INTERVIEW: HARIZ spills the beans on his ‘Border’ EP & his big ambition for 2022

INTERVIEW: HARIZ spills the beans on his ‘Border’ EP & his big ambition for 2022

With two top 40 radio hits – "I Got You" and "Remind Me" - to his name already, HARIZ is rapidly becoming a name on people's lips, and his sound is filling more and more ears around the world.

He's set to release his extended EP 'Beyond Borders' later this year and, in the lead-up to its release; he's shared a number of different versions of his song "Border", the title track of his current EP, the latest being a collaboration with NBC's Songland and Starstruck Records artist Caroline Kole. HARIZ talked to XS Noize about his upcoming collection and his goals for the rest of 2022.

Have you always wanted to be an artist, or did you have other ambitions when you were younger? How did you find yourself on this career path? 

I always knew I wanted to be an artist. There was nothing that ever pulled me the way music did. It's like it wasn't my choice; it was in my bones. I mean, I couldn't and still can't go a day without singing or even walk past a piano in a hotel lobby without playing it. As the years went on, my love for it kept growing. So, in a way, I always knew.

You're a fairly new name on the scene but have already racked up an impressive 10 million global streams. What do you think it is about your music, including the latest single, "Border", that is creating such a strong connection with listeners and fans?

I'd like to think it's because of the way that I specifically talk about things. In my short life, I've gone through a lot more than most people my age have, and those experiences let me speak in a way that's a bit different, and I try to stay as genuine about how my feelings are, and we're in every situation. I think people intrinsically know that I'm being real, and that's a major pull. Plus, I think my voice and production is pretty catchy, which I'm sure helps.

Which artists or bands have been and are the most influential to and for you when it comes to the music you make?

This question has always been a hard one for me because I never felt like there was just one specific artist or even a few artists that have influenced my music. Going up, I was extremely lucky to have music of all genres constantly playing throughout the house. Everything from the Eagles to Lionel Richie, to Rihanna, etc., consciously and unconsciously, all these different artists how you've given me little jumping-off points that helped bring a piece of me out into the world.

Is there a particular story to "Border"? What made you think it was the right choice for a single release? What do you want people to take from the song when they hear it?

There's not one specific story about "Border"; it's more of a culmination of my feelings as I was growing up. I felt like I was always the listening ear for everyone. I even had random people come and tell me things that they've never told anyone before. I just always tried to be an open person, but I never felt comfortable enough to share my issues and feelings. But I have amazing family and friends that are always there for me, always ready to listen, so it's really about hope. Part of hope is understanding that where you are might not be exactly where you want to be, but also understanding that life is going to change, and it'll all work out the way it's supposed to. Maybe you're suffering now, but this suffering is going to make you appreciate the other side way more than if you didn't.

Your 'Border' EP is out now. How would you say it captures who you are as an artist? 

The EP itself is very introspective. I really took a hard look at myself and really ask myself what I wanted to tell the world about HARIZ. I really did it for two reasons, one being the thought that my emotions are not only felt by myself, but others might share the same feelings. The second reason is almost just for me, to convince myself of that statement, that I'm not alone in my feelings.

What can you tell me about the new track on it, "Dark Room"? 

"Dark Room" is really my depress-o song about myself. When I'm sad, I tend to hide that from people as I feel like I don't wanna burden anyone with my problems. Especially because I feel like people already deal with their own. Growing up taught me that if you share how you feel, it almost always tends to make you feel better.

 

You've also released a number of different 'alt' versions of "Border", which will feature on your upcoming EP 'Beyond Borders.' What made you decide to do so?

I've released two so far, and there's one more to come. I feel like "Border" deserved to have multiple different lives, as I feel the message should transcends just one specific version. To give a little bts info, one of them has a feature, another one is a production collaboration, and one of them is an acoustic. Each one of the three gives "Border" a different breath.

How do you feel about social media? As a new-ish artist, I'm sure you're all too aware of its importance in the industry, but how do you feel it impacts your career, as well as your personal life, if at all? 

As an artist, I feel social media is a great way to connect to those people who want to know more about you than just your music. So, I try to use it as an extension of myself. I like to imagine the camera on my phone is really your eyes. It's almost like you're there with me. And in many ways, this allows people to see a completely different side of me that they wouldn't have seen otherwise.

Lastly, I want you to look forward to December 31st 2022. What do you hope to have achieved by then? What goals and ambitions do you have personally and professionally, and how do you plan to go about achieving them? 

I tend to keep them pretty close to the chest and let them speak for themselves as far as my goals. But one I will share is that I plan to jump onto a festival, as I haven't done one quite yet! And I'll achieve my goals as I always do; by giving my all.

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