Abandoning ship at the age of 16, Harlea set out on her own to realise her vision and singular drive to make music. Growing up in the heart of England, she was well aware of her musical forbears. But she also knew that she was going to
have to go out and sing her own song (dad playing Barry White at 6am on a Sunday morning can only teach you so much).
She lived alone in London for a year, earning a living while learning the industry ropes: how to survive in the city, how to stop the leeches leeching, how to not follow easy paths nor fall into obvious traps.
Eventually, she tracked down kindred spirits: musical compadres who could hear what she could hear in her head. She’s
the first to admit it wasn’t all plain sailing. “I did consider giving up,” she states with point-blank candour. “It’s very unfulfilling when you have a vision and you can’t find that vision. But I knew my voice and my sound were there. I just had to reach them.”
Harlea and her new found band then put in the hours, weeks, months. They were in no rush. When you’ve been dreaming of music your whole life, the only thing you need to beat, is not the clock, but your own expectations.
Equally, when it came to letting the world hear her music, Harlea wasn’t going to go the (obvious, predictable, perilous) usual route.
“I didn’t want to start with someone else calling the shots. I wanted to release the music independently at first so that I was in full control.” Overexposure, she thinks, is a curse of the age. But not revealing everything, “that’s such an art nowadays. And I don’t think record companies know how to do that.”
There is only the careful and judicious release of music, when it’s ready and when Harlea is ready. The release of ‘You Don’t Get It’ today, a timeless, assured, sassy rock track that showcases Harlea’s sultry vocals as well as her songwriting
ability, comes just ahead of her debut live show. Harlea was asked to perform at The Line Of Best Fit’s Five Day Forecast, which takes place at the Lexington on Friday 13th January and sold out within a week. With blues inspired riffs and female- lead, incessantly catchy pop melodies, Harlea’s thinking of 2017, and she’s also thinking of 2018. She’s in it for the long- haul, not the quick fix.