Behind the Boards is a series where we spotlight some of the biggest producers in the industry and dig into some of their favorite projects. Here, we sit down with HARV to discuss his work with Justin Bieber, Joe Jonas and Khalid, and more.
Like many in the songwriting and production fields, Bernard “Harv” Harvey began his career as a touring musician. Known for his prowess on the bass guitar, the Kansas City native saw his career blossom in 2009 when he earned a spot playing bass for a 15 year-old Justin Bieber. Fast-forward 13 years, and HARV has become a significant producer and songwriter in his own right, and he’s been a go-to collaborator for Bieber and the biggest stars in music.
It’s been a long journey for HARV, and when he connects with Consequence over Zoom, he’s seated in the backyard of his Los Angeles home taking in the sunshine. The last few years have been particularly hectic for him, especially with work on Bieber’s pandemic-helmed album Justice giving way to numerous other collaborations, including a significant amount of work on Normani‘s upcoming debut LP. Now, HARV is gearing up for his biggest statement yet: a solo project. “I’m gearing up to release a single at the top of next year, and I’m super excited about it,” HARV tells Consequence. “Honestly, it’s going real great!”
He’s undoubtedly in high spirits for our conversation, and considering the amount of high profile singles he’s worked on in the past couple years, he won’t be losing creative momentum any time soon. Not only is he in the process of helming his solo project and Normani’s debut, he’s hard at work on Justin Bieber’s next LP. “I think it’s gonna be amazing. It’s gonna be insane,” he teases.
Though HARV is certainly comfortable being the go-to collaborator for these artists, he has also worked with a laundry list of other collaborators and producers, including Skrillex and Ryan Tedder. He calls Skrillex “one of the most talented creators I’ve collaborated with… I think everybody knows him as the EDM DJ and in that space. But no, he’s the man when it comes to actually just sitting down and producing and writing songs.” And about Ryan Tedder — with whom he wrote and produced Joe Jonas and Khalid’s new song “Not Alone” for the film Devotion — HARV says, “When you’re working with Ryan Tedder, you never know what the day is gonna consist of… you never know what you’re gonna be getting yourself into.”
As for HARV himself, his process is simple. “I like to call myself a ‘100 percent-er’,” he tells me. “When I’m creating, the songwriting, the production… it all kind of runs together for me.”
Read below for a deep dive into five standout productions from HARV, including Justin Bieber, Giveon, and Daniel Caesar’s “Peaches,” Normani’s “Fair,” and more.