Country singer songwriter ”Harley Moon Kemp” the future country music artist to listen out for recently spoke to Music Promotions
about her headline show at ”The Grace” in London, more live shows, recording in Nashville and much more. See the full interview below and give Harley a follow on her social media channels.
You had your first headline line show back in November how was you feeling ahead of that night?
You know what, I was so nervous but as soon as Lauren Jacobs puts makeup on me, I just turn into this country diva glam queen and it changes my confidence completely to be honest. “But no, I am nervous but actually more nervous that more people I know will be at this show whereas previously if I played at festivals or supporting I kind of had less, what’s the word, less worry about knowing anyone in the crowd so I would just go out there a bit more rock and roll and just have fun. So yeah, for this show I feel abit more pressure to go out and give my best show yet.
How long did you spend going through the set list, to decide what you are going to be performing? We did a rehearsal on Wednesday night and we spent an hour today, I don’t know if that’s a lot or not but me and the band have run through it; we are lucky because we played a lot of shows this year so we kind of get into a good feeling with the songs that we know all our parts now.
What were your feelings running up to your headline show?
Remember to wear a G string that was important to me because I have got leathery tight trousers. I am just honestly having so much fun, I try not to let myself feel too much pressure and just remember how much fun I have writing songs and singing songs.
What have been some of your best shows that you’ve actually performed? The best show that I absolutely loved was Brighton Pride. We played on the main stage, the whole experience, it was definitely the biggest stage we played, and we had dances, and I was in a skimpy little tassel outfit, so many weaves of hair rows that I could have fallen over, honestly. I could have gone lopsided with how much hair extensions I had in (laughs)
But the actual crowd is just so happy at Pride, and everyone is so supportive and so loving, and I was really honoured anyway, just to be asked to play at an event like Pride, where you really feel like those events are making impacts on people’s lives.
But… On a personal level it was the most fun because when we were backstage we were in these trailers and there was Mel C, steps B*witched learning their dance rehearsals next to us, the Vivian, Drag Queen, getting ready and I just couldn’t believe what I was looking at that we were involved in this amazing event and I just smiled for about a week after that show.
Obviously being a country artist, what artists influence you musically? I love Maren Morris, she’s my number one. There is a chance we might do a Maren cover tonight. Just a moment of karaoke for me personally because I love Maren Morris so much.
To be honest I just listen to country radio station and within half an hour I have to turn it off and get to my guitar because it all just really inspires me. I love the style of writing, I love the stories, I love the harmonies, everything about it just really speaks to me.
You will leave your last single home in October, have you got any more music what’s coming soon, anything you can mention yet?
At the moment nothing that I can mention, I’m actually just in the studio for the next six weeks now and I’m playing a few more gigs so new material is definitely coming out in 2024.
Is there any particular songs that you feel like the biggest connection with when you’re performing them?
Yeah, “She Looks Like Me” is a song that when I sing it I still feel everything that I felt when I was writing it.
It stills feels so personal to me, I ran into my EX when I was out walking my dog, he was with some one new, it was such an unusual feeling as I didn’t know what had upset me so much, everything just felt bad and the next day I went to Nashville, and I went to the studio and wrote this song in about an hour, because I just knew every lyric already in my head of how bad that feeling was and how much it shook me, and we always just play it acoustic. I didn’t want anything. There’s no drums, there’s no frills, it’s just an acoustic track. Because for me, that was such a moment that I really felt really brokenhearted. And I think I love being able to play that again.
Just touching on you just said you went to Nashville. What was it like going to Nashville for the first time as a country artist?
Oh, well, the first time I went to Nashville, I actually went on a writing camp. So I wasn’t necessarily there as an artist. And I had been writing pop music for DJs, and in my room, secretly at night, was learning the guitar and writing songs and writing my own stories. And, I played them to a publisher one day and I was like, what do you think of this? You know, something a bit different? And he went, oh, you’ve gone country. And I was like, yeah, this is what I write when I’m alone and he said, you’ll never guess what I’ve got a writing camp in Nashville next week. Do you want to go? And I thought, oh no, I’ve got massive imposter syndrome. I haven’t been never been to Nashville before. I’m new on the scene so I turned up to Nashville in my full sequin tassels, cowboy boots, guitar on my back. And I laughed because it was really cosmopolitan and actually everyone was in jeans and t shirts and converse. So I stood out like I was in a Dolly Parton impersonator. But, I was on a writing camp, and I felt like I joined the circus and I was never going home. I just loved every minute of being in Nashville, writing songs in the day, meeting incredible artists, incredible writers, and then in the evening, going to country bars where there’s more and more amazing country talent. And that’s where I met Alex.
So Alex was one of the artists on the writing camp, and his voice is just crunchy dreams of soul and country but, yeah, I had the I had the most fun. A lot of it was a blur because of the whisky sizes they pour there. But, it was really great.
After your headline show anything else you have coming up that you can announce?
So there is a show in December, supporting Twinnie. Not a headline act, but I’m supporting Twinnie in Shepherd’s Bush Hall December the 21st which I can’t wait for.
And then on the 1st of January, I’m playing at the London New Year’s Day Parade.
so that is sounds crazy. It’s like all in the streets of London. It’s a whole parade. And we’ve got a an area on a stage in a street where we’re going to perform three songs. So that will be really fun on New Year’s Day. So early night for me on New Year’s Eve, I reckon.
What would you say you’ve been like the highlights for you this year? I know you’ve still got some stuff coming up…
The highlights this year have been, well I know I’ve obviously mentioned pride, but a lot of the people that are around me are friends. So my makeup artists, my manager, my backing dancers, my guitarists that I’ve been with, they’re all my friends and the thing I’ve just loved the most is getting out on the road and looking around, and we’re all laughing and smiling, and then people are, I don’t know, trying to be professional and when were backstage, we’re just having such so much fun and being so silly.
I loved releasing home. That was really fun for me because I’d had that song in the back burner for a little while and was waiting for the right time to release it, and it makes me laugh because I wrote it about someone I potentially chased around a club to try and get a snog with by the end of the night, and I could not take my damn self home until I got that snog.
Everything really is a highlight at the moment.