It’s a very special moment for any musician – the release of your debut album! That’s what Nottingham resident HARLEIGHBLU is doing this week

HASHTAG – #Harleighblu (It’s unique, the artist name + a word that has not trended before).

HARLEIGHBLU‘s debut album Forget Me Not is available to buy now:

PHYSICALLY IN NOTTINGHAM - HMV and FOPP have both confirmed they’re stocking it.

ONLINE - I-Tunes, Amazon and direct from Tru Thoughts.

WATCH HARLEIGHBLU PLAY NOTTINGHAM CASTLE AND HEAR HER TELL HER STORY IN THIS MINI-DOC CLICK HERE.

READ HARLEIGHBLU’s INTERVIEW WITH MADDIE HAMMOND HERE.

READ OUR REVIEW OF THE HARLEIGHBLU ALBUM HERE.

OUR LEAD ARTIST ON THIS WEEK’S PODCAST CLICK HERE.

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If – for whatever reason – you had any doubt about the vitality of the British Soul Scene, then I urge you to go out & grab ‘Forget Me Not’. In a genre still grappling with a Winehouse-shaped hole, our very own princess of Soul HARLEIGHBLU is shaping up to be it’s next poster girl. And with national radio support and mainstream broadsheet coverage, there’s no reason she can’t go all the way to take the crown as Queen Bee.

 

‘Forget Me Not’ is a glorious listen; 11 tracks that mark a triumphant return to vintage Soul. Though only 21, HARLEIGHBLU has mastered the knack of writing songs that sound decades old, brought bang up to date with a modern, almost Hip-Hop twist.The opening tracks are packed with jazzy grooves and slurred vocals, smokey sweet in their delivery which – if you close your eyes – could fool you into believing you’re listening to a contemporary of Billie & Nina. ‘Play Me’, the debut single from the album, is a delicious slice of urban Soul that could have been lifted straight from ‘Frank’ whilst ‘Love of my Life’ – a personal highlight – is mellower in approach, shimmering beautifully amongst a sea of piano and hazy vocals. ‘This Way’ and ‘Sittin’ By the Window’ offer bold breakaways, harnessing a grittier side which compliments the album’s natural edge before final track ‘Love Like This’ closes the album on a tumultuous, string-backed, scatt-inspired high.

As an album, it’s a triumph. As a debut, it’s an outstanding achievement and titillating taste of what HARLEIGHBLU is capable of. In the album notes, she hopes this is an album ‘Nottingham can be proud of’. It is.

 

Forget Me Not’ is out Monday 14th October on Tru Thoughts Records. You can get a copy in town from Fopp or HMV (the two local stores that have confirmed they are selling it) or order on iTunes HERE.

 

Yours in Love of New Music,

Maddie Hammond. X

 

“It’s like a mini motown going on in our own city!”

 

As part of our Artist of the Month feature, we like to try and get an interview with said artist. So I was lucky enough to have a little chat with October’s AoM HARLEIGHBLU about her impending album and the Nottingham scene…

 

In four words, how does it feel to have an album coming out this month?


Exciting, nerve wracking, hopeful, thankful.

 

There’s a definite old-school Jazz lounge vibe to your music. Who are you biggest influences?


My biggest influences are people like Gil Scott, Erkya Badu, D’angelo…And timeless classic singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday & Nina Simone! I also listen to a lot of hip hop… I love singers like Mary J Blige and Lauryn Hill that manage to blend Hip Hop so well with their Soul music. My lady of the moment right now is Marlena Shaw… her vocals are just incredible.

 

It all feels very authentic and quite organic. Is there a particular song writing process you go through?


Thank you! I usually am given a sample or loop of an idea to write over by my producer, Joe Buhdha… the writing process is quite Hip Hop. He’ll think of an idea and make it there and then. I’ll play it on a loop until I’ve written the basis of my song, and sometimes it doesn’t come together until I’m in the booth recording it. Layering up the harmonies and giving the take some attitude. Nearly all of the songs on the album are from one take. It’ll finally click a few hours into the session and we’ll just lay it down. I love working that way, it keeps the ideas really fresh and throws you in at the deep end.

