Karen Harding’s passion for music started at an early age, she started her journey learning the piano at the age of 6 and singing at the age of 14 and the rest was history. Harding played a number of solo gigs and performed with bands all around the northeastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, and released a number of singles that were nominated for awards and received radio plays. After the attention that her 1st single “I’ve Got a Secret” drew to her, Australian singer/songwriter Karen Harding is about to drop her 2nd single “Til the Ocean Meets the Shore” on the 5th of August 2022. The two singles are part of her 6 tracks upcoming EP “I’ve Got a Secret” which will be fully out in October 2022 and available for purchase through Bandcamp but today, we are going to get to know Karen Harding better so let’s go,
- You started learning music at an early age, what made you take this step? Who were your 1st influences?
I did! Music was something I always loved. I was always singing little tunes around the house and was always drawn to the sounds of different styles of music. It was natural to take the step to learn how to play. I was lucky enough to have parents that supported me by taking me to music lessons.
My biggest influences in music have always been a combination of amazing storytelling songwriters and the sounds of beautiful ethereal vocals.. they’re the elements that whisk me away into my world of imagination ?
Probably my biggest influences would be storytellers like Leonard Cohen, Tracey Chapman, Bonnie Rait, and vocalists like Sarah McLachlan, Eva Cassidy, and Linda Rondstadt.
- Being an indie artist during these hard times is a bit risky, can you tell us more about the pros and cons of being an artist and how you overcome the hard times?
For me, I feel that it’s a great time to be an indie artist.
Artists have never had so much freedom to create their own direction in their music careers as they have right now. Thanks to the internet, we can share our music, without having to sign to a large record label and following their requirements for your release.
The biggest challenges are definitely trying to build a sustainable income and finding the time to do everything that you need to do, however, I like to see my music career as a business that you grow over time.. the reality is that no startup business is easy to grow, and you never have these things instantly.. if it was too easy to develop, everyone would be doing it and the market would be even more saturated than it already is.
Because of the freedom of being an independent artist, I have the opportunity to think outside the box and make my own rules.. try things.. and as a result, the challenges can be overcome in my own way and I love the journey.
- How usually does your writing process go? What influences your writing?
For the most part, my writing is not very structured.. Music is a kind of therapy for me and when I’m writing by myself, often the music just flows out.
Sometimes, it will just be me with my guitar or piano, playing and singing and I record what I do, refining it later.. Other times, I will lay music down first and then bring in the vocal melody and lyrics later.
More recently, I have been doing more collaborations, which has given me the opportunity to explore different ways of writing and I have really enjoyed the different processes.
Inspiration can come from so many places.. often it is relating to the way I am feeling or expressing a thought or emotion within me.. other times, it could be inspired by something that someone has said or something I see.
- How will you describe the sound of your upcoming EP? Can you tell us about its lyrical theme?
My EP, ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ is a collection of 4 songs that I wrote over Covid lockdowns in Melbourne. The songs were all written with me and my guitar, as expressions of what I was feeling at the time.
I am releasing one track each month until the full EP is available for streaming in early October.
The title track, ‘I’ve got a secret’ was released on 8th July 2022, and speaks of the idea that we were all sharing the highlight reels of our lives over social media.. all the positives of being locked down. We all had our challenges and vulnerabilities that we were hiding away as ‘secrets’ and the song addresses the idea of the fears of sharing those vulnerabilities and of what people will think if they know our secrets.
The latest track, released 5th August 2022, ‘Til The Ocean Meets The Shore’ is all about a realization of how far I have come in overcoming challenges and moving forward, and a declaration that we will not give up.. we will keep pushing forward.
There are two other tracks, ‘Drive Away’ and ‘Letter To My Friend’, which I look forward to sharing in September and October.. or, a little secret ? you can skip the line and order the full EP at Bandcamp – karenharding.bandcamp.com
- Do you plan on doing any music videos or live gigs to market “I’ve Got a Secret”?
At this stage, I don’t have any videos or live gigs planned, specifically to market the tracks. I would love to, and you never know what could happen!
Right now, I have so many projects on the go that I can’t wait to share and I would love to circle back and create a video when I can create some more time.
- If you would pick a song of your catalog so far for someone who wants to get into your music, what would it be?
This is a great question, and quite difficult to answer!
Every track within my catalog comes from a different time in my musical journey, and in my own personal journey.
I love the creative freedom I had with my track, ‘Anxiety’, and the amazing work that my producer, Josh Hennessy did with creating the sound of the song.. this is a more indie pop vibe.
If you would like to listen to the more emotional singer-songwriter vibe tracks, I would definitely recommend listening to my latest EP releases.
- What’s the point that you consider the highlight of your journey so far? And what are your future plans?
Everything new I do is so exciting to me! There have been so many highlights..
At the moment, I am working with an amazing family in Argentina on some songs, and am just loving the process of creating them in a way that I never could have done on my own.. I love the takeaways that you have with everyone you work with!
I have also been honored in the last year to win and place in a number of songwriting competitions, which has been amazing.
For the future, I am just enjoying the journey and seeing what comes up.. I want to keep exploring songwriting and collaborations.. I have so much music that I look forward to sharing and developing and I just look forward to continuing to grow, connect and learn as an artist.
Thank you so much for having me!
Thanks for your time Karen, Looking forward to more awesome releases, cheers!