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Corner Brook native Kim Harris released her first album “Only the Mighty” in late February.
Kim Harris has always known that she was supposed to be a singer.
While the Corner Brook native said she lost hold of it for a handful of years, that’s all changed now.
“(I’ve been) writing my own music and realizing that I have a lot to say and sort of realizing what you can do as an artist with just pure honesty,” said the 29-year-old singer/songwriter.
She said the realization of how happy and grateful she is just made it evident that this is what she was meant to do.
Harris grew up in the Curling and Elizabeth Street areas of the city. Her dad, Sam Harris, now lives across the bay in Summerside.
Growing up, she participated in many Corner Brook Rotary Music Festivals and always sang classical songs.
At 19 she went to school in Toronto to study singing.
“(I) just kind of realized that classical music was not what I wanted in life.”
After her mom, Judy Harris, died in 2005, Harris left home and headed for Halifax where she studied massage therapy and started working in that field.
“I wanted to get out of Corner Brook, get off the island. I needed to go somewhere to start my own life.”
She then started to write her own songs, finding inspiration in the interconnectedness between humans and their connections with nature and the animal world. Writing lead naturally to singing and performing.
Harris says she and her boyfriend moved out of the city for awhile and, while living in Pugwash, she started performing at open mics.
“I wouldn’t do it in Halifax because I found it really intimidating.”
She kept on doing it and met a bunch of creative people.
“(I) quickly realized that maybe it was something that people wanted to hear from me.”
Among the people she met were award winning singer/songwriter Christina Martin and musician Dale Murray of The Guthries and Cuff the Duke fame, who had also been doing some producing.
Murray told Harris that when she was ready he wanted to work with her. When she finally called him up, they picked songs from her repertoire that would become part of her first album, “Only the Mighty.”
Best described by Harris as a pop album with a few folk elements, “Only the Mighty” was released in late February. The single released first was “The Weight of it All,” while other titles include “In the Woods” and “Dust.”
After a year of working on it, Harris said to get the CD felt very surreal.
“It’s hard to believe that they were my songs, and I made it.”
The album has been getting play on CBC Radio and some college radio stations. The first time she heard herself on the radio was another surreal moment.
“It was crazy,” she recalled. “I remember sitting down and recording it on my phone when I heard it on the radio. It was like, ‘Oh my God, this can’t be happening.’”
Harris said she’s come a long way since getting back into music.
Two years ago she performed as an emerging artist in the Dead of Winter Music Festival in Halifax. Now she has her own album, is playing with a band, has performed on the breakout stage at the recent East Coast Music Awards in Charlottetown and last week had her own show when she launched the album in the Spatz Theatre at Citadel High in Halifax.
Harris is definitely riding high on her new career, but for the moment will continue working as a massage therapist to help pay the bills.
She’s hoping to do a Newfoundland tour by this fall.
At some point though, she’s sure to make music her one and only career, just like she always knew she was meant to.