STAR BEHIND THE STARS: HARRISON | DJMag.com Skip to main content

STAR BEHIND THE STARS: HARRISON

Meet the DJ and vocalist to watch in 2015

21-year-old UK native, Harrison’s strengths lie in his uniqueness. As both a vocalist and DJ his stage performances combine both talents for a new show that packs heat.  

Alongside producing records in his own right, his vocal collaboration with David Guetta on “Ain’t A Party” has already established him as a vocal tour de force. With new music out soon, vocal features on both the forthcoming Steve Aoki and Hardwell albums and a feature on a new Dannic track also on the horizon we met the budding artist for head to head for a preview with dance music’s next darling. 

You have worked with some of dance music’s finest… Hardwell, Steve Aoki and David Guetta. What was unique in your personal experience that set each artist apart during your recent collaborations? 
“Steve Aoki is pushing new boundaries with his live shows and [with his] Neon Future album.  It is special working with Guetta. Not only is he a household name, but also he was the first person I ever saw perform live – It was like working with God in my eyes.  Hardwell has been the world’s number one DJ for two years in a row, and it is a great honor that I’m on his debut album.”

In what ways, if any, do you feel that you are innovating the dance music world?
“I feel I’m pushing boundaries because I’m singing while DJ'g.  This enables me to perform live while still controlling the party by deciding which records to play.  I can keep the crowd going with club records but also have those spontaneous emotional breakdown moments.  From a music perspective, the fact that I sing, DJ, and produce means I can do bootlegs, feature on other artists’ tracks, collaborate and make my own originals.  It’s not something I hear anyone else doing right now.”
 

Being a singer, many of your fans are able to recognize you on a track by your voice alone. How would you describe your own unique sound?

 “It’s an energetic mixture of big room dance music mixed with rock-type riffs. I try to make it upbeat, happy and powerful. The sound of the guitar alone can drastically change the whole style of any track.  My lyrics are quite different, I try to sing what people would want to sing about at 4am.” 

Which of your own live performances were especially significant and sentimental to you?

“I got to perform at one of the biggest clubs in the world, Privilege Ibiza, this summer. That party was so wild, I couldn’t even see the back of the room due to the paint that was being thrown everywhere.” It was also surreal playing to thousands of people with Steve Aoki at SW4. The party I did at a sold-out Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam alongside Hardwell is definitely up there. 

Who have been your musical influences both as a DJ and a singer as well?
“I love rock and roll!  That’s where it all begins for me.  I grew up being inspired by Nirvana and The Killers. Watching people at a dance concert – you get the same kind of reaction you get at a rock and roll show – I think my two favorite genres of music effortlessly flow together.” 

What can we expect from Harrison in 2015?
“I have records with Dannic, Thomas Gold, Hardwell, Laidback Luke. I have been working hard to make something a reality with Chocolate Puma, forever trying.  I’m really excited for Hardwell's album to come out on January 23 since I feature on a track. I plan on focusing a lot more on Harrison solo records.” 

What would you say was the biggest turning point to your career so far?
“’Ain’t A Party’ with David Guetta made a huge difference. It meant loads of DJs were playing out my track and starting to know whom I was.  Still today, the track is played out a lot and the vocal has been sampled heavily too.  That definitely gave me everything I needed to pitch myself to having enough credentials to work alongside already-established veteran artists.  On the performance front, Judge Jules taught me how to DJ.  To have him as a mentor is really special because he’s a pioneer in the game!” 

Words: Andrew Arnel

 

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