If you haven’t heard of Harry Teardrop, then start taking notes because this Clive Davis first-year is going places. Teardrop, known formally as Harrison Li, commanded Queens music venue Trans-Pecos on Thursday, after the release of his new single “Chinatown.”
The crowd was mesmerized by the lo-fi, transcendent dream pop music that mirrored his electric moves on stage against the glow of jungle greens and subdued blues. Teardrop proved his dexterity on the electric guitar, accompanied by pre-recorded beats that left his audience transfixed.
Following the performance, WSN sat down with Teardrop to discuss his past, present music and future in the industry.
Teardrop’s musical history began when he started playing drums at the age of five and progressed after watching “School of Rock,” when he concluded that rock music was his destiny. However, this stint was short lived as his friend convinced him to switch to jazz.
As he grew up, his music began to take shape. With the help of his brother, he graduated from the drums — an instrument that helped establish a strong sense of rhythm for the artist.
“My brother is my biggest inspirations,” Teardrop said. “He taught me how to play guitar, and he’s one of my best friends.”
He said his friends back home and his new ones at school have also contributed to his creative consciousness.
Musically, his influences are early rock, jazz and beach music like The Beach Boys. His music takes on an ambient, dream pop genre with a warming quality to it that comes from his recording methods.
“I don’t try to stick to a genre,” Teardrop said. “It just happens that way.”
He attributes his unique sound in part to the diverse list of musicians he listens to.
“[I listen to] Motown Supremes a lot, [and have] been into Joni Mitchell, The Beach Boys, Dick Dale,” he said. “In terms of current artists, I’ve been listening to Rex Orange County, Clair-o, Cuco [and] Bane’s World.”
Although a Clive Davis student with access to recording materials, he opts to record tracks in his own bedroom. Due to this, he said recording has been his greatest challenge so far.
“Starting out, I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said.
However, over the past two years, Teardrop has grown and enjoyed the learning process of producing his own music.
His advice to other musicians and the key to his success is to build and cultivate relationships.
“Connect with people, like the little things –– responding to people on the internet,” he said “It’s been working for me.”
As of now, Teardrop is curating a new EP that he is hoping to complete later this spring. Teardrop will be headlining Sunnyvale on March 1. Tickets can be purchased on Songkick.
A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 26 print edition. Email Megan Anne O’Brien at [email protected]