Adelaide electronic musician Harli (AKA Mahalia Barr-Mashei) has had a massive 2018 and 2019 is set to be even bigger.
With a SAM Award nomination, two singles dropped this year and a debut EP set to launch in January, the singer songwriter has a lot to celebrate.
‘Wrecking’ is the second single off Almost Home, which followed ‘Satisfied’ released in October, and Harli says the song tells the story of a difficult time in her life.
‘Wrecking’ is quite lyrically driven in terms of production because I wrote it just on keys with vocals to begin with, and took it interstate to produce it. ‘Wrecking’ is a little bit different [to the rest of the EP] because I wrote it at the beginning of last year when I was really unwell. So the lyrics are taken from feeling quite trapped in your own body and wanting to escape your own body, because I think mind isn’t really connected to your body,” she says.
As an experienced musician and lyricist, Harli says her inspiration comes from daily life and stories she comes across and wants to tell.
“To write the lyrics that I do, I think it’s something that comes to me. I double between writing based on life experience and then writing based on something that just comes to me, so whether I set the intention of a scene, a certain scene to write, and then I write based on that scene, or whether I’m writing about something that happens to me or a friend, that’s kind of where the lyrics come from,” she says.
Mahalia Barr-Mashei has taken on many guises throughout her career, depending on the gig she’s playing but taking on her Harli persona has been incredibly liberating.
“I’ve actually been Harli my whole life,” she says. “When I was a kid I was Harli, throughout school I was Harli, just into my adult life I was Harli. When I was studying music many years ago, I was told by some random teachers, ‘Wow, Mahalia Barr-Mashei, that’s such a stage name’ so I’ve been using my birth name.
“But when I started writing this EP over a year ago I just felt that being Harli is true to who I am. But at the same time, it’s almost like a brand, so it’s easier for me to be Harli than it is to use my full name. It’s an opportunity to just reinvent my music and not be a jazz singer, or a contemporary singer, or a blues artist, it’s just another part of my music and my journey. It’s also just easier for people to say,” she laughs.
And with the new brand starting to gain traction both here and interstate, Harli is ready for whatever new music opportunities are thrown her way.
“I’m working with a producer from Universal Music Publishing and I’ve got a couple of producers who expressed interest in writing with me in Adelaide as well as one in L.A., so I’ve got a bunch of demos that I’m recording at the moment, and within the next year I’d like to have more music out,” she says.
Keep your eyes and ears out for this emerging artist who is set for great things and get along to the EP launch on January 31 at Chateau Apollo. Get your tickets HERE.