- Words Notion Staff
Brooklyn native Harriette talks turning difficult times into music, blowing up on TikTok and why she loves the internet.
Harriette is the singer-songwriter refusing to fall into a stereotype. Growing up in Texas, the multifaceted guitar player and vocalist could have easily signed up for a life on the country and western circuit, but she always knew her music served a deeper calling. Coming out on April 27, the Brooklyn based artist’s debut EP, ‘I Heart The Internet’, balances chugging guitars with rolling drumbeats and her shimmery vocals. “bc I love you” is our latest taster from the project, examining a failed relationship with a distinctly bubblegum-pop sound.
Many of Harriette’s most loyal fans will have stumbled upon her music via the single “at least I’m pretty”. Reaching global acclaim, the viral TikTok hit is swimming in woozy west coast vibes, which ripple beneath her nonchalant harmonies. But before she infected the earphones of millennial music streamers, she was studying art in NYC, expanding her mind and finding new perspective to her inevitable song writing career.
“bc I love you” is the third single from Harriette’s forthcoming debut project. Following “Fucking Married”, which analyses the process of seeing your teenage sweetheart getting married, the track is one of her most dexterous to date. Dense in emotion, it shares many of the lyrical vulnerabilities pioneered by southern American alumni Taylor Swift. To celebrate the release of Harriette’s debut EP ‘I Heart The Internet’, we sat down to talk turning difficult times into music, blowing up on TikTok and her plans for the rest of 2023. Dive in!
Congrats on your new single release “bc i love you”. I read that this song is about a break-up and learning to digest your emotions. How did you find transforming these difficult thoughts and feelings into a cohesive written piece and melodic single?
A lot of the time I don’t know that I’m turning a difficult time into a single. I think I was originally trying to write something that would keep this person close to me but it ended up becoming evidence that they were the wrong person for me.
Did exploring these emotions via your music help the healing process of your break-up at all?
No. If anything it made the healing process longer and a bit more confusing. I didn’t realise the song was a break up song until after, which is why there’s so many lines about the effort I put into the relationship and how I did it all because I loved them. Sitting back listening to the song months later made me really sad for my past self going through the break up.
The track is also shared with a playful music video directed by Jacqueline Justice and Muriel Margaret. What were some of the visual concepts you had in mind to bring this track to life?
We all got together and had this idea of recreating scenes that acted as memories with a significant other, without them there, to tell the story of how we become more in love with the memories of a person then the actual person. I knew I wanted a mannequin in it too, so we had one at the end in as a ‘shrine’ to an ex lover with some of the details from the memories we had. We just wanted to have fun with the concepts and scenes and show the range of emotions one can have when you love someone but in a playful way.
“bc i love you” is the second single you’ve shared this year and follows after “Goodbye Texas”. How have you found the reception for both these tracks so far?
Better than I could have expected! I’m so honoured people have related to the songs and felt seen or understood. I didn’t realise “Goodbye Texas” would resonate with as many people as it did. It was very rewarding.
You’ve previously referred to your musical style as: ‘southern warmth meets pop guile’. What does this entail? How do you go about incorporating your Texas roots into a modern pop twist?
I think it depends on the song. But whenever I can I try to throw in a lap steal or a harmonica. I also end up singing a lot of my songs with a southern twang anyways.
Country music was your brand. What music did you have on repeat before you stepped into your country-pop sound?
Clairo, Taylor Swift, Lana del Rey, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, beabadoobee, lots of pop singer songwriters. I love when women write their own music it feels very powerful to me.
Before diving into your music career you studied art at Parsons for a short period. Would you say your musical and visual aesthetic draws any influence from this?
Yes, 100%. I feel like my time at Parsons expanded my perspective on life and what I wanted to do with my career. I always had an idea of what I wanted my aesthetic to be but Parsons helped me get there faster.
During lockdown you went viral on TikTok after sharing a snippet of your music. Was this the moment you knew you wanted to do music full-time?
Yes. I didn’t think I would be able to have a career in music until that blew up, and it definitely opened the door for me to mentally go all in.
You’ve previously collaborated with Toronto-based producer Sam Jackson Willows, and described the process as a ‘very trusting, open space’. How did you come to work with Sam? Are there any significant lessons or tips you’ve been able to take from that experience?
Sam is good friends with my manager Logan. The entire experience was a learning lesson, but the biggest thing I learned was to always go into spaces like that with people who are invested in my vision and are passionate about helping me create my sound.
This April you’re scheduled to share your debut EP ‘I Heart the Internet’. That’s exciting! I’ve read that it’s a product of open-hearted confessions. Can you take us through some of these confessions and what they mean to you?
Because I feel like this whole project started through the internet. A lot of my songs are about relationships that were built or hurt through the internet. I don’t know if these songs are confessions as much as it is a product of me being myself, upfront and vulnerable to an audience.
What was the recording process like for this EP?
I went to Toronto once in the winter and once in the summer and split the recording process in half. It was a very rewarding experience. I felt like I learned so much. I wrote the majority of this EP by myself starting when I was 19 in New York, Texas and Nashville.
What message do you hope your fans take from this introspective project?
I hope everyone feels inspired to be themselves! And that I fucking love the internet.
And lastly, with the release of your brand-new EP slowly creeping up, what does this summer entail for Harriette? Any exciting headline shows? Will you be hitting the festival circuit?