For Patricia Manfield, music runs in her blood. Born in Russia and raised in Italy, Manfield grew up in a musical family and followed her classically trained parents around the world as they played everything from piano to flute to mandolin in various orchestras. From a young age she lived a nomadic life, which meant she didn't have the chance to make many friends. Instead, she took refuge in growing her collection of CDs, listening to anything she could get her hands on: punk, indie, heavy metal, R&B, pop and beyond. Manfield built a vast library of references that would prove to be massively influential later on.
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But music wasn't Manfield's initial plan. At university, she studied fashion and business before being fatefully scouted as a model while attending a friend's show. She soon appeared in major national campaigns for brands like Adidas, Dior, Fendi and Versace, leading a double life where she would appear on the red carpet at Cannes one day and in a lecture hall the next. Along the way, she started to amass a huge following (her Instagram currently boasts more than 400 thousand followers), all of them admirers of her Eastern European street style. It wasn't until Harper's Bazaar picked up on a few covers and homemade mashups Manfield had quietly been uploading to YouTube that things came full circle.
As a nod to her musical pedigree, Manfield began making songs under the moniker HĒIR. Today marks the arrival of her highly anticipated debut EP, Daddy Issues, an eight-track collection of musings on identity and relationships. With a sound that feels like '90s-era Moby with a touch of Lorde, Daddy Issues strikes a balance between seductive and sentimental. On it, Manfield adds in sweeping, grandiose sounds that clearly come from her classical upbringing.
"My dad and my mom split when I was a kid," Manfield says of the EP's inspiration. "I was moved around many countries because of their split and never really knew where I belonged. I guess I just kind of grew up with a crazy desire of wanting to be independent, especially from a male figure. I always wanted to wear the pants and make the decisions. I think part of my ambition comes from a sense of emptiness and lack of satisfaction in a father figure."
However, Manfield doesn't necessarily see having daddy issues as only a bad thing. "I also wanted Daddy Issues to be an awareness — something positive that makes you more of a woman, instead of the great cliché of being needy," she says. There is a certain empowerment in owning your daddy issues. "[It's like] yeah I got 'em and I'm] fine with it," she says. "But I've got the right to say it, you don't!"
Listen to Daddy Issues, below, and follow HĒIR on Instagram (if you weren't already).
Photography: Matt Joy