FEATURE INTERVIEW & VIDEO PREMIERE
Introducing new local L.A.-native pop artist to watch Emily Mest a.k.a. HARLIE who today is premiering the video to her stellar debut single "Atmosphere". I stumbled across this song a couple of months ago and instantly liked it. The track is a seamless mixture of pop/hip-hop/indie music with electronic elements and beats that hit you right where they should accompanied by Harlie's sultry yet airy vocals that you can't help but want to listen to more then once. I feel honored to be able to premiere her video as well as thankful for having had the chance to interview the songstress which you can read and learn more about her below:
MHB: How old are you & where are you from; can you touch a little on the music scene there and what you like about it?
HARLIE: I’m 24 and I was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania but I live in Los Angeles now. Bethlehem is very artistic for a small town and has plenty of musical theatre, live music, and even a huge music festival every summer. I feel lucky to have grown up somewhere that was so musical.
MHB: How long has music been a part of your life and how did it come to be a part of it?
HARLIE: Music has always been a part of my life. Both of my parents are huge music fans and were always playing music around the house, everything from The Eagles and Stevie Ray Vaughn to Ella Fitzgerald and Nirvana. I started singing and doing theatre at the age of five and haven’t stopped since then.
MHB: Do you play any instruments? If so, which and for how long?
HARLIE: I play guitar and a little bit of piano. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 16 but really want to learn piano too. I have 5 guitars and I’m sure my neighbors are so sick of me playing my electric since it’s so loud!
MHB: When was it that you realized your voice could be used as a special instrument and that making music was what you wanted to do?
HARLIE: I always wanted to sing but I don’t think I knew it was a real possibility as a career until I was 18 and had moved to LA. That’s when I figured out my sound and how I wanted to express myself musically.
MHB: Who were some of your biggest musical influences growing up and who are some current artists who are influencing you and your music?
HARLIE: Growing up I loved Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge. I was always really into strong female vocalists with interesting voices who were also writers. They were the inspirations behind me beginning to songwrite. Currently, I’m listening to storytelling artists like Ed Sheeran, Bryson Tiller, Tove Lo, Jon Bellion, Kehlani, and The 1975. I’m really attracted to genre bending artists and people who write about love, sex, and loss openly and honestly.
MHB: Without using any musical terms, how would you describe your sound to a new listener?
HARLIE: Empowered, feminine, honest, emotional, and moody.
MHB: Can you tell me a little bit about your creative process? It is typically the same or does it differ?
HARLIE: It’s different every time I write a new song! Sometimes it starts with a melody or a poem or a concept. I really love to go into a session with at the very least a lyric or melody idea to go off of, whether it’s something that’s been on my mind or a melody that’s been stuck in my head.
MHB: If you had the opportunity to collab with any artist of your choosing, who would you choose?
HARLIE: Ah, it’s so hard to choose just one! I’d love to work with The Weeknd because he is a genius and I would just be honored to sing with him. And I’d love to work with Pharrell because his production ideas are so out of the box and different and I feel like he would be an amazing person to learn from.
MHB: Let’s talk about your single 'Atmosphere'... How did it come together and what was the inspiration behind it?
HARLIE: ‘Atmosphere’ began as a concept that the producer/co-writer Dayyon Alexander and I came up with about feeling an insane connection to someone who might be bad for you, but instead of running away you let go of your fear and go for it anyway.
MHB: What projects are you currently working on and is there an album in the works? What can we expect to see from you in the coming months?
HARLIE: You can expect a new single and music video in February and an EP in the spring of next year! I’ll also definitely be playing some shows in the LA area!
MHB: Can you tell me one random fact about yourself?
HARLIE: You’re gonna think I’m a total weirdo...but I hate dessert. Chocolate, cookies, brownies, pie, etc. Not a fan for some reason! I prefer pasta and pizza for sure.
MHB: What does music mean to you?
HARLIE: Music means everything to me. If I go a day without listening to music or singing I feel like something is wrong! For me it’s a way to express myself and connect to others emotionally that you just can’t do the same way in any other medium.
MHB: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself and/or your music?
HARLIE: Yeah! I just released the music video for ‘Atmosphere’ and you can check it out here!