eighteen year-old, Calgary-based singer-songwriter Jennie Harluk just released her debut single “Blame It On Me” via all streaming platforms.
The track was co-written by Jennie, Sam Jackson Willows and Joseph W. Salusbury (Joseph of Mercury). Sam Jackson Willows (Ruby Waters, Dragonette) also produced.
The project caught the ear of music industry A&R veteran Fraser Hill (Serena Ryder, James Barker Band, Iskwe) who worked with Jennie on the song and will also A&R her debut E.P.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Jennie has spent much of her life exploring music and honing her craft. She began studying piano when she was six, just around the time her father–an accomplished musician and performer himself and Harluk’s most important musical role model–purchased a second-hand guitar for her. By age 10 she was performing regularly and writing her own songs. Her musical calling has led her to perform at an impressive range of events and venues such as the Calgary Stampede and Alberta’s iteration of the Country Thunder Festival. Jennie is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on her debut E.P slated for release in the Winter.
We had the opportunity to chat with Jennie about her debut single, creating the music video and what’s next.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest single “Blame It On Me?“
Jennie: This song actually came from a completely separate song. My A&R rep asked myself and the producer I was working with (Sam Willows) to jump back in on a song we thought had some potential. However when we got back into the session, neither one of us were feeling it and it felt too forced, so we decided to just have some fun and start something new! I don’t think we had a specific direction in mind, but as we got rolling – the inspiration came from emotions I’d had over the past year after graduating high school and finally starting to feel more unapologetically myself. We thrived off of the subtle sass and angst in the song, but lyrically it also hits a soft spot of just being tired of always trying to please people who constantly let you down.
Kat: What do you hope listeners take from the track?
Jennie: This is a feel good song. As much as it has anger and angst and a bit of grit to it, ultimately it’s a song about confidence, self love and truly being happy as you are! I hope people feel empowered, and that they get that tight feeling in their chest like an internal smile. I think we can all relate to it in one way or another, and I’m sure it will mean different things to different people. My biggest hope is that listeners relate to it the way they see fit, and that it makes them feel something about themselves and their own lives on a personal level.
Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process as an artist?
Jennie: I think sometimes it’s proving yourself to others or simply making a good impression talent-wise. The reality is that not every day is a great one creatively. I’ve been learning how to turn on the “okay let’s be creative” switch at any given moment. But sometimes you don’t know if inspiration is going to strike on a Wednesday at 2:45pm across Zoom with people you’ve never met before! It’s a weird process and feeling, being able to turn on this switch. But I’m definitely learning and getting better at it!
Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?
Jennie: Honestly I think creating the music video for this song was my biggest highlight. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud of something and of the people I did it with. I feel complete bliss over the visual side of this song. I feel proud because it took a bit of convincing, rightfully so, to sway people around me on the idea of doing it without a “real” production company on a “real” set with “real professionals” – but it turned out to be real in so many other ways that truly executed the video and visuals and my vision perfectly. Because it was built with real love by my closest friends (directed by Isabella Morton) who know me, my story and my heart and were just as excited about the project as I was. It was a very special thing to be cleaning up a homemade video set at 3am with the friends I hold closest, knowing we just did something so cool – that all of us will always remember!
Kat: What’s next for you?
Jennie: I actually just wrapped my second music video for the second single! With the same lovely friends as before. I’m continuously writing and recording new songs with new people and discovering new parts of my creativity and ability. Ultimately I just want to keep making music as long as I can!
For more on Jennie visit: https://www.jennieharlukmusic.com