Billboard #1 artist Harper Starling beat Tourette’s syndrome with music. Literally. Following the success of “Euphoria”, her #1 hit on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart as a featured artist with The Perry Twins, Harper is back with her follow-up single, “One Call Away” with co-writers including Carlos Battey of The Jackie Boyz, producer Gemini as well as remixers The Perry Twins, Kue, and DJ David Bulla. YEM spoke with Harper about how the power of music has changed her life.
Young Entertainment Mag: You were on the brink of heading into the field of physical therapy as your career. What sparked the complete 180 that put you in the music industry?
Harper Starling: I completed my undergraduate degree in kinesiology then did a year of graduate school. I was very close to earning my doctorate in physical therapy, but for years my gut and my heart were telling me that music was what I should be pursuing. That sounds cliché, but it’s really what happened. When I finally made the decision to just go for it. I was incredibly nervous because I had a steady and safe income lined up, but I just couldn’t picture myself doing that for the next 40 years of my life. I was willing to bet on my passion and my talent. I am so happy for what has come about.
YEM: Your music has a very nostalgic aspect to it. What would you say is your favorite ‘80s song?
Harper: Thanks so much. That’s a huge compliment. I love nostalgia and anything relating to the 80s. It’s hard to choose just one favorite song from the 80s. It depends on what I’m in the mood for on any given day. Some of my favorites, though, include “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, “Material Girl” by Madonna, “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses, and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ ” by Michael Jackson. Actually anything by Michael Jackson is probably my favorite. He’s the King of Pop for a reason.
YEM: What kind of role has your Tourette syndrome played in the development of your music career?
Harper: A lot more than I initially thought. It really is the reason why I’m where I’m at today and able to pursue my dream of writing and performing. Initially I was a very outgoing child, but became introverted once my tics started developing. I noticed that when I sang and danced, the tics would go away, so I put all my love and energy into music and practicing. This further flamed my passion for performing and I can now say I am thankful for everything I have gone through. What I was once embarrassed by, I am now proud of because it led me to my dream.
YEM: You recently released a single called “Euphoria”, an EDM collaboration with The Perry Twins. Moving forward do you see yourself continuing to make songs in this genre of dance pop?
Harper: I loved the response I got with “Euphoria”. While initially written as a ballad, I did have the intention of going with an EDM collaboration. I am so thankful and blessed that The Perry Twins loved the song as well and wanted to be a part of the journey and message. I definitely have a few other songs for future releases that are in the EDM realm, but I also am focusing on a pop sound.
YEM: It’s been a few months since “Euphoria” came out. Is there new music right around the corner?
Harper: I just released a new single called “One Call Away” that I wrote with Carlos Battey from The Jackie Boyz. He is so incredibly talented and has written for Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo and many others. I also just received the news that “One Call Away” is now on the Billboard Dance Charts. I’m so excited for all of you to hear it.
Listen to Harper’s “One Call Away” here: https://open.spotify.com/