Next In Line is a series focusing on Australian artists on the way up.
Brisbane singer, songwriter and producer Hartley has been turning heads and capturing ears alike with a steady stream of freshly cut music. Only announcing herself to the world a couple of months ago, the bachelor of music graduate hit the ground running with her first two songs, ‘Mind‘ and ‘Used to‘ that took influence from two-step, drum n bass and future bass.
Hartley’s latest single, ‘‘Own’ is further proof of her ability to chameleon her production and vocals across multiple genres. In this case, she’s created something that remind us of a mix between Gotye and Lorde with splashes of moreish synth and bass in the chorus. Definitely one to watch as an innovator in the Aussie future pop scene.
We caught up with Hartley this week to learn more about her musical inspirations, interpretation of her evolving sound and the direction future pop music is heading.
When did you start making music and why?
When I was about 15 I bought a loop pedal after seeing Ed Sheeran in concert. I saw it as this fascinating way of being completely self-sufficient when making music and building up a multi-layered song. I always loved composing these big orchestral pieces in my head but I had no way of getting ideas down in a tangible form until I got the loop pedal. Then I moved onto music production where I found this whole new freedom in songwriting and arranging.
Who are your musical influences? What were/are you listening to?
My influences for songwriting definitely include the artists I listen to when I was younger, like Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado, and in terms of genre there’s a huge mix! I get so inspired by artists like Sofi Tukker, Mura Masa and Kito, but lately my go-to Spotify playlists are Crush and Lofi Beats.
How would you define your sound?
I’d say it’s a fusion of genres – I didn’t go for any category or niche in particular, but doing that has resulted in me finding my own sound. My tracks have calypso pop bells mixed with dark basses and spooky vocal loops. It creates this kind of sub-genre within alternative pop.
What is the story behind your new song ‘own’?
I wrote Own during a really significant period of my life where I was learning who I was on a personal level and in the music industry, and how I deserved to be treated verses how I didn’t. I wrote the lyrics ‘I’ve got my own back now’ as a way of pushing myself away from negative people and influences in my life. It’s a self-empowerment anthem for myself and hopefully other people.
What is your view on the Aussie alt-pop music scene right now?
It’s thriving! I’m so happy to be part of it at this time, everyone’s experimenting so much and being recognised for it more and more. In saying that, I really hope there’s more of a place for it on mainstream radio in the future – it can definitely be tough out here for Australian musicians. I’m so keen for it to keep thriving.
Hartley ‘Own’ is out now