We had a quick chat with the talented ArA Harmonic about her career so far and the release of her debut EP, Bad Habits, which landed today.
Tell us about your debut EP Bad Habits.
This is my first musical project I’ll be releasing. I produced, recorded and wrote all the tracks myself with a little help from some assistant producers. There’s a theme to it and a journey from start to finish. I chose the song Bad Habits as the title because it really captures what this EP is about. Being my own worst enemy and stopping myself from achieving things through self doubt. This is me saying goodbye to all of those habits and having no fear. It’s filled with harmonies, realism and I stayed true to my R&B routes.
You use a loop pedal for your live performances – how did this come about?
I used to do theatre in Bristol before I transitioned into music, I was working on a show and the musical director was Mr Woodnote. Mr Woodnote is an artist who I had seen on the streets of Bristol playing with his saxophone and loopstation. He would loop his sax and beatbox creating incredible sounds – he’s incredible! I was instantly fixed and I just knew this was something I could do with my voice. The theatre ended up investing in a loop pedal and I would just mess around with it. I found it really easy to loop harmonies and I would freestyle melodies on top. That was it. From then on, I became a little obsessed and invested in one for myself.
You were supported by MOBO Help Musicians Fund – tell us more!
That was a shock! I was looking for funding to make music and a friend of mine who is also an artist told me to put in an application for the MOBO Help Musicians Fund. I honestly didn’t think I would get it in a thousand years and I was so grateful I did. It was the encouragement and support I needed. To have a platform like the MOBOs listen to your music and think you are good enough, I was like, ‘OK, I can do this.’
When did you first get into writing and producing your own music?
I’ve been writing music for years. The first song I wrote was when I was 13 and I still remember it. I just didn’t do anything with it, I would have never dared to dream of being a singer at that age. Producing came much later, I did a music course called Ontrack at the Roundhouse in 2014 which opened my eyes into the world of music production and was my first introduction to Logic Pro. I started going to the producer drop ins which was run by producer and artist Spider J and under his wing I produced my first song The Poet.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as a musician?
Don’t let the pain distract you from the glory at the end. This wasn’t even told to me as a musician, it was something someone told me years ago, and I’ve kept that close to my heart. I’ve had some really tough times, the journeys not easy, but I do believe the end will be so sweet if I just continue to do what I love and believe in myself.
What’s in your headphones this week?
Take over by Da Beatfreakz – anthem of my life right now!