Charli XCX, Britney Spears & JoJo songwriter steps out into her own personal space on debut solo EP
Harlœ has already secured her name as a go-to writer of earworm pop hits for the likes of Charli XCX, JoJo and Britney Spears. Now the songwriter has taken a step forward, from working behind the scenes and providing other artists with the momentum to secure their places above the dance floor, to occupying her own place on the rostrum.
With the upcoming EP Liquid Truth, Harlœ positions herself as the composer of honest-to-goodness compositions that reflect more of her personal landscape with the directness of approach that only comes when a writer performs their own material. The songs are sweet, easy to access and yet challenge listeners to bring something of themselves to the proceedings.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Harlœ to discuss her new journey, the process behind the new EP, and just where she hopes to be a year from now…
Where are you right now?
I’m actually in the studio right now, taking a mini break from cutting vocals on a new track.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
My new project is called Liquid Truth, which is also one of the tracks on the EP. It’s my first solo project. I produced the majority of it myself, which was really exciting and really inspiring for me. Most of the songs have a bit of a darker, nostalgic tone and a bittersweet vibes. There are also a few that are upbeat and positive. Overall, I’m really excited for people to hear what I’ve been working on for the past year. Most of Liquid Truth was recorded in my bedroom. I think it’s kind of hilarious and amazing how you don’t need much to make a song anymore, you just need a mini mic and a laptop and you can make an EP.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
I have trouble putting it into words, but you listen and tell me how you would describe it. 😉
Other than you, what should your hometown be known for?
Queens is all about pizza.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you.
Right now, I’m in a really cool studio in the West Village in NYC working with an awesome producer who I’ve never worked with before. We’re making something really fresh and gritty and having a blast! It’s so great to be in my home city.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
It was Alicia Keys’ music video for “Fallin.” I saw that on VH1 and I remember being in awe of her playing the piano. She’s from New York and I was in New York, and I just related to her and I wanted to be exactly like her. She really played a huge role in my passion for being a singer.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Probably to make the music that you love making. In this industry, because it’s your living and it’s you’re everything, you have to take risks and pursue opportunities. If you remember to be authentic, it’ll all work out.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all-day drive from gig to gig?
What song best sums up your life right now?
“Friends” by Francis And The Lights ft. Bon Iver
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
I went to a speaking panel where my friend Jesse St. John was speaking, and I started talking to the people there. So many people said they loved my song, and it was crazy to know that people around me were actually listening to and digging the music.
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
I’d like to be performing this EP for as many people as I can and continuing to write for other artists while building amazing relationships. I want to continue making music because there are things happening every day that inspire me.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
Continuing to make the best music I can with other artists, getting this EP out there, and laying the foundation for the career that I want.