Emerging UK rap artist Harvey Marwood talks musical highlights, collaborations, future plans and his latest release ‘17’

Photo Credit: David Campbell (DC Shoots)

What inspired you to begin a career in music?

I have always had a passion for music. Whether it’s listening, writing or reading about music, it’s passion fuelled. Around a year and a half ago, I begun writing lyrics to which I believed at the time were good enough quality and could be incorporated with a beat to create a song. A couple of friends had always told me I was good at rapping, however I never really took it seriously in my younger years.

There came a time last year where I was trying to open up new opportunities for myself, and create pathways for me to succeed in. I began writing lyrics more seriously and shared them with a few of my close friends, in which one of my closest friends told me to pursue music, and that’s where the initial motivation started from. Looking back at those lyrics now, my linguistic skills have developed massively, which I hope reflects in the word play and overall story telling within my deeper songs.

What differs you and your sound from others in the music industry?

My main USP is versatility. Put any beat in front of me and I can do a job on it – my music reflects this as previous singles have been mixed genres. I’m admittedly on a journey at the moment in trying to find my own sound – and stick to it other than features. That and the fact I am still only 16 gives me a huge boost in the music market. I feel my own personal views are conveyed well within my music, and my unique interpretations of my own personal experiences set me aside from other artists, whilst maintaining an authentic and original sound.

Your latest release ’17’ is out now! Can you please describe the creative process and the concept/inspiration behind the single?

My latest single ’17’ is out today (21st May 2020) as it marks my 17th birthday. As cliche as it may sound, the song is about my journey in music and life to date. I picked an emotional storytelling beat (prod. HMLTN), so I could adapt my lyrics to recreate previous experiences in life that I have faced, and things I still experience today. The artwork is actually a picture of me back in 2007, with an MP3 player in hand at my Dad’s old photography studio – so I used this as a cover to show how far time has come, and the fact I was listening to music in the image when I was 4 years old, helps to express my passion from a young age.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as a musician, when you have a bad day what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

People tend to not realise the immense pressure that musician’s come under, not necessarily from the public and fans, but self pressure to succeed and make good music. Myself personally, I have a lot of bad days. Some days I will feel tip-top and write and be able to produce quality music, and other days things don’t sit right and I find myself gazing at a desk wasting hours. It’s hard. Constantly having to plan your next releases, pre promotion, composing future releases; there is never spare time for someone upcoming in the music scene, as there is always something you can do to better yourself. When I have a bad day, I take time out from making music for a few hours/few days and allow myself to recharge and enter things with a clear mindset. This allows me to fulfil my creative potential to maximum effect.

Throughout your musical career, have you experienced any ‘wow’ moments? Those moments that you stop and reflect and can’t believe you are where you are?

It’s funny – I remember sitting down on a train at some point last year and a friend happened to be on the same train and saw me. We got onto the topic of my music, and he asked the question ‘Has it actually hit you yet?’ In which I replied ‘It hasn’t yet’. To be fair, I still don’t think it fully has – I have achieved way more than I expected within my first year of music, but it is nowhere near where I want be. Meeting Stormzy, and him talking to be about my music was most definitely a “WOW” moment, especially the day after I met him where he tweeted me saying he was ‘going to go and pree my ting’.

My recent show in my neighbouring hometown of Tunbridge Wells was definitely another “WOW” moment. I headlined my first ever show and so many people came down to support. The crowd was energetic, and with the help of special guest Oso Wavey Jay, we completely shut the place down. To see people enjoying my music in the flesh and singing the words to song’s was unbelievable. All the people that came will be able to reflect on the show as one of the huge milestones in my career – and I thank every single one of them for buying a ticket to support me.

Photo Credit: David Campbell (DC Shoots)

What artist/artists would you like to work with in the future? Are there any collaborations coming up any time soon?

I have quite a few exciting collaborations coming up – none of which I can announce at the moment as are still in early stages. In terms of artists that I want to work with, it’s so hard to name a just a few as my objective is simply to make good music, that people can enjoy and relate to. If I was asked to name 5 dream collaborations – it would have to be Stormzy, Dave, Chip, AJ Tracey and Loyle Carner.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

’17’ is by far the most meaningful song I have written. It is an audio documented representation of personal struggle and experience that I have been through, reflecting times from my youth all the way to my age now. ‘Psychic’ also has elements of my personal struggles as well, but my new single definitely provides a better insight.

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

My personal advice to anyone wanting to pursue the career is make sure you are 100% committed and focused. Any sidetracks are costly and if you aren’t devoted into making music and putting in countless hours behind the scenes then it isn’t for you. On another note, if you have already started to pursue, don’t give up ever and keep writing bars or lyrics – they don’t write themselves. All it takes is one song for an artist to blow up so you have to create those opportunities for yourself.

Photo Credit: David Campbell (DC Shoots)

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

I am hoping that I have a bright future as an artist. I would love to go on a tour and just do shows as I love performing. I’m hoping that I can build my audience and fanbase to a point where I can be able to do this, and have mass amounts of listeners in different areas around the world. I’m busy working on new music to drop an EP by this summer, as a foundation project so when I release more singles afterwards people can look back on my first EP to see where I really have come from, hence the deep and personal topics.

I am lucky enough and humbled to be supporting Everyone You Know on one of their UK Tour dates in October, which is going to be a great experience, and have a few other unannounced shows planned for this year.

’17’ is available now via Apple Music, Spotify and all major platforms.

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