Interview: Arye Harmony

Could you share the story behind your latest song and what inspired its creation?

One day following many days, I reflected on my life from my current state. The feeling of shame, remorse, sadness, regret and feeling stuck was a part of my writing process to convey my message. Looking back at mistakes I’ve made in life, along with decisions I knew could have possibly gone wrong but chose that route anyway really put me in an apologetic and more conservative mindset.

How do you approach the process of songwriting, and are there any specific themes or emotions you tend to explore in your music?

Approaching songwriting comes from stories or creating a visual for your imagination to play out what the song is about. One way is I simply think of my own experiences and it just comes to me with a melody I make up in my head. Second, I can hear a beat or instrumental and let the music tell me what the direction of the song is going to be about. Third, I can hear someone else’s song and write a new song with a spin on the message from the one I heard. A theme I tend to explore down the road in music would be more subliminal songs.

As an indie musician, how do you navigate the balance between creative freedom and commercial appeal?

I stopped doing too much. Focusing on the music was the best thing to do. I stopped putting in a lot of money and hours of making myself look a certain way and stuck to a simple way of styling to achieve an everyday brand.

What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist in today’s music industry?

Originality. You are competing with people who are popular for not being original. So when you are original and talented, you are overlooked. Another thing is pulling an audience with lack of promotions while not falling for the gimmicks that others can do it for you. So many scams, fluff and deception with technology now and days.

Can you talk about your experiences collaborating with other artists or musicians? How does it influence your creative process?

Collaborating with other artists is not something that has happened on my projects. So I really don’t have much experience to tell on this one. However I have been featured on others and one experience, it was like they were loving everything I did with little input and the song came out nice. Then there was another collaboration where it seemed to take a great deal to satisfy the main artist and I had to do a lot of repetitive singing. But at the end of the day, the I Need Your Body dance track became popular in the Netherlands, Belgium and Russia.

What role does technology and social media play in promoting your music and connecting with your audience?

This question is funny and tricky. Social media can be very instrumental to my promotions but not so much of connecting with an audience. I connect with an audience when I’m in person as in singing in the subway, restaurants or having gigs, more than social media does. The main beneficial role it plays is Youtube. I’m currently in the process of switching my Instagram and starting over with a rebrand.

Are there any particular artists or genres that have had a significant impact on your musical style?

Gospel, Jazz, HipHop, R&B, Old school soul, and Country. Whitney Houston, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Tamia, Aretha Franklin and Christina Aguilera are the main ones.

Indie musicians often have a close relationship with their fanbase. How do you engage with your fans and build a dedicated community around your music?

It used to be through vlogging and connecting in that relative way. But honestly I have slacked on this for a while and just now starting over. So I plan to do some things differently to build a relationship with my fanbase.

Could you describe a memorable live performance experience or tour that has had a lasting impact on you and your music?

Performing at Farafina Cafe and Lounge one year, I was singing my leading single RED at the time. In the middle of the song, there was a girl I noticed stopped in her tracks mid waitressing. After the set, she came to me nearly in tears saying that is what she was going through with that exact situation at that time.

In an era of streaming platforms, how do you feel about the changing landscape of music consumption and its impact on independent musicians?

I feel like it’s harmful but helpful. The industry is so overly saturated with not only music coming from every direction but trash. Also there is music exemplifying the wrong message being heavily pushed. It leaves highly talented artists unnoticed and makes it harder to grow. Now you don’t need record labels, a marketing team or hardly a name behind you. You can create your own platform which is cool for us but so hard to keep up with what’s out, new and great.