The Rescue Rooms archives: 2014

Harleighblu, Harleighblu Live At Rescue Rooms

  • Saturday 8th March 2014
  • Supported by: TBC

DHP PROUDLY PRESENTS...

HARLEIGHBLU

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Nottingham resident Harleighblu has been involved in music from a very young age; possessed of a truly irresistible classic soul voice with a distinctive edge, she has now signed to indie label Tru Thoughts - a match made in musical heaven – and is poised for great things.

Growing up surrounded by her Mum's record collection - a treasure trove of the best soul and rare grooves - Harleighblu kindled her interest in music by emulating each of the singers she heard. She started songwriting at the tender age of seven at a community recording studio, and began entertaining school friends with impromptu performances at break times. With an obvious talent, Harleighblu was entered into and won a number of local talent competitions, the prizes of which helped kit her out with all the musical equipment a young girl could need.

Harleighblu's drive, belief and passion for creative exploration has seen her naturally develop into one of the UK's most promising young artists. From the age of 12 she started working with a number of producers, however it was meeting Birmingham based Dino Nisbett and his co-producer Andre Bassing that really gave rise to the next development in her musical journey. Through Nisbett and Bassing she was introduced to Dennis Seaton, lead singer of the Grammy nominated band Musical Youth, which gave her the chance to not only provide backing vocals for the reunited band, but also to put together her own live band and start performing the local circuit.

After working on a collaborative album, songwriting and gigging, it was the loss of her beloved Granddad that made her re-evaluate her musical life. Still only 17 and with a new found determination, Harleighblu then set out to find the right producer that could give her the sound she truly wanted.

On meeting her now producer Joe Buhdha, Harleighblu says, "We seemed to knock out song after song at a crazy work rate and I finally felt I was creating songs I wanted to create". With a new direction and a shed load of new material she stepped out into the gigging circuit once again, this time taking in local venues, numerous festivals and supporting roles for Liam Bailey and Natalie Duncan. Thanks to these performances, and early support from BBC Introducing and the legendary rapper Rodney P, the buzz around Harleighblu came to the attention of Tru Thoughts A&R Robert Luis, who likens this discovery to the way he felt on first signing the likes of Alice Russell, Quantic and Bonobo.

Harleighblu announced her record deal with a knockout performance at the Tru Thoughts label party at London's Koko in November 2012, lighting up the hallowed venue in style alongside her 10-piece band including the Renegade Horns and UK rap legend Rodney P.

The first taste of new music on Tru Thoughts was an upfront track that came out on a limited edition Record Store Day 12" – "Enough Now" – and gained heavy radio support including MistaJam's coveted BBC 1Xtra 'Jam Hot' record of the week.

Harleighblu's debut album 'Forget Me Not' dropped in October 2013, the same month as she featured on the cover of national magazine, Echoes, cementing her status as one of the hottest new talents on the scene. The album was preceded by the "Play Me" single, gaining heavy support from Trevor Nelson on his BBC 1Xtra Daytime 'Free Play' list, as well as appearing on his BBC Radio 2 Soul Show. More support has come from the likes of Don Letts (6Music), Nemone (6Music), Huey Morgan (6Music), Ras Kwame (Choice FM), Craig Charles (6Music), Q, Clash, DJ Mag, Blues & Soul and Echoes; and her videos on YouTube have gained over 50,000 hits. Meanwhile, Harleighblu has received a slew of collaboration requests from Shy FX, Eats Everything, 16bit (on Chase & Status's MTA Records) and others who cannot yet be revealed... but suffice to say this rising star is in demand.

Rounding up a great year, Harleighblu performs a live PA on MistaJam's 1Xtra Xmas Party show in December; and 2014 sees the fruits of some of those A-list collaborations, as well as Harleighblu's "Let Me Be" single featuring killer remixes from Titeknots and Astro Raw.



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