AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with COREY HARPER

Photo Credit: Victoria Smith

Corey Harper has a voice that penetrates the soul and could soften the toughest of hearts—an amazing talent given that the 21 year old singer/songwriter, who hails from Portland and now resides in Venice, California, has only been making music since the ripe old age of 19. Raised my music-loving parents on a steady diet of legendary troubadours like Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, and James Taylor, with guitar gods like Clapton and Hendrix thrown in for good measure, the young Haprer soaked it up like a sponge, and used those who had come before him to find his way.

“I started singing and writing after high school,” he recalls. “I knew I wanted to be a singer, but I hadn’t found my voice. When I was little, I was always writing songs and poems. I won a poetry contest in middle school. My mom was an english teacher and my dad was a professor at the University of Portland; my parents encouraged me to write to express emotions and feelings. The way we communicated to each other was through writing,” he continues. “When I was 19, that turned into writing music.”

Harper tried his hand at the college thing, but his heart was elsewhere; when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose and beckoned him to Southern California, he packed his bags and hit the road. “It was an easy decision, but it was scary too. I’d only been writing music for a year at that point, and I’d never played any legit shows. A friend of mine from back home was living in Venice, and he talked to me about starting a house to host weekly shows, and he wanted me to come help him,” he explains. “He loved my music too, and he wanted me to get my feet on the ground here. I was so excited—I had no idea what was going to happen, but I packed up my stuff and left mid-quarter. That’s not how it usually goes for someone who drops out of college and moves to a new town, it was a perfect situation, and it made me believe in myself.”

Settling into a creative community and surrounding himself with other dreamers and writers helped him hone his craft. With EPs and singles under his musical belt now, he recently unleashed a brand new song, “Favorite Part Of Loving You,” a heartstring-tugging easy-going foot-stomper. “It was the first time I’d written a song around a title, usually my songs come together from opposite ends of a slope, like a collision. I came up with the title, and it turned out to be the good things about a past relationship,” he says. “It was a segue into a spot where I could think about that time in my life in a good way.”

Currently, Harper is recording and rehearsing for summer tours and festival appearances which include Napa Valley’s Bottle Rock this month, and our own Bonnaroo in June. “I love meeting people, and sharing my music,” he says. “There’s good stuff on the way.”

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TOUR DATES
April 13                 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
April 14                 Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere
April 17                 Columbus, OH @ Rumba Café
April 18                 Buffalo, NY @ Buffalo Iron Works
April 19                 Boston, MA @ Red Room at Cafe 939
April 21                 Chicago, IL @ Schuba Tavern
May 24                 Portland @ Mississippi Studios
May 26                 Gorge, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
May 27                 Napa, CA @ BottleRock Festival
May 31                 Atlanta, GA @ Tour de Fat Festival
June 1                   Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
June 2                   Lexington, KY @ The Burl
June 4                   Charleston, SC @ The Pour House
June 6                   St Petersburg, FL @ Tour de Fat Festival
June 8                   Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival
June 9                   Jackson, MS @ Duling Hall
June 10                 Dallas, TX @ The Rustic
June 11                 New Orleans, LA @ Tour de Fat Festival
Sept 8                    Dana Pt., CA @ Ohana Festival

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