Paige Harpin is one jazzy lady! As lead singer for the Paige Harpin Group, she brings back the soulful emotion found in blues singers from generations past. Once she opens her mouth and her sweeping vocals hit the air, you’re transported to a time when people went to clubs to hear live music, dance with their honey, and sip on gin–completely classic and intimate. While other groups are selling out for what’s hip these days, Paige reminds all those that hear her that music has a history. Her sets of both original songs and old standards are a welcome pleasure in a world where KISS FM rules.
Hear her this Friday at the Vaudeville Mews at 7:30pm.
Band Bombshell: How’d you get started in music? Who were your influences?
Paige Harpin: Music has always been a part of my life. I started singing in church at a young age and always had fabulous music teachers to guide me. I listened to a lot of Motown and R&B when I was pretty young.
BB: Did you always know you wanted to pursue music?
PH: I always knew that I wanted to be a singer, teacher, and veterinarian as a kid. Singing was always my passion. I was inspired to become a teacher because I had so many amazing teachers.
BB: You have such a strong jazz and R&B vibe. Has your personal style of music changed over the years?
PH: I was an obsessed, mega-crazy, and kind of a creepy fan of Whitney Houston. I started listening to jazz in middle school. Billie Holiday got me through a lot of the angst that comes with adolescence. About that time, I was starting to listen to Fiona Apple, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and India Arie.
BB: You graduated with a degree in Music Education. What job do you have and what important lessons do you try to teach your students?
PH: I try to give my students as much knowledge and appreciation for music that I possibly can. Music is so good for the mind, body, and soul. I want them to always have positive experiences, but I really strive to teach them how to be tolerant and respectful of all people. I want them to believe in themselves and love who they are.
BB: You’re currently recording your first full-length album. What kind of sounds can we look forward to? Any guesses on a release date?
PH: Oh gosh, all I can say now is that I am so excited! Bass, drums, keys, guitar, horns, harmonies! All songs are original. I feel that people can look forward to an honest sound with nothing held back.
BB: What are your top three recording artists/bands?
PH: Lauryn Hill, Fiona Apple, D’Angelo
BB: What local Des Moines music are you a fan of?
PH: Salsa Vibe, Canyons, Susie Miget, Janey Hooper, Kate Kennedey, Zach Harper, The Snacks to name a few–this city has so many wonderful musicians!