Despite her young age of 20, Jennie Harluk has been developing her talent as a singer-songwriter for years.
Her compositions are largely influenced by her love of storytelling, with a lyrical emphasis on her childhood feelings and interactions.
Her music ranges from exquisite ballads that radiate sorrow and are extremely personal, to exuberant dance numbers that are absolutely ecstatic and catchy, and is inspired by Taylor Swift and Julia Michaels.
Jennie’s passion for the written word drives her to capture and construct the precise message for each of her songs. She is involved in all aspects of music creation, from songwriting to recording and production, to ensure that each work is uniquely hers.
Her first EP “Mess of Me,” which includes her current tracks “Party for Two” and “She’s Got You,” is set to be released this autumn.
You may read the full of our interview with her below.
1- Where did you come from, where are you based now, and why?
I was born and grew up in Calgary, Alberta Canada, and still live in the same home I’ve always lived in with my family. I love Calgary as it’s a fairly small city, the people are so warm and kind, and it’s always been home. I grew up in the country, outside of the rush of the city but still close enough to feel connected to the buzz and events happening! I’d love to stay here as long as I can and encourage our city to continue growing in the arts, creatives, and music!
2- When did you begin your musical career?
I’m 20 years old, but in a way, I could say my music career started around the age of 10. When my parents started taking it seriously and finding me opportunities to perform and encouraging me to write songs. I began writing at 10 and recording/releasing music at 12. Since then it’s been full steam ahead!
3- Who are your biggest influences?
This is always an interesting question for me because I originally began writing/releasing country music. I grew up listening primarily to country so my influences were people like Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, and more… Then as I grew up a little bit and ventured into finding more of my own music I liked, I came across Brandi Carlisle and fell in love with her writing.
Then began listening to more pop like Lennon Stella, Sabrina Carpenter, JP Saxe who are some of my more current influences. I think my journey from country to pop and love of all genres makes my own sound unique as I have little pieces of everything in all the songs I create. But I know my songwriting abilities for storytelling and painting pictures came from country music in the beginning and gained a unique taste and flare when I ventured into pop.
4- What is your creative process like?
I feel like my process for creativity is a constant, not always a schedule. I’m always taking inspiration from the media, the outdoors, friends and conversations. I do keep a notes page in my phone with random lines and phrases or half-written songs I come up with day to day. And then if I’m in a scheduled write with a producer I just pull from there or most days I just sit down at the piano and see what comes out!
A big part of my process however is Synaesthesia, which is a “neurological condition” (but I call it a superpower) that I have. Synaesthesia is when senses collide, so for me, I associate people in my life with colours and it works the same with songs. As I write, I know the song’s colour, texture, and visual attributes. This really helps me to create a vivid picture for Listeners and also comes in handy during the creative marketing stage!
5- What is the message behind She’s Got You?
She’s got you is a song I wrote on a character, meaning I’m not the girl in the song. But it was fun to create this petty, heartbroken but tough ex-girlfriend going a little crazy. The fun part about songwriting is it’s our world to create.
So I created a girl-next-door that turned bad while going through the emotions of a breakup. The song is sassy, petty as I mentioned, and angry. I think it’s relatable in the sense that emotions can overtake us in hard times like a breakup – and sometimes we hold on to all we can of memories… like a sweater, something they said, etc. The song really is just the season of emotions in a situational heartbreak.
6- What is your favorite song to perform?
One of my all-time favourite songs to sing, which I can tell in audiences that it goes over really well and so many people have fallen in love with is Hallelujah by Leanord Cohen. I tend to end all my sets with that song as an easy farewell. It’s known worldwide but yet performed so personally by anyone who sings it. definitely one of if not my top favourite!
7- If you could go open a show for any artist, who would it be?
I would love to open for my own Canadian favourites, Lennon Stella or JP Saxe. Both have shaped my art in huge ways and I think they’re incredible artists and people. I’d love the opportunity to share a stage and love for music with either of them!
8- What is the best gig you’ve ever played?
I’m a true believer every gig I do is valuable and special and I enjoy every time I get to perform, it’s so hard to choose just one! But I’ve always loved small and intimate gigs, where I really get to connect personally with the audience and make eye contact with everyone and interact in between sets. So any intimate gig I always love and appreciate
9- What is quite possibly the most annoying thing ever?
My absolute biggest pet peeve is when people are late. Haha. It’s pretty hard to push my buttons or make me angry, but if you’re late for something pre-planned or a time you said you’d be somewhere for, that’s always a bit annoying to me. Of course life happens and things get in the way! But it’s more of a time management thing haha!
10- What is one message you would give to your fans?
Singers and musicians are just like everyone else. We listen to songs we love too, and so getting the comments, shares, playlist adds, and everything in between from fans over songs that WE write and release means the world. So overall, just thank you. Thank you to everyone who listens anywhere in the world!
11-What is next for Jennie Harluk?
I’m excited to be announcing my debut EP this fall, the date has not yet been announced but you can follow me on all my socials @jennieharluk to stay up to date on that! I’m continuously active on building my fan base and connecting with listeners through Instagram and TikTok. I will be releasing one more single before my EP so stay tuned for that as well!