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Future pop star Harriette on Taylor Swift, Tiktok and the beauty of being quintesentionally yourself.

Walking through the backstage of Hammersmith Apollo, I’m looking for a room containing Harriette, a genre-bending musician who’s about to play to a sold out, 5000 strong crowd, without even an EP out yet. Granted, she’s here supporting Girl In Red, a Norwegian artist who, like Harriette, blew up with the help of TikTok and the communities on the internet.

“I really like the internet.” She tells me. We’re sitting in a small dressing room upstairs. “I really like being online. My EP is famously called I Heart The Internet. I love attention! I love being a part of online communities, that sounds way more woke than it actually is. I love TikTok, Taylor Swift TikTok.” Harriette is a self-confessed Taylor Swift super fan. “I love Taylor Swift and Fiona Apple. I’m here 100% because of them.”

After sitting for approximately two minutes, Harriette and I are already chatting like we’ve met before. This warmth and vulnerability is all her. She’s genuinely excited to tell me about her music, her tour, her entire world. Beside her is Puma, her guitarist and best friend, sitting in for moral support.

Harriette isn’t yet a known name, even in cult circles, but chronically online people may be familiar with her track ‘at least i'm pretty’, a breakup song about the joys of therapy without the wallowing self-pity. “I had just started with a new therapist, I love my therapist now. It was a lot of talking about how my family has influenced my other relationships and the romantic relationship I was in was telling me a lot about my family relationships.”


The song was an instant success on TikTok. “I was writing a lot of songs but I wasn’t really doing anything with them. I was writing ‘at least i'm pretty’ and thought I think this could do well on TikTok.” As a young woman in her early twenties, Harriette grew up with social media as a big part of her life, I asked if she knew it was going to blow up the way she did. “I was so on my phone and watching so many singing videos. I was writing this song and I was like ‘I actually think that this would be awesome [on TikTok]’ and I was right on the money!”

But even though she famously ‘hearts’ the internet, the world of content creation isn’t a straight forward pathway to success, nor is she expecting it to be. “There’s so much more of a conversation about me on TikTok because that’s how everyone found my music and I’m like ‘I actually don’t want to do that anymore.’ There was a time when it wasn’t fun and felt forced. I felt embarrassed about what I was posting and I didn’t like how long things were living. I like it way more now. I get cooler every day! It’s funner to live in that headspace instead of one where I’m like ‘Oh my god that was so weird’ which I think you can definitely do online too.”

There’s a wider conversation to be had about the relationship between TikTok and the music industry. Videos of established artists like FKA Twigs criticising the way industry heads are pressuring artists to ‘go viral’ is ruining what was once a melting pot of creativity. It even took its toll on Harriette herself, who instead of using social media to have fun, had to start seeing it as a job, which drained a lot of the joy from it.

“I think TikTok is really fun in general as an app. Trying to make this a career, it’s been really hard because I really don’t like to force anything. You definitely want to promote your music and make it do well, but its a hard balance. I think especially with major labels, comparing you to other artists to see if you’re worthy of their attention and time and money, which is so not how music works or art works or humans work.”

One of her remedies for this has been hiring her sister as her creative director. “It’s the best collab ever. At first, people are just kinda talking at you when you start this, and actually with TikTok they’re like ‘post this, do this, sing this’ and none of them really resonate with you. She’s now in all my business group chats and she can be like ‘that’s lame, she’s not doing that’.”

Hiring friends and family is a major theme for Harriette. Puma is still sitting beside her, gushing about her friend and showing me just how loved she is. “That song really changed my life too.” Puma says, talking about ‘Fucking Married’, a recently released track that details just how grateful Harriette is where she is. “The lyric like ‘I’m so cute I’m 22 I’ve got so much left to do.’ Turning 22 and hearing that I was like oh my god that’s so true I literally have so much left to do!” “And now we’re doing it.” Harriette adds, both equally quite emotional at the journey they’re embarking on together across the world.

There’s a palpable shorthand between them, both in this small room and on stage, where it’s just the two of them singing fresh songs about love, leaving home and the trials and tribulations of your early twenties. Both during and between songs, the women look at each other to communicate how they’re feeling. Puma admits to crying almost every time they play ‘bc I love you”, a song about what you do for the people you love. “You’re so embodied now,” says Puma, and I would agree. This is Harriette doing what she was born to do. After meeting at art school, both quit pursuing other dreams. “We both dropped out, one after the other and when Harriette was dropping out she was like ‘I think I’m gonna be a singer’ and then you just did it, no help. Harriette is an up-by-your-bootstraps girl, she did it by herself. Everyone who works on your thing LOVES you and is so invested in your thing. And they love you so much. Try not to cry.”


It’s not just about touring, Harriette reiterates the magic you can make by collaborating with the people you know. “You have so much more to be proud of because you’re really from the roots of the project. You found the friend, you built the relationship and then you made something all together and it’s so much more your own.”

This leads us to discuss her first EP “I Heart The Internet” which comes out at the end of April. “I’m really excited about it. I’ve been sitting on this for two years so I keep going through stages of ‘I love it!’ to ‘I hate it, it’s so bad.’ I was talking to my therapist about that, being like ‘I’m feeling so anxious, I’m tired of sitting on this I just want it to be out, I want it to be over with’ and being a human critiquing myself over it too many times. It was very helpful for her to say ‘the art that happens is like running water through you, you can’t think of it as something that’s still yours. You have to think that this is something you created and now its someone elses.’”

The EP itself is an extensive project with 8 songs, a lot of which are unreleased. “It’s a mix of a bunch of different songs. I started writing it when I was like 19 with not the intention of having an EP, but songs I’ve carried with me that I knew I wanted to do something with. There’s a country song, a Billie Eilish/Mitski-style song. I kind of hear it as the same sound, I don’t really connect it to genres anymore.” The focus on Harriette’s music isn’t about fitting into a mould someone has made for her, it’s about putting her truth out.

If our lengthy conversations about the internet and loving her friends prove one thing, it’s that she’s quintessentially herself and won’t pretend for anyone. She goes with the flow, about to play to a crowd of 5000 people, some of whom have been camping out since the morning to get a front row glimpse of Girl In Red.

Our conversation comes to an end as Harriette and Puma leave to get ready. Before they do, we play around with my small 35mm point-and-shoot camera and I ask her if there’s anything she wants to add. “I feel like I’m very on brand for me as a human. I also feel like right now mentally I’m in an awesome place too, so I feel good meeting a lot of people. I love to be myself, is what my therapist told me. Music is awesome, I fart, I pick my nose and it's awesome.”

The debut EP "I Heart The Internet" is out April 27th via AWAL.

Juan Francisco Sanchez 1.jpg

Words by Ella Guthrie

Photography by Muriel Margaret

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