Born and raised in the small village of East Preston, West Sussex, Singer-Songwriter, Donna Harfield always had ambitions that stretched beyond village limits. Now, in her thirties, this powerful and expressive singer with huge stage presence is creating a lot of interest in the industry.
Her forthcoming 2024 album 'Swept Away' includes ten original songs, inspired by love, loss and the ongoing impact of the global pandemic. Recorded and produced by James Welch at Masterlink Studios, they show the depth and range of Donna's songwriting style, described as 'music to move and mend'.
Style and Influences
Growing up with an eclectic mix of music, Donna’s style is a fusion of old school pop, rock, blues, soul and ballads. Favourite artists are also varied, but powerful, vocal women throughout the decades, including Annie Lennox, Cher and Stevie Nicks, to Nina Simone, Judie Tzuke, Tori Amos and Florence Welch.
She has a mature and pure vocal and is a lyrical songwriter with a piano ballad bias, using real experiences to fuel her songs and lyrics.
Donna worked as a jobbing actress and singer for many years, enjoying much success and acclaim on stage, and meeting many of her music idols working as a personal shopper at one of London’s most exclusive department stores. However, in her thirties, Donna returned home to the coast to reset, recharge and rediscover her passion for song-writing. Through this, she discovered her own sound.
Like many others , Donna has seen love and loss; she writes from her own experiences for herself, with a defiant female voice. A resilient and talented artist, who has experienced life’s highs and lows. She stands for independence, confidence, optimism and courage.
Describing her style as soulful pop with subtle electronica, Donna is on a mission to use her music to tell universal stories that people can engage with. Her forthcoming album explores different experiences in each song, delving deep into personal and universal truths to unlock shared emotions.
On a personal level, Donna is a member of The Circle, a charity established by Annie Lennox with a mission to empower women in order to bring equality on a global scale and donates to the RSPCA, a UK charity set up to prevent cruelty to animals.
“Some stars explode onto the scene like a meteor and then quickly fragment and disappear. Donna Harfield is different. She has paid her dues, been to drama school, gigged with cover bands, plays piano and has written songs for years. She looks good, sounds good and is a powerful performer on stage. However, what lifts her above the day-to-day is the quality of her song-writing.”
Roy Stannard, Splash Radio founder and presenter.
Aside from being a talented singer/songwriter, Donna has a powerful stage presence and loves live performance. She studied drama at College and University and went to East 15 Acting school.
Her background is extensive; ranging from musicals such as Les Misérables and Blood Brothers to plays including Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls and Sarah Kane’s Crave; not to mention plenty of live sessions for radio, regular gigs with cover bands and appearances at events around the country.
Donna’s performance style is powerful, dominant and audience responsive. She commands the stage with presence and confidence, but it’s intimate acoustic sessions where she’s most at home.
“Stripped back acoustic gigs are some of my favourites,” says Donna. “Having that level of intimacy with the crowd, where you can see the ‘whites of the eyes’, is such a responsibility; perhaps more so than big stages and stadiums where all you see is lights...”
With her first studio album 'Swept Away' in the pipeline, 2024 is most definitely going to be a exciting year for Donna Harfield.