Creating from South East London, Harve has been writing songs as a form of therapy for over 10 years; processing their life experiences, and traversing the complexities of human emotion. Since meeting Kwes Darko in 2015, armed with a laptop full of demos, Harve spent countless hours and nights in the studio with him, experimenting and cultivating the sound you hear today in Held By The Moon. Through ardent lyricism, they dissect what it is to be a queer person; the self-acceptance, the relationships, the doubts, and the love. These are sounds to move you, to be intimate with, to close your eyes to. We spoke to Harve about their debut EP Held By The Moon, keeping creative in quarantine, and the story behind their intimate new video that we’re premiering today, ‘Save Something’.
Director Mia Clark on the video:“I feel very lucky to have worked with Harve on bringing Save Something to life. The minute I heard the song, I was in awe. Then when I read the idea, I knew instantly I had to work on this. Me and cinematographer Daniel Lille worked hard on making sure the lighting was perfect to fit each scene and mood and to keep a flow between the different connections in the video. Safe to say, I’m proud of this one.”
KALTBLUT: You wrote the treatment for your new video ‘Save Something’, can you tell us a little bit more about the story behind the video and what it’s all about? What was it like on set?
Harve: Me and my sister came up with the concept whilst we were away on holiday together. ‘Save Something’ is really about how lonely the world can feel, especially when you’re looking for love. You’re moving around, going out, meeting people, but I feel like we always hold something back, for that person that makes us want to bare all. So we knew we wanted the focus to be on this kind of constant quest for a real connection with someone. I wanted each room to have its own feeling, a different type of connection between the people within it.
I knew I wanted a dance scene, so I reached out to a good friend Pierre Babbage, who choreographed the beautiful scene with them and Fraser Buchanan. And that scene really became the real moment of the video you know; they managed to embody that deep, whole body connection that you can have with someone.
The atmosphere on the set was great; I had my sister, Nic, in the video and my best friend, Veda Black. Everyone in the video was queer, which was really special; and we had a really wonderful, accomodating crew.
KALTBLUT: Your debut EP Held By The Moon is out today. What’s the title all about?
Harve: I’ve always just felt very at peace and in touch with my emotions at night. I think after all the motion of daytime is over, you’re just left with the stillness which makes you feel all those things you’ve been suppressing. And the moon, well she is just up there looking down whilst this is all happening.
KALTBLUT: You identifying as a queer person centres most of your work. Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences and the message you want to get across?
Harve: Yeah, of course, so I identify as queer and non-binary. I’ve known I was queer as long as I can remember, but my journey with gender kind of came at me a lot later. It’s really been the last few years that I worked through a lot of my feelings towards my gender and I remember hearing the term non-binary and feeling at home instantly. As a masc-presenting person, I had such a unique but toxic relationship with what I thought masculinity was. I was constantly comparing myself to men, and feeling pretty inadequate next to them. Writing this EP really forced me to work through that all; I realised everything I’d been told about gender was bullshit. The EP is really also a break-up project, but this is how it is when you’re queer, it’s connected, it can’t be separated. I just want people to see us, listen to our stories, share our art; we’ve got a lot to say.
KALTBLUT: How has the current climate affected you as an artist and on a personal level?
Harve: As an artist, initially the prospect of putting out a project right now, was terrifying. I had to postpone my first show, and it just felt far too uncertain to release music through this. But honestly, it’s been such a rewarding process. I feel like it’s one thing I know I can do that could hopefully give just a few people some escapism for a short while. The support between other creatives right now has been a beautiful thing to watch blossom.
On a personal level, it’s been really up and down, but mostly I’m feeling very grateful for everything I have. But honestly, my main focus has just been managing the extreme highs and lows right now. I’m trying to stay creative when I can, look after my body, and stay connected to the people I love, past that is too much to think about right now.
KALTBLUT: How are you keeping spirits high? Any routines or fav playlists keeping you going?
Harve: Luckily I’m in lockdown with my sister and best friend, so it’s been really good to have people to turn to. I’ve been trying to just make as much music as I can, exercising when I can and getting outdoors.
And also all the activity on COLORS at the moment is great; Moses Sumney’s COLORS has inspired me for at least the next year.
KALTBLUT: Who or what have you found fills you with the energy or inspiration to create?
Harve: Honestly, I’ve been smoking quite a lot and just thinking quite deeply. I don’t really remember the last time I had this much time to explore ideas and curious thoughts, so naturally, a lot of song ideas are coming from that. Also just trying to listen to music I’ve not listened to in a long time and discovering new artists.
KALTBLUT: What was your first connection to music? A memory? An artist?
Harve: It’s funny, I remember hearing Queen for the first time when I was about 9 or 10, and just having my mind blown. I’d never heard anything like that; my uncle bought me their greatest hits, and I remember just having it on loop on my first CD player. I’d just never heard music without limits like that before; as a first-time listener, you just couldn’t comprehend where they would go,
KALTBLUT: What is your go-to album for when you’re feeling blue?
Harve: If I want to lean into my blueness, then Blue by Joni Mitchell. That album really changed the game for me, her lyrics are some of my favourite poetry. But if I need something with a little more bounce, it’s Blonde by Frank Ocean, it’s the perfect album to listen to alone and just through the feels.
KALTBLUT: Any words of wisdom to people finding it tough right now?
Harve: I think now more than ever, take the pressure off yourself, and lower your expectations of what you need to be doing. We could never be prepared for how this would affect us individuals, so just do whatever you need to do right now to get through.
Held By The Moon is out now: https://backl.ink/heldbythemoon