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 releases are original songs, inspired by love, loss and the ongoing impact of the global pandemic. They follow songs released last year featuring covers from some of the world's best known and most powerful female stars, including Pink and Sarah McLachlan.
Style and Influences
Growing up with an eclectic mix of music, from Otis Reading, Jimi Hendrix and Aerosmith to Mumford and Sons, Muse and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Donna’s style is a fusion of old school pop, rock, blues, soul and ballads. Favourite artists are also varied, but powerful, vocal women feature highly on her list, including Annie Lennox, Cher and Stevie Nicks, to Nina Simone, Dido, Tori Amos and Florence Welch.
Inspired by well-known radio stations like Radio 1, Radio 2 and Heart, alongside the more intimate and informal community stations such as Spirit FM and Splash, Donna loves the mix of commercial songs and ‘good banter’ that radio offers and has featured on many live sessions.
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 decisions.
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, following a period of heartbreak, 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 tragedy; she writes from her own experiences for herself, with a defiant and positive female voice. A resilient and talented artist, who has experienced life’s highs and lows, her voice is clear and strong: she stands for independence, confidence, optimism and courage.
Describing her style as “music to move and mend”, Donna is on a mission to use her soulful, yet entertaining storytelling style to empower women and help to heal broken hearts. 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.
“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 gained entry to drama school in 2008.
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 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 lots of exciting releases in the pipeline, 2022 is most definitely going to be a big year for Donna Harfield.