Celebrity Editor Angela Sara West @angela_sara_west chats with sensational US singer/songwriter Harper Starling about Lady Gaga inspo, her new empowering self-love single, spending Valentine’s Day with her two favourite people, overcoming Tourette’s, and her forthcoming UK tours, taking in the Leestock Festival and supporting A1 and The Wanted!
Harper’s honest, refreshing approach to music and videos has harvested her a host of celebrity fans, including ‘Goodfellas’ actor Johnny Roastbeef and TikTok stars Hootie Hurley, Jack Bloome, Gabby Marie and Brittany Galvin, who all appeared in the video for ‘Cannot Tell a Lie’. She also caught the eye of The Wanted, who are taking Harper on tour with them for their 2022 UK arena tour beginning in March.
Following on from her successful 2021 singles ‘No More What If’ and ‘Cannot Tell a Lie’, songstress Harper is set to release her upbeat empowering track ‘Say My Name (Why Don’t Ya Babe)’, co-written by herself and Cindy in collaboration with composer/producer/musician Joe Cruz, just after Valentine’s Day.
Hey Harper, congratulations – you’ve just announced that you’re going on the tour with The Wanted!!
Thank you! Yes, I’m super excited to be coming to the UK for the first time to perform in huge arenas and share my music all over the country. I will be opening for The Wanted with Hrvy and Rozell on The Wanted’s Greatest Hits Tour… 14 days, 12 arenas! I am BEYOND grateful and blessed to be performing with these pop giants – dreams do come true!
So, when did you first become passionate about singing and dancing?
It started when I was three, listening to those Disney sing-along videos, but I got REALLY passionate after watching a Lady Gaga show in my hometown.
We can’t wait to see you on stage here! I gather you get involved in putting the choreography together?
Yes, I do, to an extent… There are inspirations and key concepts that are given in advance, but I love to see what the choreographer comes up with first. As I’m learning the moves, I sometimes come up with suggestions. It’s a collaborative effort.
How do you keep your voice in check?
There are great vocal exercises by Seth Riggs and Stevie Mackey online that I follow to keep up my vocal strength. I also love tea with manuka honey. It’s like a salve for your throat…
Determined to make a career in music, you didn’t let a diagnosis of Tourette’s Syndrome at eight years-old deter you, and magically, the Tourette’s symptoms disappear when step on stage… What would be your advice to other people with the syndrome?
Embrace it, because it makes you unique, and use it as strength to achieve your dreams and goals!
What’s your upcoming single ‘Say My Name (Why Don’t Ya Babe)’ about?
It’s about calling out a toxic relationship (be it romantic or a friendship) and realising that all you need is to love yourself.
Was it inspired by a real-life event?
Although this was a collaboration, yes, it absolutely was! There were two people I had in mind during this song (an ex-boyfriend and an ex-friend). Both were toxic relationships that I had to let go of and I feel as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders…
What helps you the most when you’re having a tough day?
I love listening to podcasts about mindset and productivity. I’ve also noticed that a great kickboxing class helps relieve pent-up stress. Also, my best friend has two fur babies, Merlin and Luna, who are the sweetest cats and can instantly make everything better, too!
Any Valentine’s Day plans?
I’ll be spending it with my two favourite people – Ben & Jerry (aka The Ice Cream Parlour in Los Angeles)! If I’m lucky, I’ll also see my best friend’s two little fur babies, who always give me unconditional love… Oh, and packing for my trip to the UK for the first time the following day!
So, you’re going on tour here with The Wanted and A1 this year, and you’ve also announced a big UK festival appearance, where other amazing acts, including Ash, Scouting For Girls, Toploader, The Stereo MC’s, Matt Cardle Electric Six, Kris James The Foundations, will be playing…
That’s right! And as well as opening for The Wanted tour in March, I have several upcoming tour dates, including performing at the famous LeeStock Music Festival and The Bedford (both in June), followed by another support tour with A1 in September.
Finally, what else are you looking forward to doing in the UK – any particular places on your bucket list?
So many things! It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit since I was seven years-old… I’d love to visit Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, the West End Theatre District, and the London Eye. There are so many more that I could list!
See you soon, UK!!
Harper’s new single, ‘Say My Name (Why Don’t Ya Babe)’, is out on 18th February.
Written By: © Angela Sara West 2021| @angela_sara_west