Harry Cleverdon is no quiet achiever.
After winning the People’s Voice award in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) with Hit Me While I’m Down, in May 2020, the singer-songwriter from Young went on to release his debut album in early August.
Octothorpe features nine songs based on stories written by the 18-year-old, or shared by his friends, and has already hit more than 250,000 streams on Spotify.
Right All Along is the first song on the album and it was played more than 46,000 times when released as an EP on Spotify in 2019.
If you missed the story on Harry’s musical journey and his ISC bid, you can read it here.
The pop-rock artist spent the past 12 months writing, recording and producing Octothorpe from his garage studio at home in Young. It’s an impressive achievement given he was studying for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) at Hennessy Catholic College during that time.
His song, 6 Hours Away, which tells the story of how his friend felt when her boyfriend moved away, is the eighth track on the album and it is the second song Harry chose to make a video for in early September.
Harry says his friends were ‘pretty excited’ to find out their stories would appear on the new album.
“A lot of songwriters tend to write very personal songs, but often the songs I write are stories I’ve heard or written as a song,” he says. “So I don’t think the album means anything specific to me, but each song has its own meaning. I’m very proud of the album and happy it’s doing well.”
The video for Hit Me While I’m Down was produced entirely in Canberra about a year-and-a-half ago, but Harry decided to film 6 Hours Away in Young with videographer Laura Eastlake.
The simplistic video gifts the audience the intimate experience of watching Harry perform the song from a grand piano, and it has achieved more than 11,000 views on YouTube.
The song has also been shortlisted for the Open Category award in the Australian Songwriters Association’s Australian Songwriting Contest – the country’s largest and longest-running competition for professional and amateur songwriters.
While the promising musician doesn’t plan on making any more videos for Octothorpe, he tells Region Media he is currently back in the studio writing more songs.
Until the next release, Harry has another surprise for his fans – he is getting ready to move to Canberra in 2021 to study a degree at the Australian National University or University of Canberra.
“A lot of people think I’m off to study music, but I’m actually planning on doing a double degree in science and education,” he says. “Music is something I like to keep as my hobby and job on the side.”
Physics and chemistry were among Harry’s favourite subjects at school, however he plans to still find time to write and record songs while studying at university, which means he may be seen more around the ACT live music scene. If the opportunity to make music full-time came his way, Harry wouldn’t hesitate to grab it with both hands.
“Music will always be my focus, but I think it’s important to have a backup plan,” he says.
Harry could easily be described as the boy next door: attractive, intelligent and talented. And it’s no wonder teen magazine, It Girl, chose to feature the young musician on the front cover of its latest issue, available in Coles and Woolworths nationally.
Between now and the new year, Harry will be entertaining audiences at Christmas parties and pubs across southern NSW.