We had the good fortune of connecting with Harley Mitchell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Harley, why did you pursue a creative career?
I think most creatives can relate in that, we don’t really choose this lifestyle. It’s in our souls. I have a photograph of myself when I was 2 years old, sitting on my first drum set, my Dad sitting next to me with a bass in his hand. I have another photograph that was taken when I was about 4 years old, where I’m singing into a microphone and holding a guitar. I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life. As I got older, I always knew I wanted to play music. My stepdad taught me how to play the guitar when I was 12 and that was it. That set off my music career. When I was 16, I picked up the bass and started to play in the South Florida cover band scene. I started to play drums professionally when I was about 25. It’s not really a choice, but rather, a feeling, which is so hard to explain. It’s inside of us and we have to express it. There’s nothing like being on stage and rocking out with your band and the audience giving you the same energy back. It’s magic.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Being yourself is the biggest and most important thing I’ve been relearning recently. I’m not afraid to admit that I get lost along the way sometimes because it’s very easy to compare ourselves to others on social media or what other musicians are doing. There is only one of you and that’s what’s great about it. You can’t force it. You have to play from the heart. With that, we all know how the pandemic has effected the world. Taking risks is important because you never know what’s on the other side of an opportunity. The pandemic has shown us nothing is guaranteed so you might as well be happy and do what you love.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, I have to give the biggest shout out to my Mom, my number one fan and biggest supporter. She is at all of my shows. She supports my dream. I also want to thank my Aunt Shy, who is like a second Mom to me. Just like my Mom, she supports my dreams and has been there since day 1. I love you both!
I wouldn’t have learned how to play the guitar without my stepdad, Tom Pisani. Thank you for being patient with me every time I threw the guitar down out of frustration.
To my best friend and band mate, Heather Curi, who I met in 2013 when I joined Project X. Mark Dagosta, our guitar player at the time, scouted me out because Heather wanted a female bassist. The rest is history. Heather, no matter what we both do musically, there is nothing like being by your side on stage.
To my bandmates in Project X, Grindstone, Rubixx, and Day 4. I absolutely love playing music with all of you. Some of the best memories I have are on stage with all of you.