INTERVIEW WITH POP SINGER-SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER HARLOE
Harloe is the artistic alias of singer, songwriter, and producer, Jessica Ashley Karpov. The artist has made a name for herself in the industry. Gaining multiple writing and producing credits from major artists like Britney Spears, JoJo, Charli XCX and Kelly Clarkson. Kelly with whom Harloe scored a Grammy nomination.
On March 13th Harloe released her second EP, ‘Rivers Run Dry‘. The follow up to 2017’s singles ‘All In My Feelings‘ and ‘More Than Ever‘. The emotional five track EP is beautifully anchored by the poignant title track, ‘Rivers Run Dry’. I chatted with Harloe about that track, the rest of her EP, and being singer-songwriter/producer. You can check out our interview below!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your current single ‘Crush On You’ and the inspiration behind it?
HARLOE: The inspiration behind crush on you really came from what I was going through at the time. Which was learning how to… learning how to let go of somebody. But then you also have that part of you that you don’t really want to let go. It was a nostalgic song that really tells a story about remembering someone and hoping that they remember you too.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Yeah, I feel the nostalgia in it. That really came across. How was the creative and writing process like for your upcoming release ‘Rivers Run Dry’ EP?
HARLOE: The creative process really came, really naturally. I wrote this EP in London, and it all happened in one week so there wasn’t a lot of time to overthink it. Or second guess a lot of things which I usually do. I really let it flow for this EP. And I think with that came, you know, there’s the fear in, putting it out there and having it be so raw. But also, I think that that’s what made this EP a special moment for me to finally get to release something that’s pretty raw and honest.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Was writing something that fast normal for you or was this unusual?
HARLOE: Oh yes. So it was a different process for me. I’ve never really started a project from beginning to end. And see a common thread throughout every song. A lot of my experience in the studio has been writing with other artists, you know, and jumping session to session and while they’re using a map, because it’s so spontaneous, this project really had its own identity because it was so fluid and such a short amount of time.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: The fact that you mentioned that you are producer and you work with other songwriters before goes into my next question. From a producer’s standpoint, How do you think that helps you as a songwriter and musician, particularly on your own work?
HARLOE: Yeah, that’s a good question. Writing for other artists and producing for artists it helped me find my own personal identity, because it led me to finding different sounds, and finding different words, and maybe a different angle that I wouldn’t have found otherwise, that those artists put themselves into that I said you know I feel that too, but in my own way. So I’ve, I’ve really shaped and molded the harbor sound based based on my experiences in life, but also in the studio, and outside so it’s really a fusion of things, so it’s definitely shaped it a lot.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I think you kind of answered my next question, but I’ll still ask it. How do you think you have evolved as an producer, artist and songwriter over the years?
HARLOE: I think I’ve definitely changed and sometimes I listen back to some of the songs that I’ve written in the past I would keep certain things the same, but there’s a lot of things that I might do differently based on how you know, how my life experiences have gone and what I feel, and what I’m into, what sounds I like, what sounds I kind of realized, maybe they don’t touch me in the same way anymore because experiences shape us all. So I definitely have changed for sure. But some things stay the same for sure.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I loved both your music videos that you’ve released so far ‘Rivers Run Dry’ and ‘Crush On You’. How did you come up with concept for each?
HARLOE: For both songs I wanted to do visuals that really told the story, but in a kind of fresh, different way and somehow unexpected too. “Rivers Run Dry” came really naturally. The day after I wrote the song, I was in London and I was at a big park. I was really in my feelings and really introspective at the time. I looked around and next to me there was a woman breastfeeding her baby and on the other side of me was an elderly couple sharing a sandwich andthen there was a guy smoking a cigarette with a guitar on his back. There was so much around me, and yet, so much stillness too. I really wanted to capture that in the video to remind people that no matter what you’re going through, if you turn a corner or look the other way you’re going to see something beautiful and to have a little bit of hope.
For “Crush on You,” I worked with a creative director and producer named Tyler Cunningham. He and I just have fun and joke and laugh and come up with ideas. One day we said that we need to do choreography for it because the song has a bop to it and I’ve been wanting to do choreography for a while. That really came naturally, and the choreographer, Cameron, and the dancer, Owen, just killed it.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What has been one of your favorite things about being a songwriter?
HARLOE: One of my favorite things has been being able to get myself out of my own feelings sometimes. That has been so rewarding, and the more that I’ve done it, the more that I’ve been able to practice trying to tap in deeper and deeper so that those emotions don’t get so bottled up. I’m always trying to learn about how I can get more in touch with myself because I think that helps me process the world better and that’s been really awesome. And also sharing. Sharing the music and seeing people say that they went through something really hard, but it was a little easier because of the songs, that has been so special.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You’re a fierce female in the industry who are some other fierce females that you find awe-inspiring in music from past or present?
HARLOE: There are so many, too many to count, but Whitney Houston was my favorite singer of all time, just for so many reasons. I love Adele, I find her hilarious and inspiring, I find her so gut-wrenchingly honest. Oh my gosh, there are just so many. Beyonce! I find her work ethic, we all know, it’s like no other. And Tina Turner went through a crazy, crazy journey and still is so fucking fierce. I’ll name those for now!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Is there a lyric you’ve written that you feel most emotionally connected to in life at the present moment?
HARLOE: I just posted about this, actually, on my Instagram that “love’s never done” in “Crush on You,” right now, in this exact moment, with everything that we’re going through, That wasn’t really a throw-away line, but it wasn’t really a line that I was like, “oh my god, this is my favorite thing I’ve written,” but, honestly, love’s never done. Looking around, seeing all of the love that’s being spread in this hard time – whether it’s people on the front lines, the amazing doctors and nurses, or just people donating to different organizations, or people sharing funny videos, crazy videos, laughing – THAT is love.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Switching gears a bit… here’s a fun question, if you had your own talk show who would your first three guests be and why?
HARLOE: If I had my own talk show I would just want funny people, I really want people who make people laugh. Kristen Wiig would be there, Dave Chappelle, and I feel like me and Kelly Clarkson could really have fun. I love her so much. She has a talk show, so she’d be able to, you know, spice it up.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you had the chance to write a song based off your favorite book. What book would that be and why?
HARLOE: I would love to write a song based off The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I would have to really think it through and about what angle to take because that book has so many paths, but I feel like it would be really creative. I also think it would be a really great story to tell about the human mind and what’s important to us and where we get tripped up.
Stream Harloe’s new EP ‘Rivers Run’ which is out now.