KHTS Country Music Spotlight: Suzanne Harper
Suzanne Harper, hailing from North San Diego County, is in a cali-country band called Talk Like June which is described as angsty country music with a rock and roll edge.
She, Bourbon County and Marie Wise-Hawkins were selected by judges, recruited by KHTS AM 1220, at the Keyboard Galleria to advance to the local level finals of the Texaco Country Showdown which will be held at the Concerts in the Park event on July 13.
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The Texaco Country Showdown is the biggest annual country music talent search that gives country hopefuls an opportunity to gain exposure and stardom.
The contest starts off with local level competitions that are sponsored through local radio stations, including our very own KHTS AM 1220. One of the three local finalists, including Suzanne Harper, will advance to the regional finals level competition.
The local finals of the Texaco Country Showdown is expected to take place at the Concerts in the Park event on July 13. If they win the state-level competition, the contestants are expected to proceed to the regional finals level. If they win the regional finals, they are expected to succeed to the national, televised competition that will be hosted by country sensation and grammy nominee Jewel. Previous local regional winners include Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.
Harper, a local-level Texaco Country Showdown finalist, sings music from a diversity of genres from pop music to rock and country fusion songs. She is an award winning artist who received acclaim from the West Coast Country Music Association as the recipient of the 2012 “Horizon Female Entertainer of the Year” award.
Her powerful vocals and emotionally stirring content of her songs define her music and set her apart from many country acts. She claims the main genre and music she specializes in is spunky, spirited country reminiscent of acclaimed country great Miranda Lambert.
“I love to add angst and swag to my songs [laughs],” said Harper.
“The vast majority of what I love to write about are feisty little songs which is kind of funny considering I’m not a really aggressive person in real life. I love to write songs that contain a lot of passion like Carrie Underwood’s ‘Before He Cheats,’” according to her statement.
Along with writing passionate, cheeky country songs, she writes music that consists of conventional topics such as break-ups and relationships to heartfelt songs for her daughters Evangeline and Georgia.
“I have two daughters and they are really fun and musical. I have written several songs that are inspired by them,” said Harper.
“One being ‘Give It A Try’ is a song I wrote for my five year old daughter, with a message that is if she’s ever afraid when she starts school, that she should give it a try. She should do what she can and do her best because that’s what life is about, but if she ever needs me, I’ll always be there for her, ” according to her statement.
Her music features musical instruments from mandolin to the banjo to the harmonica to even common, ordinary items such as a mug filled with coins.
“If you listen to my song ‘The Reckoning,’ you can totally hear the coins in the mug in the background [laughs]. We love to do use items you’d never think of as instruments,” said Harper.
Despite her successes as a country artist, Harper was met with adversity since some people in the community she was from were not receptive to country as she was breaking into the genre. These experiences molded her as an artist and helped define her career.
“The song ‘California’ is the first song that I wrote that started to define who I was going to be as an artist,” said Harper.
“There were people who were giving us a hard time for being in the country genre, and I was like ‘Wait a minute, California is the wild west. You can’t define who we are. We are California country and we like to hit it hard.’ I like to mix the classic country story telling style and lyrics like that with some harder edged guitars on a lot of songs. I appreciate country for its storytelling elements, ” according to her statement.
In 2012, her performances included Cricket Wireless Amphitheater (with Sugarland), House of Blues San Diego, Anthology, Moonlight Amphitheater, Valley View Casino, Pauma Casino, Fox 5 San Diego and 102.1 KPRI FM.
Her next live performance will be at the Concerts in the Park, for the Texaco Country Showdown local finals on July 13 at 7:30 p.m.
To listen to Harper’s music, visit http://www.reverbnation.com/talklikejune.
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