"I knew that life was the lesson I needed to learn..."

Harlea loves a good riff.

The North London 22-year-old recently exploded onto our radar with the blues-driven, raw ‘You Don’t Get It’. The powerful talent has been pricking up ears ever since with her thunderous brand of pop, tackling post break-up emotions in her sharp lyricism that has placed her firmly on our one to watch list.

We pinned the prodigious new talent down for a quick Q&A, to find out a little bit more about what the rock ’n’ roll newcomer has planned…

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You were born in Birmingham but moved to London when you were 16... that must have been intense. What spurred the move down south from Brum?
I didn’t really feel like I belonged behind a desk in a classroom for another two years. I was done. I knew I needed to get out there and spread my wings before even considering studying again. I knew that life was the lesson I needed to learn.

What was year zero musically for you? When was it you decided that music was what you wanted to do?
Music — and the interest of singing — came back into my life in 2009, but I knew in late 2010 that it was something I wanted to pursue.

There's strands of blues, rock, indie and pop running throughout your music. How would you go about categorising your influences?
It was very hard for me in the beginning, because people always wanted me to tell them what genre my sound is. I always found it very hard to describe in one. I like a whole range of music and that comes out in the songs. I get influenced by all of it.

Did you have a particular situation in mind when you wrote 'You Don't Get It'? Are any of your lyrics drawn from personal experience?
It certainly comes from some personal experience, but it isn’t solely about that. It mostly came from a power that I believe all women have, whether they know it or not. Hopefully this song will bring it out in them!

If you could give a piece of advice to someone planning on taking a plunge into the world of music, what would you say?
Take your time and do what is right for you. You will be given lots of advice about all sorts, but you don’t have to take it if you don’t believe in it.

What are some of the things you have planned for 2017?
I have some more shows lined up which is super exciting. I am also focusing on getting the rest of my material finished.

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