"Whenever the really exciting stuff happens it's always like a hazy dream" - Karen Harding speaks with Guestlist

House | Friday 12th February 2021 | Arren

Karen Harding catches up with us following her huge year in 2020 and explosive start to 2021.

Karen Harding has been sweeping across the music scene over the past few years. Whether it’s dominating the streams, vibing up radio waves or performing on stages across the UK and beyond. Despite the madness going on outside, she still managed to have a massive year including big tracks with Digital Farm Animals, Future Kings and Illyus & Barrientos.

Keeping up the momentum, she’s burst into the same new year with the same energy with her latest new single 'Morning' with Shift K3Y. Landing on Ultra Music it’s a cheeky little beat which ensures big smiles and tapping feet. The track is out now for buying/streaming. Such a shame we can’t hear it out on the big speakers right now, but we’re sure it’ll be worth the wait!

Following her recent successes we’ve had a chat with this singer/songwriter to see how she feels about her career so far, what’s coming next and all things in between…

Hey how have been during these crazy times?
Hey! I've been good thank you. Can't wait for the summer sun though!

Lockdown has drastically changed how we lived our lives, what’s been the biggest change for you?
I've definitely missed being on the road, festivals and gigs. I can't wait to perform 'Morning' to a crowd but also can't wait to be in the crowd dancing! I didn't realise how much inspiration I took from gigging, being able to see crowd reactions really gets me excited to be in the studio to create more music.

Is there anything from life pre covid that you’re surprised you miss?
I miss getting dressed up! Don't get me wrong I love PJs and comfy slacks but there's something about getting all done up with a nice pair of heels on that I miss.

Despite the madness outside, you’ve kept a strong level of work coming out, with a decent number of big tracks coming out in 2020, such as 'It Must Be Love', 'Undo My Heart', and 'Let’s Get Together'. You haven’t taken your foot off the pedal just yet, with your latest track recently landing, 'Morning' with Shift K3Y. You’ve certainly kept yourself busy! Musically how have the last 12 months been?
It's been good. I tried to get myself into a good routine of work and rest earlier on last year and I feel like that really helped me motivate myself to just crack on with new material. There's definitely been moments of where I've thought "I've got nothing to say" in songs but I usually try and overcome that with taking a few days off and listening to some music I've never listened to before. Fortunately, I've got a decent home studio set up for writing and recording which has helped me so much!

Your success in the last 12 months is only the tip of the iceberg though, you’ve had quite a long and successful career with many mad moments - what particular moment will always stand out for you?
Definitely some mad moments! There's so many but one I always think of is when 'Say Something', my first single went top ten in the charts, definitely a career highlight. Whenever the really exciting stuff happens it's always like a hazy dream in my memory that never seems real, but it is!!

You’ve given yourself a strong start to 2021 with 'Morning' - have you much more planned for the rest of the year?
Since last year my team and I have been putting together an EP. It's been a few years coming but will be totally worth it when it's out! There's some special songs on there for me and some that I feel the world needs to hear. It's almost there so I think you will be hearing it soon.

You’ve worked with many artists/producers in your career, from Wilkinson, Tough Love, Blonde to more recent times with Digital Farm Animals and of course, Shift K3Y. Is there anyone out there that you’d like to work with and why?
I've been very lucky to work with some incredible artists and producers. I have so many on my list still and I'm always keen to work with up and coming producers as well! I'd love to work with Calvin Harris, everything he seems to touch turns to gold! I also love RAYE, really rate her writing style and releases. I think we would smash out an epic 90s throwback!

Looking back over many of your previous releases there is a heavy house vibe going on. When did you first get grooving to house, and what were your first impressions of the music?
I love house music and I guess I don't know how I kinda fell into it but I'm glad I'm here! My first proper memories of house are of my older brother, Philip's Hed Kandi and Euphoria compilation CDs that he used to blast out in his bedroom. I remember how energised I used to feel by it and I guess it still inspires my music now. I guess that's maybe why I'm not just into one kind of house music either, I was a big fan of Craig David - 'Born To Do It' and Madison Avenue - 'Polyester Embassy'.

Back when could still go to gigs (remember those!?), you had featured on many tours and festival shows - what was one of your most memorable moments on stage?
Every gig holds a special memory for me but one of my highlights has to be Manchester Pride a few years ago. Whenever you head out at a Pride, the crowd are so welcoming and so up for it. With that energy it just has you buzzed from the moment you arrive. I love Manchester and the people so whenever I'm asked to do the Pride I'm always up for it!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned over the years?
I think that would be to trust your instincts, they're usually always right. There were many times in the past that maybe I didn't listen to what my instinct was telling me and then I've had to learn the hard way.

What’s a little known fact about you?
hmm. I love Whitesnake haha!! (all thanks to my dad, a classic rock fanatic!)

What are you most in love with right now?
I am most in love with cooking. I blast the radio and boogie along (closest thing i'll get to a rave right now!) while rustling something up! Obsessed with a good stir fry at the minute!

What’s the first thing you wanna do when restrictions are lifted?
I don't even think I'm going to know what to do with myself. Definitely gonna head to the pub for a nice Sunday Dinner, it's the little things in life, ey! Maybe go see some family up north en route to a gig hopefully!

What’s your life motto?
To feel happy in your own success. Everyone has their own idea of success and how they can achieve their dreams and goals but no matter how big or small they are, always celebrate yourself and how you've got there!

Karen Harding’s latest track Morning with Shift K3Y is out now on Ultra Music - Buy/stream

Karen Harding
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