Huge DMCWORLD exclusive with the young British producer, singer and songwriter on EVERYONE’s lips right now! After breaking through in 2013 with his collaboration with David Guetta and Glowinthedark, he has since gone on to establish himself as one of dance music’s most exciting stars. We check in with the main man as he releases his new single ‘Praise You’ via Virgin Records Germany…
Harrison a huge welcome to DMCWORLD. Where on this crazy planet are you right now?
Thank you, I am in my home in Surrey, been in the studio making new music.
So a major week for you with the release of your brand new single ‘Praise You’, which we shall come to later. But let’s find out a little about where this journey began first…
Yes, this is one of the biggest tracks I think I have done. I guess it has been years in the making. I started making dance music 10 years ago but didn’t get noticed until 2013 when I wrote a track that David Guetta took and it went viral at most EDM festivals at the time. Fast forward many many tracks and collabs later, I finally signed solo to Universal Germany’s Virgin in October last year after releasing with Knife Party and Alok in 2019.
What is your earliest memory of music from your childhood?
My grandad would play the saxophone and worked in holiday camps performing so when I was born, he realised I liked singing and took me under his wing, making me perform to his friends and stuff, that was really awesome. Unfortunately he passed away before I had any success but I miss him dearly. I don’t think I would be around doing this if it wasn’t for him.
Was music always going to be your life path or was there ever anything else you were interested in for a career?
I would have loved to have been a fighter pilot but I never had the eyesight to be honest. I recently started paramotoring because of my love for planes. I would love to restore a spitfire before I die. I used to play a lot of rugby too, I would have enjoyed that I think; but I broke my ankle and it cut my career short. I used to play for the East of England.
What were your first steps making your dreams come true, how did the music begin?
I had just always wanted to be a DJ after I saw Chuckie play a dirty dutch concert in Amsterdam. I had never seen anything like it. 4 years later I played the same stadium with my track with Hardwell, which went gold in Holland. I believe you have to go out and get things in life if you want them, nothing will happen if you just email and stay inside. I used to stand outside of nightclubs and hand out my USB to every DJ going. That’s how I ended up working with Laidback Luke and other huge names in dance. It’s all about putting yourself out there and not just for one day. My theory was that even if two DJs make a track with me the whole summer, or even listen to my tracks, it’s better than none!
Who were some of your musical inspirations growing up?
Eminem, Daft Punk – I loved Sting, Phil Collins and Simply Red too.
Can you remember the first track you ever bought?
The Eminem Show.
What would be your perfect tune for…
Continuing the party at your house after the club?
At the moment, ‘Love To The World’ by Diplo and Max Motif.
A Sunday chill by the pool?
Nora En Pure – Heartbeat.
Lifting your spirits when you need some love?
Make Luv – Room 5.
‘Praise You’ is your interpretation of Fatboy Slim’s 1999 #1 smash. Please talk us through your work…
I made it in the studio about a year ago, but the clearance took so long to get. My manager tried for over 9 months but America is very slow at replying when it comes to clearance for some reason!
You work very closely with John Saunderson who is now at the mighty Ostereo. What does John bring to the table in terms of helping to take you to the next level career wise. He used to pick me up from school back in the day, by the way!!!!
John knows absolutely everyone! He has a knowledge of every song being a DJ himself for so many years. He is musical and has few enemies as publishers are friends and not competitive of labels, so everyone loves him and he sends stuff to the top, not to a small A&R. I used to struggle for years to get replies, but since he came in it changed everything and we did over 30 million streams in a year. I convinced him he had to become a manager for me. We did that for 8 months and the next think you know, Howard Murphy came along and offered John the exact job; and I was like TAKE IT! I’m really happy with me and John, it’s more a father son relationship than artist manager!
Gotta ask about the past 4 months. How has your Covid lockdown experience been?
Bored in the house and in the house bored haha. No it’s not been so bad, I’m surfing and flying. Time out of the studio is just as important as being in it. I miss my shows loads but recently just want the world to open up more as my mum has a tea shop called Bernie Beans in Hunstanton and I want her to stay afloat!