For the record, my name is Harry Strange and I am an aspiring singer/songwriter from London, but I’m currently based in Bristol for University. I have independently released three singles and am now currently working on my debut EP. I recently turned twenty-one and whilst many are now starting to plan their futures in stable, secure jobs, I am beginning to pursue the career of a musician…
I have been lucky enough to have been asked by For the Record to write a few pieces on what I’ve been up to and what’s happening next, so I thought the best place to start would be how I first got into music and what I’m currently up to. At this stage I would also like to apologize in advance for the numerous grammatical errors that are about to occur, there’s only so much that a free online grammar check can do.
I can’t remember a time when music wasn’t a part of my life and I think that comes down to the family that I grew up in. I’m the youngest of three brothers, so growing up I was always copying them in some way, from having their music tastes to wearing the same clothes. I think it’s almost impossible to not be influenced by your brothers growing up, so when they started having singing lessons I knew that I also, had to have singing lessons. Although I loved singing, I can’t say that I really enjoyed classical music, as a twelve-year-old I just found it a bit boring, so it was a game changer when I started to play guitar and I realized that I could learn to play songs that were on the radio. I still can’t read or write a single note for either singing, guitar, or piano, but can just about get away with basic chords. So I would find myself in my room spending hours learning covers of pop songs and before I knew it I wrote my first song. It was terrible. I remember listening through albums and writing down lyrics that I loved and trying to find ways to fit them into my own songs without being noticed. I can proudly say that that is no longer the case.
When it came to my first single, I had a few songs that I had written (no stolen lyrics I promise), which I was really keen to release, however, I had no idea how to go about getting them recorded/produced/mixed etc. I very luckily came across an artist that I loved on YouTube and decided to reach out to him on Instagram. Ironically, we are now best mates and I’ve written most songs with him and I am forever grateful for all he has done/ continues to do. He very kindly said he’d be up for producing a track of mine and after two sessions we had the finished version of ‘Back Around’.
I only released it on SoundCloud at first, firstly because I had no idea how to put something onto Spotify but secondly (and more honestly), I was scared of Spotify and other streaming platforms. For some reason I felt that Spotify was for established, ‘proper’ artists. Turns out, putting it on Spotify was, and still is, the best decision I’ve ever made.
For months it was online with less than a few thousand streams, but then one day I remember checking Spotify and seeing that it had gained over 10k streams in one day, which for most artists is nothing I’m sure, but for me was mental. For the next few weeks it kept picking up and gave me the confidence to get back to work on more music which led to my second single, ‘Heaven Knows’. Although I love Spotify and its ease on seeing your streams and stats, I definitely think it plays a huge part in the pressure of releasing new music and having to get more streams with each song. Streams definitely do not mirror the merit of a song but, understandably, it is so hard to separate the two.
Now, with three singles online, I believe I have a much stronger grip on the ‘sound’ or ‘vibe’ that I want to create, although I am sure it will continue to change. I am still the first to admit that I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I don’t think it matters? I just know that I enjoy what I’m doing and I’m not going to stop any time soon.
The Process by Vinylmnky
The Process is brought to you by Vinylmnky, the new music discovery service who’s mission is to spotlight emerging and breakthrough artists from around the world, connecting them directly with the listeners. This is an in depth look at these artists, as they break through the music industry
About Harry Strange
Harry Strange is an aspiring singer/songwriter from London.