By Aaron Brand
TEXARKANA, Ark. — Broadway Sports Bar and Billiards hosts a busy, East Texas-based singer-songwriter this Saturday night.
Based in Tyler, the versatile Heather Nikole Harper has earned kudos in her young career, including an East Texas Music Award nomination as Female Vocalist of the Year and the same honor for the Arklatex Music Awards.
Harper's single "Shouldn't Have Fallen" came out early this year and will appear in an indie movie titled "Insincere Twins." She's shared her music live on KYTX CBS19 in Tyler and on Longview-based KYKX, a country music radio station, and she maintains a packed schedule of live show appearances.
We caught up with Harper via an email Q&A ahead of her Saturday night show. There's no cover. Here's what she had to say about staying humble, her mix of music and which musician she'd like to open for someday:
Q: What do you have planned for us when you visit Texarkana's Broadway Sports Bar and Billiards? Have you performed here in Texarkana?
A: I will be performing an acoustic show from 9 p.m. to midnight with a variety of music. Yes, I have performed at Fat Jack's with Lee Mathis.
Q: Your music lands in so many genres — from pop to rock, blues to country. What do you enjoy about each style of music you perform and what sort of mix do you strive to create?
A: I have always enjoyed listening to a myriad of musicians and genres. They are after all what ended up influencing me for my signature sound today. The type of original music I strive to create will have a bit of country/blues/rock sound to it.
Q: Growing up as an East Texas girl, what did these roots give you in music education that made you the performer you are today?
A: It taught me to be unique, to stand out but stay humble. To never give up and always keep educating yourself.
Q: When you sit down to write a song, what inspires you? What makes a song work for you, what makes it click?
A: Songwriting has always been something that has come natural to me. I've been writing and composing my own songs since middle school. I like to write about my feelings and my life experiences that I or others around me have gone through. When a song comes to me, I have to make sure I immediately write it down or record it on my phone.
Q: You're on the road and performing all over, showing a hard-working sensibility. What do you enjoy about playing live?
A: The fans! I wouldn't be where I am without them today. I love to travel and play wherever I can. Music has always been a huge part of my life.
Q: You have a female-fronted band project, too: The Highway Women. Tell us about this project?
A: Apart from my solo career, in April of 2019 I signed with The Highway Women. Which is an all-female fronted group based out of Nashville, Tennessee, and Texas. We will be touring in the United States starting in early 2020. We do have our own music out also. You can stay updated with the latest at HighwayWomen.com or find us on social media.
Q: If you could open for any other singer or performer, who would it be and why?
A: I honestly have a few that's on that list. But if I had to pick one it would definitely be Carrie Underwood! I love her music and reputation. I even voted for her win back on her "American Idol" days. I have always been a fan.
I am working on a new album that I will be releasing in 2020. Also, people can find me on social media or just go to HeatherHarperMusic.com
(Broadway Sports Bar and Billiards is located at 203 E. Broad St. More info: 870-772-9104.)