It’s always tough to take the big step and follow your heart’s desire. Harper Starling is one such person who made that leap, leaving the beautiful area of Eastern Wisconsin, in order to chase her dreams of making it in Los Angeles. We’ve previously written about her single, ‘Euphoria’, her collaboration with The Perry Twins, which made it on the Billboard Dance Chart, but now we’re taking a deep dive into how she got there, with her biographical track, ‘No More What If’, which is not only her story, but also an encouragement to anyone who is debating whether or not to make that jump, to get their voice heard.
‘No More What If’ is a dance-pop song telling of a creative young woman, who although she deeply loved her home, still needed to get herself out into the big wide world. The song was recorded at Capitol Recording Studios and East West Recording Studios, both in LA. There’s a remix as well of the song, produced by Eric Kupper, known for his work with Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera, and Miley Cyrus, just to name a few. The song is also accompanied by a brightly coloured and all round fun music video, featuring a few cameos.
Watch the music video below:
Lisa was lucky to have a chat with Harper, and you can check out what she had to say about the song, her music, and making that big move.
EP: We last featured you on EP back in 2018 with your single, ‘Euphoria’. Now you’ve got a new single out, ‘No More What If’. How have you been in that time? How’s the pandemic been treating you?
HS: Thank you for having me back! I’ve been very busy since then working on a new album, preparing for a UK tour, collaborating with Grammy award-winning writers and producers, and shooting various music videos.
EP: ‘No More What If’ feels quite biographical; a girl leaves her hometown in Wisconsin to make her name in LA – how close is it to your real story?
HS: ‘No More What If’ really is a documentary of my life. The small town I grew up in is called “the bubble” and I went from a midwest to west coast girl. The music video also has multiple Midwestisms that are fun little Easter eggs.
EP: The lyrics are very relatable, even to someone who’s not an Upper Midwestern girl! But what’s the main differences between the girl from Wisconsin you were and the LA girl you now are? Or is it really a case of “you can take the girl out of Wisconsin…”?
HS: The biggest difference is that I now have more confidence because I took that chance to pursue the impossible dream. I still have my Wisconsin accent, though, from time-to-time.
EP: Your videos have cameos in it from Lisa London, and Cindy Valentine. Cindy co-wrote and co-produced ‘No More What If’ (along with you and Niko The Kid) – how did that come about? And how did you get Lisa London to agree to be in your video?
HS: I am incredibly grateful for having Lisa and Cindy in the music video! They have been very good friends for many years and when Cindy shared the song and video concept with Lisa, she fell in love with it and offered to be a part of the project.
EP: What’s one thing you really miss from Wisconsin that you can’t get in LA? And similarly, if there was something you could take back to Wisconsin from Los Angeles, what would it be?
HS: I have been craving some good fried cheese curds from the Wisconsin State Fair for years now. In LA, it would be the amazing views and hiking trails.
EP: What’s your advice to anyone who’s hoping to make the jump from their own small town bubble to follow their dreams?
HS: Take a deep breath and don’t let the fear stop you from taking those chances. It will all be worth it in the end.
EP: If you could do it all over again, what if anything, would you do differently and why?
HS: I would find a woman named Cindy Valentine immediately upon moving to Los Angeles. She’s been the biggest help with my music career and I’ve seen such growth in the year that I’ve known her.
EP: Who’s your musical inspiration? What about personally?
HS: Musically, Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa. Dua Lipa in terms of vocal approach and Lady Gaga in terms of performance. Personally, my mom is my biggest inspiration because of her hard work ethic.
EP: And finally – I ask this of everyone I interview – what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does?
HS: I honestly wish that someone would just ask me what gives me the strength and courage to be away from home on my own?