Harry kindly took some time out after releasing his new single ‘Scars‘ to answer some of Heather McMillan’s questions. ‘Scars‘ is available to stream everywhere now!
Q: Firstly congratulations on the release of your new single Scars can we expect a music video release for it?
A:Yes a music video is coming April 4th! Directed by Yonoko and her team!
Q: As a musician do you ever find it difficult translating a sound to a visual especially when it comes to music videos or photo-shoots?
A: Yeah it’s definitely a challenge, but such a fun process bouncing ideas around with the director/photographer ’till you find the magic idea! For ‘Scars’ it involved a couple of meet ups and brainstorms over coffee throwing all sorts of crazy ideas at the page haha!
Q: The lyrics to Scars have a really relatable theme to them when it comes to relationships and making them work. Do you find it hard writing about personal experiences or is more therapeutic and healing for you?
A: I think I’m at point in my writing where it makes the most sense to write from the heart and about what I know,. I’ve started treating all my writing as a sort of therapy session to get all the worries, stories, moments out of my head, and sometimes the process produces a song that I’m happy with. Scars was one of these, about a period of my life that had been a bit rough. The song is a reflection on that and how we can work to make things better.
Q: What music has been significant to your life in the past and present and how do you hope your music shapes the New Zealand alternative pop scene?
A: For me, I’ve always loved a good story and strong, interesting melodies. I grew up inspired by artists like Ben Howard, Matt Corby, John Mayer, Bob Dylan and Kurt Vile to name a few. I loved the way all these artist could spin a story and make me anticipate every line and evoke beautiful imagery. Today I listen to just about anything, but lately it’s been a lot of Japanese House, Lauv, Tame Impala and Joji etc. I hope that my music brings people something different, something that paints a picture of whatever I’m internalising. I just want to connect with my listeners and tap into a joint sharing of feelings and ideas.
Q: You wrote on your website biography that you have gone through metal, rock and folk genres in the past before now being clear on creating an alternative pop sound. Why do you think that genre works for you and your art?
A: This is very true, at a young age I went through a heavy rock/metal phase and played in a few bands writing and performing. I think ending up where I am today was inevitable, I love strong hooky melodies but have the freedom to subvert expectations and do interesting things with the pop genre. That’s why I think ‘alt’ pop is a good fit for me.
Q: What kind of outlook would you like the world to perceive pop as?
A: Pop is great, it’s such a challenge to write concisely and get your point across, and on top of that find the perfect sing along melody. I think people often say they hate pop because it’s too mainstream etc but for me, a pop song is anything that many people love and has a chorus that sticks in your head. The genre can suit any style, country, rock, RnB, hip hop even classical, it’s everywhere and everyone has pop songs that they love.
Q: How important do you think it is to have raw and honest lyrics in your music?
A: Honesty is key! If the lyrics don’t come from the heart or a story that we know well, it just wont connect or feel right. I’m still learning the art of this, writing most days to improve. I think as long as you focus on letting it out, whatever that may be, something great will fall onto the page eventually.
Q: Your music video for FRIENDS had a really vintage feel to it is that the type of artistic vibe that translates best with your lyrics and why?
A: I loved making that video with the talented Aidan Rodgers! We just felt that it would suit the quirky, bouncy vibe of the track. I’m still experimenting with style and image but for me I think each project has it’s own flavour and I just try to emulate that visually with each release. When I release a body of work it will definitely have a coherent visual and sound.
Q: How excited are you to release a body of work in the future in the shape of an album and what kind of processes have you gone through to get to that stage?
A: I have quite a lot of songs written and a few demos already, but my goal for this year is to write one song a week. I’m aiming to have 50 songs by the end of the year, I’m currently on 5 haha. The idea is to have heaps of music to then select my favourites and turn them into an album for 2020.
Q: We wish you all the best for future releases and performances what can your audience get hyped about for you in 2019?
A: Thank you! I have a show coming up in May at Galatos, and another single coming mid May. There are a few more exciting things on the horizon so just keep an eye out!