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He has opened for Justin Bieber and others, and was linked with Ireland Baldwin, a relationship that fueled some songs.

COURTESY PHOTO: GRANDSTAND MEDIA - This is the album cover for Corey Harper's "Future Tense," which comes out Friday, Sept. 23.Corey Harper has befriended some influential people since moving from his home in Vancouver, Washington, to Los Angeles.

The singer-songwriter has served as a crowd-pleasing opener for artists such as Justin Bieber, Niall Horan, Julia Michaels and Noah Kahan, all the while running in the same circles as Bieber and former girlfriend Ireland Baldwin, daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.

All of his experiences have led to this moment: Harper celebrates the release of his debut album "Future Tense," which has been two years in the works, on Friday, Sept. 23. It's released via label Range Music/Virgin.

Rolling Stone, Billboard and Teen Vogue have written positive things about Harper.

The album is "a broad, bold and intimately self-reflective album that chronicles the decline of a crumbling relationship and showcases the full range of Harper's abilities," publicity says.

Singles include "Pink Razor" and "2 Tickets," the latter a self-produced track with digital grooves, '80s synthesizers, a glittering pop melody and an escapist storyline about trading day-to-day doldrums for a day trip to France.

"I wrote it and produced it by myself, and it took me an entire week of being at my computer for 12 hours a day carefully constructing it," he said. "Didn't need to say anything deep; just wanted to make a song that banged."

Alex Salibian, who has worked with Harry Styles, The Head and the Heart and Young the Giant, produced the album.

As Harper said, "I spent seven years experimenting with genres, figuring out what my own sound really is." He worked in L.A.'s folk circle, before widening his reach to include indie, pop, and rock and roll influences. He has also spent much time moving around, living or staying for lengths of time in Portland, Los Angeles and even London.

COURTESY PHOTO: HARPER SMITH - Corey Harper has become a known commodity in Los Angeles music circles since his days living in Vancouver, Washington, and attending Lane Community College in Eugene."'Future Tense' is my answer to that," he said. "It's the artistic statement I've been working toward.

"Most of the songs are about the knowledge that something is coming to an end. I wrote most of the album while my ex (Baldwin) and I were still together, but I knew where the relationship was going. I knew we'd split up."

Working with Salibian, the song "Villain of Your Story" felt like a breakthrough for Harper.

"I was in a relationship that needed to end, and I was having trouble writing songs about it," he said. "There's a lot of sorrow, self-reflection and disappointment in 'Villain of Your Story,' but the song feels upbeat, too."

His previous EP, "Overcast," was recorded in Wilsonville with producer Dave Lubben.

He told Pamplin Media Group at the time, "a lot of the music I write about is about personal things that I go through, finding myself as an artist and finding my own voice." Harper has channeled the sounds of John Mayer.

Said Billboard, in a previous review: "Harper, a professed classic rock and soul disciple, lays down tasteful John Mayer-esque licks over a relaxed backbeat, creating plenty of space for his smoky, understated vocals."

Said Rolling Stone, also in a previous review: "With vocals that suggest Harper as John Mayer's breezier fraternal twin, his tunes are a mix of '70s country-rock touched by Mississippi blues."

In addition to opening for Bieber, Michaels, Horan and Kahan, Harper has toured with Cody Simpson and played at the Bonnaroo, BottleRock, Sasquatch and Ohana festivals and at Los Angeles hot spots Troubadour, El Rey Theatre and Hotel Cafe.

He attended Columbia River and Mountain View high schools in Vancouver, and then Lane Community College in Eugene, and is the son of a theology professor at Multnomah University (father Brad) and a middle school English teacher (mother Robin).


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