Buoyed by the joy of releasing his second single this year, singer-songwriter Harry Gardner talks to us about his inspirations and influences. Harry's latest single, Oblivious, is a follow up to his January release, Invisible Man, and both represent something of a return to music for Gardner who has been largely absent from the scene since his 2018 debut EP, Younger. The former Britain's Got Talent star, who captivated audiences in 2017 with a song dedicated to his Nan called Not Alone, has taken a deliberate break to "find clear direction" and is now "much more assured". Harry's latest single, released on March 26th, is Gardner's farewell and good riddance to a love that was clearly unrequited! Onwards and upwards Harry. 

   https://admin.contactmusic.com/images/home/images/content/harry-gardner-abof.jpgHarry Gardner - Photo credit, ABOF

For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?

Generally I’d say pop but with mix of influences. Sometimes it’s dark and moody, sometimes its a bit more chill and feel good. Almost always with some very subtle jazz inflections.

What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?

Aside from the global pandemic, I’ve faced challenges of rejection like everyone has. Sometimes it’s hard not to dwell on them, but as cliched as this sounds, I genuinely think my music always pulls me through. Whenever it feels like things are going bad and not on track, writing a song that I’m excited about always sparks something inside me.

How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?

Out of 10, I’d give it a solid 12. Just got to stick at it no matter what.

How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?

Very important. In school my teachers used to say I had all the good ideas in my head, but could never seem to get them down on paper as well. I think that’s probably explains why I now care about trying to perfect each tiny detail.

Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?

Growing up in a small town influences my music a lot. I’m fascinated by the change from running round care-free in the school playground, to growing up and seeing what everyone is doing with their lives now and seeing how different things are when you’re older. So yeah, I draw most of my inspiration from my own experiences growing up, and my surroundings.

If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?

I’d love to work with an producer/artist like Finneas. His creativity is very inspiring and I feel like we have a similar vibe and could make something cool. Alternatively, I’d love to work with an artist in a different genre, like rap or something. I think it could be really interesting to fuse genres like that.

Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.

I have 6 pet chickens, and they’re all named after music legends, i.e. one is called Freddie (after Freddie Mercury)

Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?

I’d love to play at the O2 one day. The millennium dome was opened the year I was born and my parents bought me a snow globe of it so it’d be sick to tick that one off.

Where do you hope to be this time next year?

I’d love it if my EP is out in the world and people love it and I’m gearing up for festival season, ready to play live a load. I’m buzzing to get the chance to actually play live since I’ve not had the chance to do that a load.

What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?

More tunes, maybe with a slightly different tone. We’ll see. I have some special songs that have helped me cope with growing up a lot, so hopefully I’ll be sharing those over the coming months.