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Breaking into the country scene

Comfrey woman is starting to make a name for herself in Nashville

July 28, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

Up-and-coming country singer Angela Hesse was riding in the combine with her father near Tyler when she told him she was heading to Nashville.

"It was a little bit of a shock," Hesse said.

The Comfrey native has been traveling around Minnesota in the last couple of weeks, hitting up the radio stations and promoting her new CD "Bittersweet."

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Comfrey native Angela Hesse recently released her first album “Bittersweet.”

She'll also be singing today during the parade for Tyler's 125th anniversary and performing the national anthem at the races Sunday in Redwood Falls. Hesse said she has ties to Tyler as her brother and uncle live there.

Hesse said music has always been a part of her life.

"I always did music when I was young," Hesse said. "I would sing stuff for school, choirs and band and solos."

She wrote some of her own songs as well.

"You're really putting yourself out there when you're doing your own songs," Hesse said.

She was still in high school when she sang at a contest, Fashion Rock, in Florida. Producers from HMG, a company that does radio promotion and is based in Nashville, took notice of Hesse. Hesse said HMG contacted her when she was 16.

"But my dad said 'no,'" Hesse said.

She said her father wanted her to finish high school and go onto college. Hesse went to Bemidji State University and got her degree in music education.

Hesse started getting her music out there by posting on YouTube and other Internet sites. One of HMG's workers found her that way, she said.

And this past January, she made the decision to move to Nashville. Hesse said she's the first in her family to move more than an hour away from home.

"I wake up every morning with butterflies...This is something I wanted to do since I was five," Hesse said.

Hesse had done research on how to market herself and her music, how to get her songs heard. She had set up her own fan page online.

As for her songwriting, Hesse said she touches on heavy topics, such as suicide, to humorous with "Like Pop Rocks." Proceeds from her song "He Smiles" is going toward the American Cancer Society. Hesse said her mother and grandmother both faced breast cancer, and she wanted to raise money for research and awareness.

"I've got to have balance between the serious and the goofy side of me," Hesse said.

Since the release of her first album on July 17, Hesse said this is the first time she's been back in Minnesota since she moved.

She said she's met so many opportunities to meet people in the music industry. She also has a link on her website ( called "Angie's Antics," where she's giving away free music and downloads and doing updates.

"I'm trying to build a relationship between my fans and myself," she said.

Down the road, Hesse said she wants to start touring and possibly be picked up by a record label or start her own.

Or, she added, perhaps a bigtime country artist, like Miranda Lambert, would want to record one of her songs.

"I'd be thrilled," Hesse said.

When she returns to Nashville in the next week, she plans on meeting with a booking agent. Hesse said she wants to start performing at colleges and county fairs, basically to "give back to Minnesota."



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