was bullied as a
teen to the point of hopelessness, feelings she still grapples with as an adult. “‘Message in a Bottle’ is
close to my heart. It’s about addiction,” she says of the gutting track. “The song is push and pull: giving
into addiction, then pulling away. It’s the push and pull of your emotions.” Empathy is perhaps her most
admirable trait, but it can also be her greatest weakness. “I feel and I feel and I feel. I care so deeply
about people that sometimes I forget how to just allow myself to self-love,” she says. “My life’s work is
just to make somebody else feel better. I love people. I know that’s so cliché. But with my music, if I’m
able to confront my own demons, and it makes someone else feel more comfortable with who they are,
I have no shame.”

Growing up, Trish’s father saw her for the natural-born performer she is, and encouraged her to
embrace music as the ultimate therapy. “He knew that would be my outlet, pushing me towards the pen
and paper, and the mic,” she says. For years, music was a solitary experience: composing alone on the
guitar and piano, then debuting her work at open-mic nights. But that all changed in 2012, when Tribal
Seeds’ former pianist E.N Young offered to produce her self-titled record. She assembled a group of
musicians, which would become her current eight-piece band, to tour that record on the festival circuit.
Their presence proved outsize, formidable, uplifting. In a few years, Hirie had amassed such a devoted
organic following that by the time Trish started working on Wandering Soul, her second album, fans
helped her crowdfund $46,000 to record and promote it.

Dreamer , however, marks her first true collaboration. She penned the majority of her album’s tracks
with The Drive—a.k.a. songwriters Mark Merthe and Nate Evans—then enlisted Danny Kalb (Ben
Harper, Beck) to produce Dreamer . “‘Put It Down’ has this supercool gypsy vibe,” she says. “I met Chali
2na of Jurassic 5 randomly in Mexico, and he laid down a verse. It was one of those songs that just came
together.” Other tunes like, ‘I’m Messed Up,” “Message in a Bottle,” “The Way You Roll,” and “Reason to
Fly” were collaborative efforts shared between band members Andres Flores, Chris del Camino, and
Andrew McKee.

For all of Dreamer ’s straight-talking tales, there is an effortlessness that underlies the album. The lilting
ballad “Frida Kahlo,” for instance, came together like an act of fate. “I was singing, ‘Free to fly, free to
fall, free to nothing at all.’ And Chris said, ‘Free to fly, free to fall, Frida Kahlo!’ It was instant: That’s it!
There’s a big mural of Frida Kahlo on the corner where I used to live. I’d see her every day on my way
home.” Meanwhile, for “G’wan Boy,” a flirty ska dance track, “We practically puked that out,” she says,
laughing. “We didn’t redo anything. Even when we did the production, we didn’t even touch it. It was
that easy.”

“A lot of times it was like, ‘Let’s write something fast.’ ‘Let’s write something you can dance to.’ ‘This
theme, let’s go for this.’ Everything you hear is a slice of me and my multiple personalities,” she says.
“One day I wanna write a sad song. One day I wanna write a ska tune. We managed to really give reggae
some color.”

With Dreamer , Trish didn’t inch out of her comfort zone, she burst out of it. That leap of faith has had
an indelible impact on her. “There comes a point when you don’t really have anything left to lose,” she
adds. “It’s one thing my dad always told me: ‘You only get out of life what you put into it.’”