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Rule the world with Heather Rankin — here’s how

February 26, 2016
Local Xpress

Want to rule the world with Heather Rankin?

The singer, who sold more than one million albums with her siblings as part of beloved Cape Breton group The Rankin Family, is set to release her first solo album, A Fine Line, on April 1.

The debut single, a cover of Tears for Fears’ 1985 hit Everybody Wants to Rule the World featuring Halifax hip-hop artist Quake Matthews, is already available. The pair soon head into the studio to film the music video, and Rankin is asking people to become part of it.

“Make it short, make it fun, make it awesome,” she says in her online invitation to fans to submit seven to 10 second clips.

Clips are due on Feb. 29 and Rankin says the invitation is open to everyone.

“We thought it would be a fun way to involve listeners and fans. People on social media have access to technology to tape themselves,” the energetic singer explains in a wide-ranging phone interview

“It can be anything that expresses how that particular person takes their power back.

“I’d especially like to see more women my age taking part. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, for women of a certain age there’s a perception we don’t have value and it can be a challenge to prove otherwise.”

Rankin was a teenager when the Brit band released Everybody Wants To Rule The World, the tune that would become its biggest hit.

“I didn’t understand what it meant then. It had a strong lyric juxtaposed with a fun, upbeat melody.”

A Fine Line producer Frank Davies suggested she include a cover of an ’80s tune on her upcoming album and proposed Everybody Wants to Rule the World.

“I really heard it for the first time when Frank suggested it and it really resonated with me as an adult.

“But I come from a folk world and to be doing a pop song took courage to get on board; recording a song that was a worldwide hit put on the pressure.

“I thought: How can I interpret it and present it in a way that contemporizes it and lets me put my own spin on it? And so I thought ‘why not go all the way and have Quake Matthews rap on it?’ It elevates it to a whole new level and sets it apart.”

Rankin was introduced to Matthews while doing a songwriters circle with Bruce Guthro and his son Dylan.

“I came across a video Dylan did with Quake Matthews and I listened to more of his work and I was really impressed. His tunes have substance. It’s not just about bling and women. He raps about the human condition.”

Fans can listen to the Rankin-Matthews take on Everybody Wants To Rule The World on Spotify, Rankin’s website and her Facebook page.

And they can check out Rankin’s gymnastic abilities in her online submission instructions that also include advice to use good lighting and a simple background.

“We’ve suggested people do a cartwheel, jump on a trampoline, or a bed striking various poses, write words in a creative fashion . . . like peace, love, hope, power . . . create some sort of globe in a creative fashion,” she says. Another suggestion is to do a “singing selfie of the song’s chorus.”

Submissions can be uploaded here and will be added to the video in post-production.

Mabou native Rankin is a co-owner of The Red Shoe Pub in Mabou and also has a thriving acting career in stage and film. She earned a Merritt Award nomination for her turn as Bitsy in Daniel MacIvor’s play Bingo at Neptune Theatre and other stage credits include the Cape Breton Summertime Revue, Jesus Christ Superstar and Michael Melski’s Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad as well as film and television productions The Hanging Garden, Marion Bridge, and Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage.

Right now, the effervescent artist is busy working on A Fine Line in advance of the April 1 release on Maple Records.

She co-wrote seven of the 11 tracks with L.A. based David Tyson, who has worked with Amanda Marshall and Alannah Myles. Tyson, who co-wrote Myles’ hits Black Velvet and Love Is as well as Marshall’s Birmingham and Dark Horse, also wrote three tunes on his own for the album.

“The record runs the gamut from adult contemporary songs, to songs that I might do with the Rankin Family. It runs the spectrum from pop to world,” enthuses Rankin.

And while promoting the album’s release, she’ll host the East Coast Music Awards with Ashley MacIsaac in Sydney April 13-17.