I have the honor of singing with Harper Starling in a Los Angeles based choir! She is a singer/ songwriter and Billboard recording artist. Her music can best be described as dance-pop with a splash of 80s mixed in. Think Freddie Mercury, Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper getting together at Studio 54. Harper is that love child.
She started dancing when she was 3 and singing when she was 12. Once she decided to sing professionally, she met up with Sigmund Snopek (of the Violent Femmes) and they spent the next 18 months working on new music and performing throughout Milwaukee, Wisconsin (where Harper was born and raised). This culminated in her opening for Sheryl Crow at Summerfest (a 10-day music festival that is attended by over one million people every year). After that, Harper made the decision to move to Los Angeles to be closer to the music scene.
Last summer, Harper released her single “Euphoria”, a song she co-wrote with Kasia Livingston (Britney Spears, Jessie J, The Pussycat Dolls). For the production, Harper worked with The Perry Twins (Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez). The single was a hit, becoming #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart and #23 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Chart.
Her follow-up single “One Call Away”, reached #35 on the Billboard Dance Chart. She co-wrote the song with Carlos Battey, a member of The Jackie Boyz (Justin Bieber, Madonna, Jason Derulo, David Guetta). Her third single, “Boy Problems”, reached #16 on the dance charts. Throughout the past year she has spent 32 weeks on the Billboard charts.
Harper answered questions for insidewink
What started you on this path?
This all started back in high school. I was always involved in all the theatre productions and choirs. I also took dance for 15 years and had been a classically trained singer since I was 12. The dream manifested when I went to visit my cousin, who moved to LA right out of high school. After coming to LA and seeing all that this beautiful city had to offer, I knew that one day I would be moving out here.
Who gave you the most support early on?
Definitely my grandma and my parents. I have a wonderful family who was incredibly supportive of my decision to pursue music full time. I got my undergrad degree in kinesiology and was a year away from getting my doctorate in physical therapy. As much as I love helping others, I knew music was my passion. I didn’t know how my family would react when I told them, but they understood and are my biggest fans. I love them so much.
What does your work aim to say?
I want my work to inspire others and give them the courage to be themselves and follow their dreams. I took a gamble early in my life to pursue music, and it was the scariest yet best decision I ever made. I also know that I am quirky and a little different from others. That use to affect me earlier in life, but I want my listeners to embrace their quirks and realize that’s what makes them unique.
What do you love about Los Angeles (even if you don’t live here)?
I love meeting people from all walks of life out here! I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, yet my three best friends out here are from Philadelphia, Chicago, and Portland. Had I not moved here, I never would have met them. I also love all the opportunities available in this city. The music scene is incredible and there are so many great bands in LA. Also, the constant sunshine and palm trees are a major bonus!
Who or what is your biggest inspiration? OR Who or what inspires you?
Lady Gaga is hands down my favorite artist. She is a performer, a writer, a singer, and creator. She gives 100% with every performance. From her visuals, to the lyrics, to the fashion, everything tells a story. She has greatly influenced how I create my own music and art.
What do you consider success?
I know it sounds cheesy, but I consider it a success if you are able to do what you love and make a living off of that.
What’s been a real high-point in your career or life?
When my single “Euphoria” went #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. Dua Lipa and Sting were right behind me at #2 and 3 respectively. They are both power house artists and it was crazy to see my single next to theirs. In that same week, I was at a club with some friends in Hollywood and my song came on. We got so excited that we ran to the DJ booth and filmed the whole club dancing to “Euphoria.”
What was the best piece of advice given to you?
Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.
What’s your motto or words to live by?
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
What makes you laugh?
I love to laugh! There are so many things I can think of: llamas, corgis, Chandler Bing, and random memes just to name a few. What can I say? I have quite the eclectic humor.
I am excited to announce that I have a few new singles on the way and some performances in the upcoming new year! I will be announcing more details soon on my website at www.harperstarling.com.
Pie, Cake or Ice Cream?
Pie all the way. My favorite is raspberry. At every family birthday party we always had pie instead of cake.