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The journey to ‘Salt Box Lane’ and beyond
you heard Harland? If you haven’t already, you soon will. The angelic
voice of Shelley Harland, also known as Harland, is being featured on
quite a few albums this year, and her programming mastery is being noticed
as well. In March 2004, I was lucky enough to get to spend some time
with Shelley and learn a bit more about her. The story of how she got
to where she is today is an interesting one, and not what you might
up in Catheram Surrey, England, Shelley was exposed to electronica and
the London music scene, but she had never seriously thought of becoming
a musician herself. In 1997, fresh out of school and just starting her
own business, Shelley was well on her way to becoming a successful beauty
therapist. When she met and fell in love with singer/songwriter James
Wright that year, things changed dramatically. Until that point, Shelley
had never known anyone who played a musical instrument and had no idea
that she could sing.
really could not imagine singing in front of anybody. The thought horrified
me. I knew that I really wanted to try something, inside, but it was
just about conjuring up the courage to do it.”
heard Shelley singing around the house and tried to convince her to
give singing a chance. She found the courage to answer an ad in the
paper for a backup singer. Shelley describes how she felt the day of
was absolutely terrified, I was crying, I literally thought ‘What am
I doing? I can’t do this! This is ridiculous! Who do I think I am?’
she walked in and got the job on the spot. She came out elated, and
in disbelief. She decided not to join the band, but the audition got
her confidence rolling. Next she tried her voice out in a few karaoke
sounds really cheesy. ... I won the karaoke competitions and I started
to actually believe that I was OK at singing.”
and Andrew Wright, a producer and programmer in Australia – and James’
brother – started mailing ideas back and forth. Before they knew it,
they had enough songs for an album. In 1999 she flew to Australia, and
together Shelley and Andrew produced 13 songs in one month for the album
“Phoelar.” Shelley realized what she had the ability and desire to do:
programming. As soon as she got back from Australia she bought a sampler.
“I was hooked” she says.
spent a good part of 2002 and 2003 recording and producing her debut
solo album, “Salt Box Lane.” She joined Kristy Thirsk and Delerium on
their first tour, and wrote “Above the Clouds,” an exclusive iTunes
track for Delerium’s “Chimera.”
is shaping up to be a big year for Harland as well. ACIDplanet.com recently
featured Harland’s “In the Dark” – from “Salt Box Lane” – for its remix
contest, making her the first independent artist to be featured in a
remix contest at ACIDplanet (past contests have included such artists
as Depeche Mode, Venus Hum, Madonna and Lenny Kravitz).
response to the Harland contest was overwhelming, with 866 entries,
making her one of the most remixed artists in ACIDplanet history. As
of this writing, Harland was working her way through the entries to
pick a winner. It was important to her to listen to each song and to
give each contestant a chance: “I’d hate if I entered a remix contest
and they never listened to it.”
– “Phoelar,” featuring Harland and Andrew Wright.
Ryan – “Buildings In Between,” written by Joshua Ryan and Harland. Performed
by Harland. Featured on the album “By Design.”
XL – “Rivers,” written by Junkie XL and Harland. Performed by Harland.
Featured on the album “A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin.”
Rap – “Music in Me,” written by DJ Rap and Harland. Performed by Harland.
Featured on the album “Touching Bass.”
& Harland – www.iTunes.com exclusive track, “Above the Clouds.”
– “Salt Box Lane” (first solo album)
Corsten – “Holding On” and “SkinDeep,” written by Ferry Corsten and
Harland. Performed by Harland. Featured on the album “Right of Way.”
Klein – “Fearless,” written by Rio Klein and Harland. Performed by Harland.
Cale (Velvet Underground) – “Over Her Head,” programmed by Harland.
Featured on the album “Hobo Sapiens.”
Folder – two songs featuring Harland on his forthcoming album from Bedrock.
– collaborative project with vocalist Kristy Thirsk.
Alarm – collaborative project with drummer Adrian White.
Abraham – song featuring Harland on his upcoming album.
Room Project – collaboration
in Blue – “Meet Me in NY”
– Second solo album
Related link: Harland's official site