 

So what can we expect from the album?

 

I hope I’ve created something fresh, a new take on classic soul…We wanted to create a record that you could listen to all the way through without skipping… Something special in every track. Hopefully we’ve done that.

 

You’ve been a key player in the Notts music scene for some time now, and you were one of our Future Sound of Nottingham judges this year – How big do you feel the scene could get?

 

I know! That was special; it was great to have been asked to judge that. I’ve been around in the Nottingham scene a while now & I’ve seen it grow into what it is and I’ve got to say, I feel so privileged to be a part of it. There are so many special musicians in this little city in the middle of England, and we’re like a melting pot of sounds too. From JAKE BUGG to LIAM BAILEY to SAINT RAYMOND, everyone’s a little different and everyone’s doing their own thing. It’s a special time right now – everyone is finally breaking through and making their own little splash nationally and internationally. This is just the beginning, I think. The more artists that break through the bigger the spotlight becomes for all of us. I love it.

 

The soul scene is really something else here too…


Yeah I’m so proud of that too. People like LIAM BAILEY kicked it off for us, smashing it… then we had NATALIE DUNCAN break through and now there are people like myself and ADY SULEIMAN coming along and creating our own wave. It’s really exciting to play alongside and get to work with these artists, we’re all coming from the same place and all doing such different things. It’s like a mini motown going on in our own city!

 

Joe Buhdha aside, which Nottingham artist would you love to collaborate with?


NATALIE DUNCAN used to be my backing singer when I was starting out gigging in Nottingham. She was amazing to work with, such a talented vocalist and I still look up to her massively now. Aside from Natalie, LIAM BAILEY would also be my other choice… we sang a duet this time last year at ‘From Notts With Love’ and it was one of my highlights of performing in Nottingham, ever. They are both very special artists… Superstars.

 

And finally, is there anything you’d like to say to the music lovers of Nottingham?


Nottingham has such a lot to offer… So go to local gigs, support local talent, buy records! Whatever genre you’re into we’ll have someone from that genre of music smashing it – on your very own doorstep!  In our city, we have real talent, with a real buzz, across the board.  So be a part of it and go support x

 

HARLEIGHBLU‘s debut album ‘Forget Me Not is out October 14th on Tru Thoughts Records. You can see a special performance in our ‘Nusic Presents Harleighblu’ mini-doc HERE.

 



To celebrate the release of her debut album ‘Forget Me Not’ we spent a day filming HARLEIGHBLU live at Nottingham Castle and around her hometown. We stopped off to have a chat at various locations around Notts that had played a role in her evolution as an artist. As with DOG IS DEAD last year, this all took place almost three years to the day since we did our Future Session with the artist – a really freaky coincidence.

Debut album ‘Forget Me Not’ is officially released on Monday 14th October, we will be reviewing it as well as featuring a written interview with Harls plus a preview of her Oct 18th Album Launch, later in the month.

The Tru Thoughts released album is available for pre-order here NOW. It will also be available from local record shops around Nottingham, and of course across the UK and the world!

NUSIC.ORG.UK PRESENTS…

HARLEIGHBLU


The incredible New Music keeps coming including the debut single from Notts Factor winners ONE GIRL ONE BOY, two exclusive live tracks and an intro to our Artist of the Month for November.

WARNING: The podcast may contain some fruity language, if easily offended check out CBeebies.


NUSIC New Music Podcast 039 (95) TRACKLISTING

SAINT RAYMOND - Bonfires
REBEL SOUL COLLECTIVE – XTC
HANNAH HOLLEY – Little Lady
ONE GIRL ONE BOY – If This Is Love
REWIND: LYKA - Abrasive
JUST JAMES – Red Light Means Go (Sound Hub Records)
BACK TO THE FUTURE: D FLOWZ - Perfect (FS Live Track)
BAND OF JACKALS – Tempted By Lasers (FS Live Track)
INJURED BIRDS – Song For Bailey (Denizen Recordings)
LEXUS – First Class Ticket
PACIFICA - Ruin

You can subscribe to the Podcast online, and you’ll get pictures!

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