INTERVIEW: Harry Smith | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Katy Blackwood

Emerging as a young musician (or evidently, young anything) in modern society is an often mortifying feat greeted with judgemental mutters and a heavy-set glare analysing your every progression. For 19-year-old Harry Smith, the daunting gallop from fiddling about with an acoustic in his bedroom to performing in venues across the region hasn’t necessarily been easy, as he explains: “I’ve really started to branch out and try to do things with my music that I haven’t before. I’ve always been self-critical, but after putting out my first single Forget My Name, I realised that people out there aren’t actually as critical as I thought!”

From someone who is still basking in the realms of their adolescence, the dramatic occurrences of the everyday life can infuse mighty emotions, which are a significant inspiration for Harry. “I don’t want to box myself into a genre, or be an artist that writes a five minute tune about how sad they are and that they’ve been cheated on, it’s too personal. My music desires to resonate with everyday people like myself, because I’m being so honest. For those who have had a direct response to what I’ve put out, I’d say it’s mainly people my age; we’re all going through the same stuff. Everyone’s growing up and I find that really frustrating, so I use music as an outlet.”

My desire to find an outlet to express how I feel has resulted in a biographical piece of work that I’m really proud of

His intricate way of breaking down the emotional barrier of the teenage mind is simply done, using a soft and melodic vocal that touches upon every tinge of heartache, which is cocooned by a delightfully soothing acoustic rhythm, yet doesn’t seem to stumble into the formidable cardboard box of generic solo six-string hopefuls. His latest release, Back To You, is an easy-listening beauty, whilst the demo for Waste displays a more carefully acquired sound and is a product of clear experimentation.

Speaking of his upcoming EP Eyes, Harry refers to the journey he has endured musically. “My desire to find an outlet to express how I feel has resulted in a biographical piece of work that I’m really proud of. Whilst I was writing, I never had great intention to put them out into the public domain. At 16, I was in a hard rock band and it was horrendous, the whole long black hair and screaming over distorted guitars about how angry I was thing. My friend Jack (of The Pale Whites) encouraged me to get my solo stuff out there, and it’s overwhelming to think I’m now releasing this.”

Harry views the opportunity to share his work as rewarding, especially for someone who is relatively new to the scene. “I hope people see the expression in my songs, but I don’t want to be taken too seriously. Having a laugh is just as important to me and I want people to have fun with it because I certainly do!”

Harry Smith releases Eyes EP on 23rd May.


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