Pacific Northwest native returns home for college tour

Self-taught Vancouver, WA musician Corey Harper kicked off his Lyft PNW Tour at EWU last week


Corey Harper grew up appreciating music and his guitar. Harper has opened shows for Justin Bieber and Niall Horan | Bailey Monteith for The Easterner

By Dayana Morales, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Self-taught musician Corey Harper returned back home for his acoustic PNW Tour, and EWU was his first stop last Thursday.

Harper grew up in Vancouver appreciating music and his guitar. During his childhood Harper didn’t do much of his own writing. That didn’t come until four years ago.

Harper attended the University of Oregon for one year. When he turned 19, Harper decided to move out to California.

“When I moved out to Los Angeles I started writing more music and meeting more people with the same like-mindedness as me, aspirations, goals and dreams,” Harper said. “I started building something of my own together with these people.”

Harper met musicians like Justin Bieber and Niall Horan. Harper says he met Bieber through mutual acquaintances.

“We had gained a relationship together and played some music together and we knew a lot of the same people,” said Harper. “He asked me to come play a couple shows and I was obviously thrilled to. That’s kind of how our relationship started. Then I did those shows and got together a bunch after that and it’s been good.”

Harper has opened some shows for Horan as well.

Harper’s style comes from the different inspirations he pulls from.

“Whether it being a band or like Eric Clapton, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer and Kendrick Lamar,” said Harper. “So many different kinds of people that really inspire me to write. It’s not always about the sound of the music but also about the writing. I’m a writer at heart for sure. I love writing. I place whatever style of music I think that the song needs to sound like. Whatever I am listening to recently also really inspires me to get out my comfort zone and try other sounds.”

Rolling Stone has said that Harper’s vocals suggest that he is “John Mayer’s breezier fraternal twin.”

Harper methodically practices like he is going to play a set or getting ready to go on tour.

“I’m always practicing everyday,” said Harper. “That prepares me for playing shows.”

The more shows Harper plays the more followers he is gaining.

“Any performance, even if it is just one performance—anything or anywhere—can set you up for the future,” said Harper. “You never know who is going to be at the show, you never know who is going to take away from it. Also, other than that it just gives you experience and practice and then there’s something under your belt. It gives me a chance to say what I want to say and let go of a lot of things I hold on to through my music. It is nice and I enjoy it.”

The tour is being sponsored by LYFT (a transportation network company) and will be free to all students. His next concert is Feb. 22 in Tacoma, Washington followed by the last event in Portland, Oregon Feb. 23.