If you wanna get all in your feels with us, chuck on the brand new Harper Finn song Good For Me. It's a piano-led ballad buoyed by his otherworldly vocals and a distinct sense of '90s Britpop nostalgia, and it follows on from a couple of stellar releases including Conversations (With The Moon) and Teenage Queen.
The Auckland-based alt-pop singer recently played his first ever shows in Australia to widespread acclaim and we found there was a definite air of mystery around the 21-year-old, so we caught up with Harper to chat all things to do with his musical upbringing, what he does in his spare time and more.
You came in guns blazing this year with your single Conversations (With The Moon) – can you tell us how you wrote that one? Did it come naturally?
Conversations all stemmed from that crazy chord you hear in the chorus. It was a chord that gave me a feeling I’d never felt before so I knew I had to start a song around that. From there the rest of the song came quite naturally as the idea for the lyrics matched the mood of the music I had created. I probably spent a month or two finishing that song. Once I had got down the rough structure and melodies on the piano I moved it all over to Ableton where I built the track up from a demo to the finished song.
Tell us about your new song Good For Me. Is that inspired by a real relationship?
Good For Me is a song about heartbreak and being let down. It isn’t about any specific relationship I’ve had but draws from a few of my experiences. The title and the line “it was good for me” speaks about when you go through something terrible, it’ll teach you something about yourself and in the end be the ‘making’ of you as a person.
Many of your songs so far have been about the passage of time and youth/coming-of-age, why do you think that is?
Because of the age I am, the past five years of my life have changed quite dramatically with the transition from high school to university to the 'real world.’ These events are all still fresh in my mind so when it comes to songwriting, recalling things that happened to me over this period is what I’m drawn to. I like drawing from situations I’ve been in, that at the time didn’t necessarily strike me as moments that would work as a song idea.
read more: Who Is Harper Finn, The Moody Alt-Pop Singer Turning Heads?
Are you a self-taught musician and when did you first dabble in music?
I had an amazing piano teacher when I was younger who really hammered on about the technique and theory of the instrument which I’m grateful I have now. I think I stopped lessons with her when I was around 14 as I started to learn chords and develop my own music taste. I just wanted to learn songs that I could play along to.
You’re from a musical family, did you ever feel pressure to get into music yourself from a young age?
No, not really. Music is a very joyful and natural experience in my family. Playing and listening together is something I’ve been doing since I was very young and keeps us close. Writing and performing were things that I discovered by jamming with my friends at high school.
Who are 5 artists that inspire you, either musically or just in life?
Kevin Parker, Rosalía, Donald Glover, The Clash, David Lynch.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not making music, touring or otherwise?
I like to cook! Currently going through a mad Italian phase… also catching up with friends, maybe shoot hoops, watch a film.