Visitor Pass: Life of a Radio Contest Winner

By Sierra Heuermann, iHeartRadio contest winner

I’m just a girl from a small town in Arizona called Sedona who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. I came to LA not knowing anyone and started my journey to do what I love, forming my band, Sierra and The Radicals.

A few months ago, I heard about this contest on the radio: submit a video of yourself performing a Muse cover for a chance to sing with Muse.  Now, I’ve been listening to Muse for years. I saw them live when I was 16 and danced to one of their songs for my senior piece in high school. Since then my band has covered “Our Time Is Running Out” on and off for about a year. I am a big fan and have been heavily inspired by them for a long time. So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to enter the contest. I called up my guitar player Alex Bowers and asked if he would be willing to play and sing harmonies and make an entry video with me. A few days later we set up the equipment and made our 30-second video in about an hour. I posted the video hoping for the best, but not at all expecting to win.

Then one day, a good while later, I got a message on Instagram saying I qualified for the contest! I thought: all right, I qualified! I still didn’t think I had won; I just thought I was one of the top few chosen. I didn’t get excited until I got another message saying that I needed to send them my information so the trip could be booked! Then, I started freaking out. I was in shock and couldn’t believe it.

Filled with joy, I called up my family and best friends and said, “I’m going to Washington D.C. to sing with Muse!” Not many people even knew I had entered the contest, so they were all surprised to hear the news.  I practiced constantly, learning all the harmonies while imagining singing with Matt and getting to be on stage with Chris and Dominic. Once I got the plane tickets I was like, “Wow, this is really happening!”

Even once I got to the Verizon Center, I still had a hard time believing it was real. Then, right before I was scheduled to go on, I was told that I would be singing alone, without Matt, and that the key was going to be lower than the recording, meaning I wouldn’t be able to use anything I had practiced. I started to freak out a little, but once I walked onto that stage, I felt like it was the place I belonged. I’d been dreaming about being on a stage like that my entire life — it felt like home.

All of a sudden, I wasn’t nervous —  just extremely grateful and happy. When Muse came on stage and started playing, it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

It was so amazing to sing with my heroes while getting to use their incredible equipment. I loved seeing how everything worked backstage. The band, and everyone who worked with them, was so kind, down to earth, and welcoming. The entire experience was eye opening, heart- and soul-opening and completely inspiring.

You can check out Sierra’s social media and music on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and keep an eye out for her upcoming EP Somewhere Between Here And There — coming soon to iTunes (and any other music download platform you can think of!)​​​​