Interview of Harry Young by Freya Bennett
Hey Harry, how are you?
I’m good, thanks for asking!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a 19-year-old singer-songwriter, I’m half Scottish, half Australian, and I’m currently living just outside of Glasgow.
Tell us a bit about your musical journey/
I’ve been writing songs since I was around 11 or 12—before I could really sing or play them, so I guess it was kind of more poetry than songs. I did a small bit of recording and gigging when I was 15 or 16 but I stopped as I didn’t feel I was doing myself justice on stage and retreated to practice, writing, performing, and singing for a few years. Then, this January I released my comeback single, “Pretty Girls.” On the back of that I have released my EP/videos/headline shows/festivals and had some press, so it’s been a really exciting venture back into it so far.
Can you tell us the background behind the tracks on your new EP “Cocktails and Dreams”?
The EP is me painting a picture of what it is like to be 18/19 and living life on your own terms. The title track, “Cocktails and Dreams,” is loosely based on a story of a 19-year-old girl living in a big city for the first time and having the time of her life. “Confidence” is purely just about partying, “Lazy Days” paints a picture of everyday life, and “Beauty Queen” is more of a ballad to finish; something softer, again, telling the story of a girl.
I wrote all the songs when I was at uni (college) in Manchester and all the lyrical content is my reflective thinking on that period in my life.
And what is the story behind your film clip for your single “Cocktails and Dreams”?
The film clip, like the song, is me trying to tell this “fictional” girl’s story. Although the song is not based on anyone, I feel the mold of the character fits many. In the video I am meant to be a part of her mind, just telling the story of her day, “a day in the life” kind of thing.
Who are your musical inspirations?
John Mayer is always number one, because he consistently inspires me to be a better musician! Jack Johnson, Paulo Nutting, and other songwriters with a real soul to their music are important to me. I listen to all sorts of music though: Indie, Britpop, even Hip-Hop—American rapper Mac Miller is one of my favourites. He has just released a new album, “The Devine Feminine“, which celebrates feminism. I think that’s really cool.
What do you love about music?
Music is such a powerful force; the way a song can change how you feel almost instantaneously is remarkable or how a song can transport you immediately with such power back to a certain time and place. I think that is incredible. Songs resonate with such importance in people’s lives, including mine. Music is there for every emotion, you know, and you can really develop a deep emotional connection with a song.
What do you wish you knew at 15?
To treat everyone equally with love and respect and to not care about the opinions of others so much. Just focusing on “doing you,” being a nice person, and giving back sometimes; don’t just always take, take, take from life.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Australia, to Melbourne, where my mum’s side of the family is from. Although I have been a few times, I’d love to go there and explore my roots some more.
What advice do you have for young musicians considering a career in music?
Hard work is the most important thing. Work hard on every aspect of your career whether that be writing, image, performing, or playing your instrument. You also need to develop a thick skin and be prepared to face rejection—all of the biggest bands face rejection, so don’t worry. The Beatles were rejected lots of times before they were signed.