Why You Need To Know About Harve in 2020
Hailing from South East London, a powerful new voice in the queer community Harve shares their latest single Blue For You and announces the release of their forthcoming debut EP Held By The Moon out 21st May. Shortly following the release of Streetlight, their twinkling and meditative collaboration with fellow Londoner Fredwave, this latest offering was written from a single memory and continues their reflection on a past love - recognising the darker moments where they let their happiness go and let a sadder person in to meet someone else’s needs.
Harve has an emotional, soothing sound with fragments of R&B. Growing up in the LGBTQ community, they express the hardship of love through their music. At a young age something truly unimaginable happened in Harve’s life, and through this, they began to find their voice as a songwriter and become a truly inspiring artist.
We spoke about Harve’s upcoming EP and how isolation is affecting music releases.
Your new single Blue for You has dropped. Have you felt a difference dropping a single during isolation rather than in “regular” life?
Yeah, I’ve definitely noticed a big difference. It feels like most people have been online a lot more, so it’s been really nice to have people reach out to me, more so than usual.
From fellow artists as well, there is a sense of comradery when we continue to release music during this time; it feels like a really small, but important thing we can gift people with.
Can you tell us the story behind the single?
It kind of captures a specific moment for me; I’d just begun realising that the relationship I was in was coming to an end. At the time it felt like it came out of nowhere but in hindsight it was a long time coming. I realised I’d been changing myself to fit the needs of someone else.
There was this balance of sadness, knowing something was ending, but also relief. I felt like I was giving myself a second chance at being me.
Do you think isolation is affecting your songwriting?
In the first few weeks I really wasn’t feeling creative at all, but as I’ve sunk into it, I’ve found it to be a really introspective time. I’m finding it easier to revisit different times in my life and really get into that headspace to write about them.
I think usually I find it nearly impossible to draw my mind away from the distractions of the present. Now I’m pretty much just waking up, going for a run, and then at my desk making music.
What’s the first thing you’re going to do once isolation is over?
I’m honestly just looking forward to being back with my closest friends. I’m just missing listening to music and smoking with them. I’m quite a hermit but lockdown really has reminded me of the pleasure of being in the company of people you really care about.
How did you get into songwriting?
My mum passed away when I was a kid, so I’d been jamming her guitar case between my bed and the bedroom door to keep everyone out. I was having a pretty rough time. It was my early teens and I couldn’t make sense of much.
One time, I just opened it up, I think to feel closer to her, and I just made this commitment to trying to learn how to play. One thing led to another and I started singing and writing and I just had this sense that I had found my way to communicate, and that has never left me.
Your EP is coming out on 21st May. Is there a theme behind this project?
It’s about falling in and out of love really, but also how being queer intersects that. We’ve not grown up in a society that loves us, so we tend to have a very different experience.
There are moments in the EP where I’ve explored how my gender identity has affected me, but also just moments about unrequited love, which is something we can all relate to.
Tell me the most important piece of advice anyone’s given you.
I’ll never forget my mum saying, “don’t spend your life watching the clock”.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Now this one is hard, but in all honesty, I think I’d just be living a very tame life. I love the outdoors, and I love cooking, so probably just living a very wholesome existence up a mountain, preferably with a pet goat.
Describe your music’s sound in three words
Moonlit bedroom thoughts.
Lastly, tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I played Long John Silver in a school play once; I think I just mainly enjoyed having a drawn-on beard.
Photographer Tami Aftab
Interview by Dylan Weller
EP Held By The Moon available from 21st May