Frequently, I’ve found when I’m listening to a song with vocals, I recognize the voice. Electronic music has always featured a plethora of vocalists, and as a result, I could be listening to a Zedd song and recognize the vocalist from a Kaskade song. Putting a face to the voice you often hear gives visibility to the vocalists in electronic music in an important way. Beyond just having their name featured on a track, more and more often I’ve attended sets were the artist comes out on stage and performs live with the DJ. This new growth in visibility for the vocalists is great for the artists and adds a fun new dynamic to live sets.
Harrison is an rising star in the EDM vocals scene, as well as building a name for himself as a DJ. With his name featured next to Thomas Gold, Aoki and Hardwell I’m sure you’ve heard his voice, but it’s time to put a face to the name, and learn more about Harrison’s adventures in EDM in this exclusive interview.
Singing vocals for an EDM track involves a different process than just singing for original tracks. For electronic music, sometimes the vocals come first and sometimes they come second. For Harrison’s hit summer track “Take Me Home” with Thomas Gold, Harrison wrote the song and then Thomas Gold found it and turned it into the track we all know.
“The story behind ‘Take Me Home’ is very personal to me, it is written about my grandmother who has undergone 5 different heart surgeries, and is still with us today, so while she was in hospital I wrote ‘Take Me Home’ and Thomas found it. It all kicked off from there.”
But writing vocals for an EDM track also comes with some unique needs.
“In an EDM track what comes right in front of the drop is really important because that is the equivalent to a ‘chorus’ of any original track,” explained Harrison. “It also has to work with mixing tracks in and out of tracks, so EDM tracks tend to be longer than other ‘outside of EDM’ songs.”
The EDM vocalist life though is a mix of pleasure and hard work. While Harrison had a hectic summer bouncing from show to show and writing more new music, it’s a balance that is absolutely worth it for him. Just in September-October he’ll be bouncing around from Spain, to South Africa to Amsterdam for A.D.E. which he fondly refers to as “one of the best 3-4 days in the year for DJs.”
So while most of us were watching live streams in Ibiza from the comfort of home this summer, Harrison was able to be in Spain and have a little vacation but still get a lot of work done. One of his studios is located there, and as a busy location for DJs from all over the world, it’s the perfect summer spot.
“It’s a nice way to disconnect and have a bit of vacation but still have a hub to work, without feeling stressed or like I’m falling behind” said Harrison.
It’s hard to tell just which is work and which is play when his work includes a private show at a 3 day event in Barcelona and jumping on stage with Vinai at their show in BCM. Harrison has stayed well aware of how cool his life gets to be because of his hard work. It’s not easy getting songs released on some of the biggest labels in the industry including Revealed and Armada.
“[Pinch yourself moments] definitely exist,” said Harrison. “And sometimes when it’s rough I forget and feel totally lost, but try to remind myself how crazy it is, how far its all come, which tends to get me back on track as well. I think because all the releases on the major labels came all with about a month in-between, there hasn’t really been enough sit down time to reflect on it properly, but now looking back at it, it’s definitely reached my goals on labels and releases for 2015!”
Harrison’s interests have been growing from vocalist to DJ as he has recently began dabbling with producing. His interest in how the decks worked prompted him to having some of his DJ’ing friends teach him. This then escalated to understanding all the software used to create tracks and learning to help critique and understand what was needed to change or how to make a song sound just how he wants it to.
Coming up soon for Harrison are some round two releases with some artists, as well as some Harrison solo releases. And when I asked if he could work with anyone right now in the industry and why?
“Tiësto, he is the godfather of dance music!”
Check out Harrison’s Facebook page for more info.
Seeing live music has always been in my top 5 favorite things that I like to do. Ever since I turned 16 and could drive myself I’ve been attending as many live music events as I can. And I love all types of music, from classical piano to dubstep.