STORY / ANGIE PICCIRILLO
PHOTOGRAPHY / THRICE COOKED MEDIA
PHOTOGRAPHY / SHERVIN LAINEZ
MAKEUP & HAIR / LAURA MAKEUP
Seventeen year-old UK artist Harlee has been told since a very young age that she has an amazing voice. Once she hit eleven, she was covering songs and posting them to her YouTube channel, and by twelve she was gigging wherever she could including places like Manchester and Liverpool. By thirteen, she was writing her own songs — writing the vulnerable melodies that make listeners wonder how someone so young could truly be so deep, all while showcasing a voice full of both grit and grace.
Newly signed to Steve Madden’s 5Town Records, her music video for “Venom” premieres with dreamlike and fantasy visuals. Harlee tells us, “The video is really an artistic interpretation of the duplicitous nature of the relationship that the song is about. There are dreamy scenes & white wardrobe to represent a relationship that was seemingly friendly & good natured. [Then] there are darker scenes, wardrobe, and effects meant to represent the ominous parts of the relationship that were eventually revealed to me. These types of relationships can be confusing & deceiving – and we tried to convey that ambiguity.”
Pulling inspiration from other female icons like Amy Winehouse and Etta James, Harlee says she hopes to achieve the same level of soulful musical maturity as her idols. Her previous single, “Holding On,” gave off a sassy vibe, but with “Venom” she feels that it’s “more mature in its theme and production, and probably does a better job at showcasing my voice.” She adds, “It feels like a natural evolution for me — Venom comes from the heart.”
As for what’s coming next for Harlee, she’s finishing up her debut EP which will be released next month. She teases us, “I’m so excited to share it with the world as each song is different from one another, almost as if I’ve got multiple personalities from multiple experiences.” We can count on her sound evolving and her blended genres of pop, soul and dance continuing to grow, and we can’t wait.
“I think music is an escape, and it’s not always about making you happy when you’re sad, but helping you embrace the sad and learn to appreciate it. I hope my music is a refuge for people, whatever their mood may be,” Harlee says.
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