Coghive interview with Singer-Songwriter and Music Therapist Harry Kappen
Harry Kappen is a Dutch singer-songwriter and music therapist who has been breaking
ground on the international radio and sales charts with his unique blend of pop, rock, and acoustic music.
His lyrics are always thought-inducing, while the melodies are not your everyday cliched sound. His latest single, “One Life” has received incredible critical acclaim. He took time to answer a few questions for us in this exclusive…
Congratulations on your recent hit single, “One Life”! Can you tell us more about the
the inspiration behind this emotional ballad?
‘One Life’ was created after 3 other singles, which were a bit more socially critical. I needed a song that would bring me a little closer to myself; my need to put human relationships back at the center instead of talking about war, AI, climate change, and so on.
The love I feel for my girlfriend especially helped. Your music style is eclectic, ranging from ballads to rock and funk.
How do you find ways to Incorporate different genres into your music?
I’m not purposefully looking for it. It comes as it comes. It will have a lot to do with my musical baggage, consisting of many different types of good music
close to my heart.
From classical to hard rock, from Bach to Prince. You’ve had a successful year with over 140,000 hits for “Not All of Us Agreed” and over 220,000 hits for “The Freedom Inside” on Spotify. How do you feel about the positive response to your music?
I’m enjoying it of course and I’m feeling very grateful.
Not only for the many listeners but also for the guidance by MTSmanagementgroup; Michael Stover is a great manager. And it stimulates me to go on. The next album will be even better than the previous ones.
As a music therapist, you have a unique perspective on the healing power of music. How does your work as a therapist influence your songwriting and music production?
Many people ask me this, but it doesn’t. It’s the other way around. Being a musician
for so many years influenced my work as a therapist.
As a musician I learned to play in harmony, to work together, to tune in to others, to express my feelings, and to structure my thoughts. Music does that naturally with the properties it has. And I use that as a tool in the therapies.
You’ve mentioned David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Prince as your musical inspirations. Is there a specific album or song from these artists that has significantly impacted your music career?
I love David Bowie’s ‘Where Are We Now?’, I love Paul McCartney’s ‘Jenny Wren’, and love ‘Sometimes It Snows in April’ by Prince. ‘Pyramid Song’ by Radiohead, ‘The Golden Core’ by Motorpsycho, ‘Undo’ by Bjork, ‘Kashmir’ by Led Zeppelin.
‘Songs in the Key of Life’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘Overtime’ by Knower….etc.. ah. there is so much more. For me, the most important indicator of a good song is still whether I get goosebumps or not.
Coghive interview with Singer-Songwriter and Music Therapist HarryKappen
Stream & Enjoy
Your upcoming album, “One Life,” is set to be released early next year. Can you tease any details about what listeners can expect from this new project?
It will be an eclectic album again with 11 or 12 songs. Of course with the single ‘One Life’ and for the rest a collection from Balad to Rock and from Funk to contemporary pop songs.
And musically it will not be limited to the 4 chords that you hear so much in today’s
pop charts (in my opinion often not very original).
In addition to being a musician, you also work as a lecturer at an international master’s
degree in music therapy.
How do you balance your music career and teaching?
They can coexist just fine if I manage my time well. I get a lot of energy from
teaching motivated students, but just as much from the mostly young adults I give therapy.
As long as I enjoy what I do, everything can be combined without problems.
Your music has been described as “heartbreaking” and “contemplative”. Do you actively try to evoke certain emotions in your listeners through your music?
No, I don’t make music with ‘premeditation’.
I let myself be guided by what comes to mind, sometimes reacting to the news or a current discussion. If there are listeners who like that, that’s a bonus, but it’s not a goal of mine. You’ve played in numerous bands and have even worked as a producer for other artists.
How has your experience collaborating with different musicians influenced your solo work?
Of course, I learned a lot from working with others; other musicians, producers, and
engineers. I learned much from working with my sister Hanneke and friend/drummer Hajo.
For example, it is about Not being satisfied with what you do too quickly, staying critical of yourself and wondering if there are better alternatives, and taking a step back from your work now and then so that you can listen again with fresh ears. Being accurate.
What has been the most memorable moment of your music career so far?
I find all the moments when songs fall together like a puzzle piece during the creative
process memorable. I always think that’s a magical moment.
Another memorable moment of last year was when I was featured in a music magazine with an interview with Dolly Parton on the front page! As a simple Dutch musician, I thought that was memorable :).