Singer HRVY saying Namaste

Harvey Leigh Cantwell, a.k.a. HRVY, is the guy of every teenage girl’s dream. With sky blue eyes and ruffled blonde hair, the 19-year-old lad is a fountain of talent.

Seated at the Bottomline Media office in a pair of torn jeans and a dark blue kurta, HRVY is like your boy-next-door, casual and down-to-earth. His first-ever live performance at Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai was sold out with many claiming his performance was truly astounding.

HRVY is today one of the most searched for singers with his video Personal clocking about 50 million views to date. His songs Phobia, Holiday and the latest single Personal are hot favourites with teens for their lyrics, most stemming from HRVY’s personal life experiences. HRVY is a social media sensation on Instagram and Twitter. Before his fame on social media, HRVY was a presenter on BBC’s Friday Download. After that he took to social media and released his first EP Holiday in 2017.

While his name is on every teen’s lips, we can’t but wonder why the Londoner from Kent, chose HRVY and not his real name. We found out about this and lots more when VERUS FERREIRA got exclusive access to the dashing youngster.

Everyone wants to know the reason for the change in name. Where did the ‘a’ and ‘e’ disappear to?
My team thought we might take out the vowels ‘a’ and ‘e’, and see how it sounds and make my name sound a bit different. It just stuck.

What music did you listen to while growing up?
I listened to U2, songs that my dad used to play in the car. I also like Justin Timberlake; he’s great. Then there’s Craig David and a lot of people who were on the charts while I was growing up.

When did the real love for music light up in you?
Music got my fancy at a young age when I was like five or six when I first got to understand what music really was and really enjoyed listening to it. By the time I was 13, I decided that music was what I wanted to do. I posted a cover of a song on Facebook called Simply Amazing by American singer Trey Songz. I shared it around on Facebook and it got a lot of traction for me and it just reached a new high. Then my manager thought I should make a video of it with me singing in it and, yeah, that’s how it really clicked. So it was a Facebook video which appeared on YouTube.

Do songs like Phobia, Holiday or Personal have a message to all your fans?
Well, not really. We just write about how we feel which is a concept by which we all work. I like Holiday which is a bit of fun, while Phobia was like more of heartbreak song. I know people would like that kind of stuff, it’s just got that romantic side to it.

Do your songs stem from real-life experiences?
Some of it kind of influenced it a bit, while some of it isn’t, and some is just made up. Well going back in time I liked this girl and so it comes from there. Well, the songs are a little bit of my own experiences, like Personal has a line about my ex-girlfriend… “You used to flirt with your friends…”

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Verus Ferreira is a music journalist for over three decades. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book and the founder of

Verus Ferreira

Verus Ferreira is a music journalist for over three decades. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book and the founder of