Harlea came to the capital from Birmingham as a sixteen-year-old modelling to make ends meet. But that’s not what caught our eye… she’s a singer-songwriter that’s starting to turn heads with her sultry vocals and sassy rock tracks. Read our interview and watch her latest video below.
What are you working on right now?
Harlea: I am currently working on finishing my album. It is nearly complete, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist.
What people, places or things inspire you?
H: Everything inspires me. I am a very observant person and I pull inspiration from everything I see, how I feel, how my friends feel etc.
What is your ultimate ambition?
H: I don’t really have an ultimate ambition or a goal that I am reaching for other than getting my music out to as many people who love it. And if that leads to big things, well that's awesome!
What got you started?
H: I have always had a love of music, ever since I was little. I always sang and as I got older I stopped… But later on music found me through a work connection, and I have kept going ever since.
What has been the biggest lesson along the way?
H: That it is going to be tough, you will hit many bumps in the road and you are going to want to give up! But if you keep believing and keep moving, you will get to where you want to be.
Passion is a very powerful force.
Photo by Dani Riot
Who was your first crush?
H: Action Man... Ken didn’t do it for me.
Where and when do you feel most yourself?
H: There isn’t a time when I don’t feel myself.
When are you at your worst?
H: When I’m flying. I travel a fair bit, and I wish I could just relax and enjoy, but I get a lot of anxiety. I am a terrible flier!!
What injustice do you hate the most?
H: I don't have time for "hate" as this is at the heart of my answer. The injustice I dislike the most is the subjugation of others. Whether it's war, poverty, politics, racial issues, it seems to be human nature to impress one's beliefs on others and attempt to subjugate them.
Everyone is talking about female empowerment; what makes you feel empowered?
H: Choice. The ability to make my own choices without succumbing to any outside influence or pressure. To express what I want to express, how I want to express it and when I want to express it. This is the ultimate freedom and is empowering because it allows me to be who I choose to be.
What talent do you wish you had?
H: I wouldn’t call it a talent, but I have dyslexia which makes reading very tough. I wouldn’t change having dyslexia, but I would love to be able to sit down and read a novel cover to cover… I feel I have missed out on this entire other world.
How do you write your material?
H: Each song is different. I either have a strong idea of what I want to write about, or I just let a riff take me somewhere unexpected.
What is your dominant characteristic?
H: I’m quite stubborn. I know what I like and I know what I don’t and it is quite tough to persuade me to change my mind… But it has been done.
What do you appreciate most in your friends/coworkers?
H: Their loyalty. I travel so I don’t get to see a lot of them at times, but they don’t mind. If we need each other we know we are always there for one another. No matter where in the world we are.
What innovation/invention do you love most?
H: Streaming services, digital delivery of music. When I was younger I used to save my pocket money to buy a single CD. Now I have the entire world of music at an instant touch.
What is your idea of happiness?
H: Freedom to do what you want, when you want, with whom you want and, the opposite...
What is your present state of mind?
H: Very relaxed and excited about the year ahead. I’m not sure what exactly is in store but I’m ready either way.
What would you do if you were not doing this?
H: I likely would have gone and studied fashion. I’m not sure exactly what I would be doing, but something in that area that's creative!
W/ – harleamusic.com
Photography: Dani Riot