Worthing-based singer-songwriter Jo Harman plays a hometown gig in the Southern Pavilion, Worthing Pier on Thursday, September 18 on the back of winning a major award.
Jo, who also plays The Brook in Southampton on September 12, is now officially Female Vocalist of the Year in the British Blues Awards.
She’s delighted to win, but clearly it’s not an award that’s going to go to her head. In some ways, she doesn’t actually approve of it.
“I don’t really know much about it, but a panel nominates you, and then I think it goes out to voting from the public. It’s completely and utterly a public vote, I think.
“I am really grateful to the people that voted for me, but to be honest, I am not that crazy about awards. I am just grateful that I have got the chance to do what I love doing, that I get the chance to travel around the world and play at great festivals. I have got the most amazing job.
“But sometimes things like awards divide people. You see it on social media, that people get upset because the person they want to win doesn’t win. It creates competition between artists, and that’s not actually why I am doing it.”
The social media reaction is just childish, Jo says: “It’s only really happened in a minor way, but it’s interesting what it does and how it divides people. It is not necessarily targeted at me, but there is just a general overtone to the thing, and for me, that’s just not really what the whole thing is about. I am just grateful that I do what I do. Like I said, I have got an amazing job. I am just not really up for being involved in something that divides people and makes people upset and angry. I just want to be able to do what I want to do.”
Jo, who is based in Worthing, is currently working towards her second album, but stresses it’s all at the earliest stages after the success of her debut album last year.
“I have just got a handful of songs, so I don’t know when the second album will be. I have just got a few songs that will be in the mix going into it. I am having a few meetings about when it is going to be, but I almost don’t want to say when. I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I am just going on in my own time, but maybe I am hoping towards the end of next year, which will be two years after the first one which came out last year at various times, depending where you live.”
Album number one had a great reaction: “I am really grateful for that. It was very unexpected. You just hope that people will react that way. That’s how you hope it will be in your heart of hearts, but you just don’t know.
“But it was a long old slog as well. I worked really hard, and I have continued to work hard. But that first album was really, really hard work. It was my life and for the guy that wrote six of the tunes with me and produced it as well, it was his life as well for a really long time. It was pretty much full on for six months – full on for me and very full on for him producing it as well. But it was great. I was really pleased with it.
“And now I am a little bit nervous about the second album. But I think I have come on in so many ways as a performer since that first album. You get different experiences as you go on with your career. I am not the same artist now.”