Harper Starling talks new single “No More What If,” career highlights, upcoming album, and more

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LA-based pop artist Harper Starling goes after what she wants, not letting anyone or anything get in her way.  She was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome when she was eight years old, but found that music and performing relieved her of any tics.  It was clear that music was just meant to be in Harper’s life, and after years of perfecting her artistry, Harper decided to leave her small hometown in Wisconsin to seriously pursue her dreams out in Los Angeles.  Ever since, she has collaborated with many well-known songwriters, performed at huge festivals, and even scored a #1 tune on the Billboard dance charts.  Her music is a continuing source of inspiration for those who listen, filled with encouraging messages and gentle reminders that anything is possible.  We caught up with Harper ahead of the release of her new single “No More What If” to talk career highlights, her upcoming album, and more!

Photo by James LaMarr

Melodic Mag:  You’re getting ready to release your new single “No More What If” [out 8/27], which touches on your experience leaving Wisconsin for LA to follow your dreams.  Can you tell us more about what it was like to create this track, as well as the music video? (which I love!)
Harper Starling:  I’m so happy you enjoyed the video!  I cannot take all the credit for this track, as I also worked on the lyrical journey with Cindy Valentine.  Cindy and I realized we both had experiences of leaving home in pursuit of our dreams.  One night at 3AM, Cindy came up with the concept of “No More What If,” a rough instrumental track, and a melody, and we worked from there on the lyrical efforts on a story that was a perfect fit.  Niko [The Kid] then added his magic and made the beats come to life.  The music video parallels the lyrical journey and, unintentionally, it became very much my documentary as we decided to bring various midwest-isms.  The vision was to have me appear like a modern day Cinderella, which was executed brilliantly by the talented Devin J. Dilmore, the director.

MM:  What is your favorite thing to do when you visit your hometown?  What do you love doing out in LA?
HS:  I grew up in a small town bubble just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Every time I come home, I have to go to this custard place/diner with my family called Kopps.  One of my favorite things to do in LA is hiking because the views are breathtaking.  It’s also a killer leg workout, so that’s a plus.

MM:  I read that you were diagnosed with Tourette’s at a young age and then discovered that music and performance relieved you of your tics.  Do you think that there will ever be a reason as to why or how this happens, or is it best to believe that it’s just the undeniable power of music?
HS:  I’m sure there’s a reason for why it happens, but my best guess is that it allows my sometimes chaotic brain to focus on a specific task at hand.  The good news is that that task happens to be performing, which is what I love most.  A win for me!

MM:  You are such a role model to so many people out there – from what you have accomplished in your personal life to the messages you put in your songs.  When you find yourself in need of some inspiration or encouragement, who or what do you turn to for advice?
HS:  Thank you for the compliment.  When I find myself in need of advice, I usually turn to the person who knows me best, my sister, and inspirational videos on YouTube.

Photo by James LaMarr

MM:  Congratulations on your single “No Excuses,” which just turned one!  In the music video, we see you dancing and having fun in iconic cities like Paris, Italy, and New York.  Is there a city or country out there that you would love to visit soon?
HS:  Not only did “No Excuses” turn one, but over 126,000 fans have now viewed my video!  I have been dreaming of visiting the UK since I was a kid, and my dream will be coming true this October… You’ll have to wait for the announcement coming soon!

MM:  Your single “Euphoriathat was released with The Perry Twins hit #1 on the Billboard dance charts, which is such an achievement!  Do you remember what it was like when you first heard the news?  Did you do anything special to celebrate?
HS:  I cried when I heard the news.  It was a crazy, beautiful, and emotional moment.  From the bottom of my heart, I am so thankful to all who supported the track and were involved in its success.  Also, I definitely went out with friends to celebrate that night!

MM:  I hear you are working on an album that is scheduled to come out next year.  Can you give us any details about what the songs will sound like, if there are any surprise collaborations…any ukulele features?
HS:  You heard correctly!  The album is scheduled to come out by spring 2022.  The songs will sound melodically infectious, honest, and empowering with beats that will keep you moving.  There are many talented Grammy and award-winning writers and producers that I got to work with while creating the album.  At this time, there might be a surprise ukulele appearance, but you’ll have to listen closely for which track.

Photo by James LaMarr

MM:  Back in January, you marked five years of being out in LA and making music.  Where do you see yourself in another five years?
HS:  In the five years that I’ve been in LA, I’ve managed to get a #1 hit, and after finally getting a manager, I’m already on my way to touring this year.  So, since some of my singles are currently up for Grammy consideration, I’m hoping to ride onto the Grammy stage with my own personal unicorn.  I also see myself headlining Coachella, having Enrique Iglesias play my love interest in a music video, and getting a hug from Lady Gaga.

MM:  And just for fun, with fall being right around the corner and all of the fall-flavored treats starting to be released, do you have a go-to fall drink or snack that you like to indulge in this time of year?
HS:  My go-to fall drink and snacks are definitely Starbucks’ Caramel Apple Spice cider and pumpkin spice cupcakes!

MM:  Final comments or words of wisdom?
HS:  Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Photo by James LaMarr

Thank you so much for your time, Harper!  Congratulations again on “No More What If,” and good luck with your debut album!  We also can’t wait to see you ride onto the stage with the most dazzling of unicorns at the Grammys. 

You can check out Harper’s music on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep up with Harper Starling:  Instagram // Facebook // TikTok // Twitter // Website

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