Rocky Horror Show


14 October 13 words: Paul Klotschkow
"I’m most interested to know what Notts thinks because they’ve seen it grow and have been there right from the beginning"

When LeftLion last spoke to you at the tail end of 2011 you were busy recording your album – why has it taken almost two years to be released?

Well it’s a long process to be honest and we were just at the early demo stages back then. We had to make sure it was right. It’s so important that you come out with the sound that represents you.
 The songs were all re-recorded, all the samples etc...and we then had to pick the tracks that we felt were the strongest and meant the most to us.
I think once your debut is out, it’s out, so it’s important you are happy with it before you make it available for everyone.
 It’s weird, Nottingham has known about the graft, gigs and my journey for a long time but the rest of the world hasn’t. I’m most interested to know what Notts thinks because they’ve seen it grow and have been there right from the beginning, and you’ve waited for this album the longest which I’m very grateful for. I hope it’s been worth the wait

Did you record it here in Nottingham?
Yeah, we recorded in Joe Buhdha's studio in Hockley, First Love Studio’s and Confetti. My band play on the album and top quality session players, then just me on vocals. We brought in people who could really add something to the record. Joe was very particular with the musicians he used as he’s all about the music, which is great.

You did some initial recording with The Elementz before settling on Joe Buhdha to produce your album – why the change in producers and was the sort of music you were making with The Elementz similar to your stuff now?

The Elementz are really cool guys and I like their style. I think like everything musically though, you evolve and change and start to really know what your sound is. I think that when I met Joe it was the start of me knowing what style of records I wanted to make. When I heard his stuff It was a breath of fresh air. I’d waited a long time to click with a producer on that sort of level and I loved everything we made together which I had never really happened before then.

What does someone like Joe Buhdha bring to your music?
He brings grit - that dirty, badass, hip hop sound that other producers are too shy to go hard on. He’s bold and that’s exactly the sort of record I want to make.

When did you find out that Tru Thoughts were interested in signing you and did you have interest from any other labels?
We had a lot of interest from a lot of labels, but it was all about picking the right one. Making sure whatever label we chose had the right vision and knew where we wanted to take it. I want to stay credible and the music always comes first, it’s not about that one hit wonder that buys you a fat car, it’s about being an artist and with a label like Tru Thoughts they will allow me to grow and develop, You know?

What do you think the label saw in you?

You will have to ask them. But hopefully something fresh and something worth investing in.

Why should we buy your album?
Because you like it! Haha...and maybe that you wanna support local talent, which I think is important.

You studied Music Performance at University – how did this help you as a musician?
I’m still there, I’ve got third year to get through yet! Although I’m not sure how at the pace it's all going. It’s helped me keep focused above everything else, weirdly enough. It’s hectic juggling it all but I kinda thrive off the business. 

I’ve read a lot about your music influences, but I was wondering if you had any non-musical influences?

My mum, she’s an amazingly strong woman and she inspires me a lot.

What is going through your head when you are performing on stage?
I just get lost in the music mainly. I just love the energy on stage. I just zoom into the vocals and the band and coast off, it’s therapeutic for me. All my troubles go away when I’m on that stage. It’s like a drug.

Has the album you made when you were 12 ever seen the light of day? it has not and I’m keeping it that way. Like most “works in progress” it’s nice to look back on but you’re at a very different place now. I still find it hard to believe I pursued this thing that young though, I knew even then what I wanted to do which is cool.

What music coming out of the city would you recommend to us?
There’s loads going on - ust loads. But I’ve got a particular soft spot for the soul scene in Nottingham: Liam Bailey, Ady Suleiman, Natalie Duncan;  and other acts like Georgie Rose, Ronika, Juganaut, Corsair...take your pick!

What do you get up to in Nottingham when you are not making music?

Uni work and going to gigs. I love watching other musicians, it inspires me.

So what’s next after the album launch at Nottingham Contemporary?

Can’t wait for the London launch on Thursday and then Friday for the Nottingham launch. There’s so much in the pipe-line, features, touring, merch, you name it. I’m so excited right now, there’s such a build up to your album but the next stage is mental!

What is your biggest vice?

A cuppa tea. I’m an addict! A kettle, PG tips and fresh milk is on my rider. It calms me down before a gig and chills me out after a gig. I’m such a granny!

When did you last cry?

Probably last week at something on Hollyoaks, knowing me.

Can you tell me a secret?

I cuss X-Factor but secretly still watch it. Every week...and enjoy it.

Any final words for the LeftLion readers?

ALWAYS grab a LeftLion!

Harlieghblu's debut album Forget Me Not is released on Monday 14 October 2013. We urge you to buy it.

Her album launch party is at Nottingham Contemporary on Friday 18 October 2013. Harleighblu will be performing live with support from Ady Suleiman. Click here for tickets and further information.

Harleighblu website

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