WITH six days to go until Parklife 2015, Nathan Salt catches up with Karen Harding…

“I can’t wait to get out there and show people what I’m about.”

That is the message from County Durham’s newest singing sensation, Karen Harding, when asked how she was feeling ahead of making her Parklife Festival debut in a few days time.

Having been unsuccessful at the boot-camp stage of X Factor in 2013 with the controversial six chair challenge selection process the end of the road on the show, the 23-year old has responded in perfect fashion and is now working with some of the best artists and producers in the industry.

Catapulted into stardom with the toe-tapping, top 10 dance track “Say Something”, Harding admits the response to the track which has had over six million hits on Youtube has been unbelievable.

“It’s been incredibly exciting – even more so when it stayed in the top 40 for over 3 months. I’ve just had my silver disc for more than 200,000 sales I’m so buzzing!”

At Parklife, Harding is scheduled onto the Saturday main stage alongside household music acts such as Labrinth, Ella Eyre and BBC DJ Annie Mac but she is not one to get anxious or nervous despite her relative obscurity – even after Say Something’s overwhelming chart success.

“It doesn’t feel real, but in a way I’ve been waiting my whole life for it,”she said.

“I’m absolutely buzzing, I can’t wait to get out there and show people what I’m about. Manchester is great, whenever I’ve played there the audiences have been mint.”

In conjunction with the release of Say Something, Harding was signed by Disclosure’s record label ‘Method labels’ which was conceived in 2013 and it is no surprise who she is looking forward to seeing most this summer at Parklife.

“Disclosure!! Although I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and just being there. It’s just going to be so much fun.”

Not one to leave anything until the last minute, Harding has been working with her band for a number of weeks in preparation for her Parklife performance. Given she is performing away from the recording studio, Harding certainly wanted to fine tune her powerful vocal alongside her band’s eclectic sound.

Three words Karen Harding gave us to describe how she feels about Parklife

First spotted by MNEK – an artist and producer whose stock in the industry is sky high right now and also someone Harding cites as an ‘inspiration to work with’- after posting a cover of ‘Latch feat Si Sax’many have been debating on social media as to whether saxophone sensation,Si Sax, will form part of her band…

“Yes Si is a permanent fixture in the band,” she told me.

Female vocalists are currently taking the industry by storm and Harding was clear in her key influences. With a vocal as powerful as her’s she has always taken notice of some household names when creating new music.

“Mostly old school Whitney [Houston] and Mariah [Carey], I love great vocalists generally. I’m a big fan of Janet Jackson as well, there are loads.”

To many she may be seen as another overnight sensation but with more music expected to be released throughout the summer, it is clear Karen Harding is a name music fans will see more and more in the charts.

What is most striking when you speak to Karen Harding is her drive and passion; continually working on new music – she recently featured on Arches track ‘New Love’ which premiered in April – her future goals remain clear (albeit one is rather optimistic!).

“Hopefully world domination!”

“No, I’d just like to get my music out to as many people as possible. Great things come to those who wait and continue to work hard; that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned this year.”

By Nathan Salt

Karen Harding will be playing at Parklife Festival on Saturday June 6. We will be at Parklife 2015 bringing you reviews from the weekend…

Tomorrow we’ll be releasing the next interview piece with Manchester born DJ Lempo. 

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