Harper Starling Overcomes Adversity, Hits #1 On Dance Charts With “Euphoria”

Harper Starling refuses to be defined by her past.  She has Tourette’s Syndrome and was bullied in school because of it.  Many young women would be forever devastated by such events. Not Harper Starling, she chooses to keep positive and be a strong role model for young girls.  Her message to young women is that their worth isn’t defined by what they look like or what they are wearing, but by intelligence and creativity.  A big fan of 80’s music, you can see and hear its’ influence in her music and videos. Her bubbly personality and positive messages are much needed during this time when disparity and hopelessness runs rampant.

{C}: Your name has got to be one of the most beautiful I’ve heard. Is there a story behind it?

 HS: Thank you. Harper is from Harper Lee who wrote “To Kill A Mockingbird” which is my favorite book. Starling is a combination of two words. My grannie calls everyone her darlings and I’m also very into the stars and cosmos. So, I combined the two. I really wanted my name to mean something special and represent who I am as an artist.

{C}: We have something in common in that we both have difficulty speaking. The inside of my mouth is deformed. Like you, I was also bullied in school. If you could go back in time what would you say to the young you?

HS: I would tell that little girl that she is beautiful the way she is and that what is the source of her sadness right now will become her source of strength later on. It makes her unique and will lead her to pursuing her dream, which will bring her such joy and happiness. She is a fighter and will pass on her light and love to others.

{C}: I love “Euphoria” and the world needs positive messages right now. How important is that to you?

HS: It is super important to me. There is so much negativity in the world right now and the best way to combat that is with positive thoughts and actions. Negativity breeds negativity. I choose to be happy and be an individual of light and inspiration for others. I am very drawn to other artists who have a similar mindset and put positive messages into their music as well.

{C}: I cannot stop watching the “Disco Mirror Dream” video. I grew up in the 80’s and caught onto the Cyndi Lauper reference right away. If you could work with someone from that era, whom would it be?

HS:  Glad you like it. I wish I could have grown up in the 80s. I’m obsessed with that decade. There are a few different artists that I would love to work with from that era. The most influential artist from the 80s would be Michael Jackson. He is the King of Pop for a reason. He was an artist in every sense of the word. If he were alive today, I would have loved to collaborate with him. I would also be honored to work with Cyndi Lauper. I love her music and stage presence. She is quirky and different and that makes her special.

{C}: Are you surprised with the success of “Euphoria?”

HS: Absolutely. I can’t believe it went to #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Chart. That song means a lot to me and parallels my own journey and struggles to get to where I am today. “Euphoria” is about letting go of your fears and doubts and embracing your dreams and yourself (flaws and all). When you let go of your doubts, you get a sense of bliss or euphoria. For years, I struggled with truly pursuing my passion for music. I was worried that I wouldn’t succeed, but I finally realized that I needed to believe in myself and my talent. Thank goodness I did because it has led me to where I am today.

{C}: What inspires you to write music?

HS: Anything can inspire me when I’m writing music. Sometimes it’s my own experiences, other times it’s influenced by stories that my friends or family tell me. I always want my songs to mean something though. That is crucial. If there isn’t a strong message behind it, then what’s the point? Yes, I do write dance/pop music, but there still needs to be substance. I want my songs to make a difference to the listener.

{C}: What is the most difficult part of performing live?

HS: I know this is going to sound random, but the thing I worry about most when I’m performing live is falling over. When I perform, I do a lot of choreography while I am singing, but I am very accident prone. Yes, I took dance for 15 years, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t trip frequently. The other difficult part is gauging how the audience will react. I feed off the energy of the crowd, so the more engaged and excited they are, the better I tend to do.

{C}: What do you like to do when you are not working?

HS: I have always been a huge fan of reading. It was always a means for escape when I was younger and I loved being wrapped up in a great story. I also love hiking. I grew up in Wisconsin which is pretty much flat land across the state. Here in Los Angeles, the hiking trails are absolutely gorgeous, and the view of the city is incredibly awe-inspiring. I find a lot of inspiration from that view and I clear my head while I am climbing the trails.

{C}: Do you consider yourself to be a role model to young women?

HS: Yes,  I do consider myself a role model. I am very aware how impressionable young girls are, so when I am writing and performing, I always keep in mind that young women are watching and listening. I want to empower them and let them know that their worth isn’t determined by how they look or how little they are showing, but by what is in their mind and in their heart.

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