I Am Harlequin (IAH) is one of those pleasant little surprises – full of soul and a gutsy voice. IAH delivers up her latest track “Dance With Anyone”, an electro pop tune that really gets you dancing. The track is a celebration of joy and built on IAH’s belief that joy and happiness can be found anywhere.
IAH is the recording and production alias of London-based music artist and fashion designer Anne Freier. Influenced by couture and interesting fabrics for her clothing her onstage costumes are all her own creations and she never repeats an outfit twice!
Anne caught up with ULC recently for a quick Q&A to tell us all about “Dance With Anyone” and her passion for music and fashion.
You’re known for paying it forward, specifically with sharing your fashion creations that you wear on stage with fans – where did this idea come from?
Hi guys and thanks for the interview. I originally began making my own looks for stage and videos because I couldn’t easily source interesting and unique pieces. For a period I was sewing like crazy. But I like to reward my fans and listeners, give them just something a little extra for attending a show or buying my music. If someone sees me wear a dress on stage and they give me a social shout out about it, I’m genuinely happy to pass it along and give it to them to enjoy. I tend to make new looks for my shows all the time 🙂
Tell me about how you balance your music and fashion passions, do you have a favourite?
Music is and has always been my great love. It’s truthfully what I live for and spend most of my time doing or thinking about. Fashion is like a mistress. I enjoy making new and wearing new pieces, but I’m not planning on becoming a full time fashion designer. However, I’d love to collaborate with another designer to perhaps launch a mini line in the future some time.
“Dance with Anyone” is fun and catchy where was the inspiration for the song drawn from?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m influenced by Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston and “Dance with Anyone” is testament to this. I also greatly enjoy Blood Orange and Solange as well as Haim. I reckon it’s a concoction of all of these influences. I’m a massive fan of groovy tunes that get you up and ready dance – Songs that make you feel good, that make you smile. Music ought to evoke emotion. As long as it makes you happy or sad, it’s a good tune, communicating effectively.
What inspires you to create your clothes?
Truthfully, fabric dictates a lot of the styles. If I find a great texture, colour, pattern I can instantly visualise what I’d like to do with it. Additionally, I love to look at couture and take elements of that to create ready to wear.
This might be an odd one, but I find most people I speak with (whether in work or more broadly) are on a constant discovery to find out “what they want to be when they grow up” – I’m still on that journey – what about you?
I’ve never been on that road 🙂 I always knew. Granted, I originally wanted to be a “diva” when I was a little kid. Then I learned production and soon realised how much I loved being in full creative control of every aspect of the music making process. At the same time, I came to enjoy collaborations more and more, releasing some of the control again. However, that’s not to say I’m not constantly interested in doing other things on the side, like writing novels or getting into meditation more recently.
Finally, what’s next for I Am Harlequin?
For the remainder of this year, I hope that there’ll be lots of live shows. Hopefully some in the US soon. I’m planning to get together with some great producers for more collaborations and write songs with and for other artists. And of course there’ll be more songs from me soon as well as lots of new outfits available for whoever claims them on my social media Facebook.com/iamharlequin or Twitter.com/iamharlequin