Harlow Harvey on Building a Brand in Today’s Music Industry
Q: Tell us the story behind what inspired you to write “Feeling Like Myself”.
I’ve always felt like a walking contradiction in all aspects of my life and music. I constantly feel like one person split into two. I have a light side and a dark side and my music is influenced by this. FLM was about embracing this, instead of fighting it, and accepting myself for all that I am. FLM is meant to inspire acceptance and inclusivity. I wanted to capture the joy you feel when you are free to express yourself with no inhibitions. This is your dance like no-one is watching soundtrack.
Q: Who are your biggest musical influences right now? Why?
A: Maya Jane Coles. I respect her so much as a producer. Like me, she gravitates towards different genres. I’m also a big fan of Claude VonStroke and the whole Dirty Bird crew. I love that quirky sound and so many of their tracks end up in my sets.
Q: What is your favorite production ‘hack’?
A: Right now I’m really into creating harmonies in Melodyne with just the main vocal stem. You can create some amazing harmonies in Melodyne without the singer having sung them, and it sounds legit. Melodyne is such a powerful tool for editing vocals and there are so many things you can do to come up with something interesting.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Harlow Harvey and how did you decide to create an artist persona?
A: I created her out of necessity so I could live in complete freedom of expression without limitations. She embodies all sides of me. I always felt trapped by the fact that I’m entirely two different people living in one body and that I like different genres of music. Harlow Harvey is one person split into two; two sides in complete juxtaposition. She is both male/female, light/dark, outgoing/introverted and her music reflects this.
Q: Describe the Harlow Harvey sound. Do you feel as though you have found a signature ‘style’ for her?
A: I created the Harlow Harvey persona so that I could embrace two different sounds. So each side of me does have a more signature sound but still doesn’t want to be defined. Feeling Like Myself is the first single off my debut EP titled Harlow. Harlow explores the lighter side of me through deep, and future house sounds that are definitely more commercially inclined because of the vocals. The Harvey side of me gravitates towards more underground sounds like tech house and techno. I’m constantly evolving as an artist so I think my sound will be forever changing.
Q: What do you think the biggest challenges and opportunities are for independent artists today?
A: The biggest challenge is getting your music heard. There is so much out there it’s really hard to break through the noise. This is why I think the SKIO platform is so great, it really helps artists connect with other artists and get more exposure.
Q: The winner of this remix contest will have the opportunity to do an original song with you. What skills or qualities do you normally look for in a potential collaborator?
A: Originality is key. Having your own sound that sets you apart from the crowd is very important. Someone who understands good melodies and phrasing. My strengths are definitely in the creative and the arrangement, I’m not as technically focused, so I’ve always gravitated towards working with people who have strong mixing and mastering skills.
Q: As a female artist coming up in the game what advice do you have for women about building a successful career in music?
A: Integrity is everything. Don’t take short cuts. Put in the work, learn as much as you can. It might take longer at first, but in the long run it’s worth it. You’ll have longevity and a proper career.
Thanks to Harlow Harvey for sharing her thoughts on building a brand in today’s music industry.
Check out our best remix contests ever with Lauv, Ryder, Desirée Dawson and ill.Gates, enter, and submit your work for the chance to win some amazing prizes!
Dan is a lifelong musician and multi-instrumentalist who is a member of the artist relations and A&R teams at SKIO. He enjoys working with artists and labels to help them find new opportunities on SKIO.