As one of the names on BBC Radio 1’s Brit List for 2019, HRVY took to the Big Weekend stage on Sunday.
Performing on The 1 for New Music Stage on Sunday afternoon, following in the steps of Mark Ronson & Miley Cyrus, Lewis Capaldi, Charli XCX, Stormzy and fellow Brit-lister Sam Fender who all appeared on the Saturday, HRVY’s non-stop 30 minutes of fresh-faced pop was watched by hundreds in the tent and broadcast to thousands more online.
A memorable day for the 20-year-old who, despite being a seasoned opening act in the country’s biggest arenas (rushing from London’s O2 Arena to Middlesbrough’s Biggest Weekend in less than 24 hours), is taking his first steps on the big festival stages.
Kicking off with viral hit ‘Told You So‘ before bursting into Sigala-collaboration ‘Somebody’, it’s a production that the singer’s team spent days creating last week. It’s real millennial pop-star stuff – you’d guess the singer had been executing choreography to his trademark upbeat electropop for years. Really, it’s something he’s had to pick up quickly on his rapid rise.
Amongst all the new tracks, few more than one-year-old as he speeds up proceedings with NOTD-collab ‘I Miss Myself’ shortly after a stripped-back cover of “good friend” Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone You Loved’, it’s the same live set-up that has been behind the HRVY success story every step of the way. Guitarist Chris Liggett has watched the crowds grow with the singer ever since the European tour of 2018, whilst lead backing dancers Sophie Hind, Paige Varrall, Molly Griggs and Gracie Gledhill have been with him since 2017’s ‘Talk To Ya’. At BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, it’s that backbone which has grown to become the festival-sized production fans are treated to today.
And whilst HRVY makes almost every minute of his biggest festival show to date look easy, there are still reminders just how young the singer is. He calls on the crowd’s voice to help him overcome an illness he’s been battling, just before laughing “I know it’s bad to say that”, and later chuckles after nearly hitting the floor midway through ‘I Miss Myself‘. Really though, it’s how the star plays off those moments with a smirk that has endeared him to over four million followers online, and as they flood to social media with messages of congratulations, it’s obvious those fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
Closing on ‘Personal’, which is met with a wall of sound so loud it could well have sent the singer flying for a second time, it shows HRVY’s name is reaching far further than even he might yet realise as he admits, “I didn’t think many people would, so thank you so much”.
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