The musician Harloe, who declined to share her real name, has gone into the studio with Nick Jonas and written for Charli XCX, Britney Spears, and JoJo. But this year, the 24-year-old musician is stepping into the spotlight in her own right with the upcoming EP Liquid Truth, slated for release later this summer. In March, she debuted a new take on her first solo single, “All in My Feelings,” an R&B-feeling track featuring the rising Chicago rapper Dreezy. The song went viral, catapulting Harloe to the number-one spot on Hype Machine and racking up more than a million streams on Spotify. It was a bold early taste of Harloe’s solo voice, which she follows up now with “More Than Ever,” her second single premiering exclusively on W.
“More Than Ever” emerged shortly after “All in My Feelings,” and it’s also an emotional successor to Harloe’s first single: “It’s about the same relationship as ‘All in My Feelings,’ but it’s about closure,” she explained over the phone on a recent afternoon in New York. “All of a sudden, my guard was let down to tell that story.”
That relationship, with which Harloe was grappling for much of 2016, found her confronting her difficulty in really letting go. ”I was so focused, and still am, on making music and being in the studio with artists,” she said. With the single and Liquid Truth, Harloe has begun channeling that vulnerability into music, which “leads to a new wave of confidence and a new wave of self-acceptance,” she said. (“Liquid Truth” is also the title of the EP’s closing track, a kind of thesis statement of whiskey-induced candor, a metaphor for the openness with which Harloe has struggled.)
Harloe has worked behind the scenes for myriad artists over the years: she co-wrote Charli XCX’s “Secret (Shh)” off her PC Music-produced EP Vroom Vroom; when we spoke, she had just emerged from a session with Nick Jonas. It’s where she honed her solo voice.
“One kind of keeps me on my chops for the other,” she said. She learned to embrace the vulnerability that is the focus of Liquid Truth in part from watching her musical collaborators open up in the studio. Sonically, she has drawn inspiration from everything from EDM to hip-hop to pure pop. She cites everyone rom Kanye West, Rihanna, Prince, the Beatles, and Migos among her influences.
“I love all those different worlds,” she said. “They’re all so strong.”
A taxonomy of the 11 types of people you might meet at an art fair, or, the chameleons of Frieze New York: