This one simple word but incredibly complex emotion has been the one constant thread weaving rising musician Harrison Storm’s life together. Harrison’s life can be divided into three distinct stages; his early years growing up in the Mornington Peninsula, diving head first into music and now finally moving up to Wollongong.
During his childhood it was the love for his parents that certainly shaped the person Harrison would become. Whether it was tagging along with his Dad on surfing trips up and down the coast or sitting around being serenaded by his Mum, each of these experiences are still evident in the man today.
“Mum had this beautiful Ibanez acoustic guitar which she would always play Black Bird by The Beatles or other finger picking style songs that she wrote, so that’s how I grew into that.” explained Harrison, “Dad used to listen to a lot of Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison so that influenced my style as well.”
Whilst his parents instilled a passion for music into Harrison he says they always pushed him to study and have a back-up plan. This led to Harrison enrolling into a Civil Engineering degree at university, however after just two and half years the call of music was simply too strong.
“Civil engineering is the total opposite to music so I found I was sitting in calculus lectures and lectures on concrete, but I was thinking about music. I loved science, math and engineering but the love for music was stronger so I had to deal with that internal battle and eventually went with my gut and dropped out.”
Following this incredibly difficult decision Harrison dove head first into music by hitting the streets busking in order to raise the funds to record his debut EP, Sense Of Home.
Despite requiring “months and months” of intense busking “up to three or four times per week” to reach the goal Harrison wouldn’t change anything about the experience.
“There is nothing like busking, it’s intense, it can get lonely and it can get cold but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. You develop some of the most genuine connections with people you’ve never met before so it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Not only did this experience steel Harrison to the struggles of breaking into the music industry but it also helped him to refine his performance into the captivating experience it is now. That hard work and growth certainly paid off following the release of Sense Of Home as it led to Harrison being discovered by Terry McBride, the co-founder and CEO of Nettwerk Music Group. Nettwerk is responsible for artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne, Angus & Julia Stone and Coldplay so it was an incredibly surreal moment when Terry reached out to Harrison.
“Terry sent me a Facebook message essentially asking if I wanted a record deal. In the music industry there are lots of people coming at you promising things so you have to be careful. I had to Google him to make sure it wasn’t some sort of hoax, obviously I’m glad I did that now.”
Since signing with Nettwerk Harrison has also signed with ie:music, an artist management company responsible for the likes of Robbie Williams and Ladyhawke, which he again says is surreal. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. It’s really humbling and inspiring to see that the people who look after them see something in you.”
The final stage of Harrison’s life which love has played a major role in was his decision to move from the Mornington Peninsula to Wollongong. When asked why he had made the decision to move Harrison answered with a giddy giggle saying, “Love I guess. I chased my heart after being in a long distance relationship and finally made the jump.”
Even though it was a big move in terms of geographical distance Wollongong is such a natural fit for Harrison with its plethora of beaches.
“I’m still right into surfing and generally hanging out at the beach with mates so that’s how I like to relax and recharge when I’m not playing or writing music.”
One added benefit of now residing in Wollongong is the ease of access to Sydney for live shows, which Harrison will be taking full advantage of this evening with a show at Newtown’s Marlborough Hotel.
“I think the show last Friday in Melbourne was a real boost for the morale so I’m really excited for this show.” explained Harrison, “We’re playing with this really awesome local band, Tenderfoot, who have got some really amazing songs, and I’m bringing the band up from Melbourne so it should be really fun.”
Harrison can’t be sure what the future will hold for him because as he put it “I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow but if I can travel, play music and maybe be somewhere warm then I’ll be happy.”
Jul 13, 7pm. Marlborough Hotel, 145 King St, Newtown. FREE. Info: www.harrisonstorm.com