Artist Interview: The Kite String Tangle’s Danny Harley Talks New Music, Starting a Label, and Losing to Iggy Azalea

One listen to The Kite String Tangle and you are hooked. The downtempo, indie electro brainchild of Australia’s Danny Harley, has generated buzz from his Vessels EP that featured the incredibly visceral “Arcadia”. This particular track has over 15 million streams on Spotify alone, and garnered an ARIA nomination. The multi-talented producer, songwriter, and performer recently dropped the first single off what we hope is a soon to be released album “Selfish”. We were able to catch up with Danny recently 

Congrats on the new record label. Has this always been a dream of yours? What is your vision behind creating it? What can we expect from Exist. Recordings?

Yeah this has always been something i’ve wanted to do. I guess it stems from being a very DIY musician in bands and in the early stage of The Kite String Tangle. I was always doing a lot of stuff myself and trying to learn as much as possible about the industry and how it all works. As my team got bigger and those roles were filled by others i wanted to still have an outlet where i could be more involved in the industry side of things as well as building a brand that i could release other acts as well as my own projects.


You seem to be an artist who likes to do it all, what is the most rewarding aspect of music for you? I mean, is it more production or performance?

I feel like it changes pretty frequently but if i had to choose one, i’d say the production and songwriting aspect comes more naturally to me and i don’t get nervous about doing that haha.

We loved the EP ‘Vessel’ and were surprised to see that its track “Arcadia” has over 15 million streams on Spotify alone. How does that sort of success affect the music you create now? Did you feel like you were on to something special when you wrote that particular track?

To be honest, when i wrote that track, i was trying to chase the success of the previous track i had released called ‘Given the Chance’, however this track seems to have superseded it now. It hasn’t had a huge affect on how i write music or anything; you always want to better yourself but i think if you pay too much attention to that you’ll end up going crazy.


We saw that you were nominated for an ARIA, what did that particular nomination mean to you? Where were you when you heard the news?

Well that was a really crazy time for me. I had just signed with a major record label and my song was in the top 20 of this big music countdown we have in Australia called ‘The Hottest 100’ on Triple J which is something every australian musician dreams of, so to be nominated for breakthrough artist at the ARIA’s was icing on the cake. A really insane time. (it ended up going to Iggy Azalea haha)

“Selfish” is definitely you, but also feels very modern in it’s approach. As an artist, it has to be difficult not to be tempted to stay in the same style as your last hit, did you find this tension when recording or were you looking to do something entirely different? Where were you when you recorded it mentally?

I’d agree with that description. I think in the writing process i was trying a lot of different stuff. I was originally trying to create something timeless and in the end i found myself leaning towards very modern and current ‘time stamped’ sounds haha. It took a few years to write all the songs on the record and this was closer to the end of the process where everything started to be a little more informed by modern music. I find it hard to stick to one style; i can’t even do it when i try haha.


What do you want listeners to feel when they hear the new track?

With most of my tracks i guess i want the listener to feel some sort of reflection of their own lives and emotions. I don’t see myself as a guy that ‘wears his heart on his sleeve’ particularly, but ironically my music seems to bring that out in me. I just hope that it can then be digested by others in a way that makes them happy or feel like they’re healing some part of their past. I guess it’s therapeutic in its nature for me so i want others to feel that too.


Can we look forward to more tracks from The Kite String Tangle this year? Any album plans?

Absolutely, I’ve got a whole record pretty much done and if it doesn’t come out this year I’ll go insane haha.


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