Electro-pop singer Ace Harper knows the feeling of wanting to speak out desperately and not finding the appropriate words to express her feelings. So, she went through a tireless "process of observing myself and unlearning certain behaviors and beliefs that society has put upon women," she shares. "It has just been wanting to grow as a woman over time. Reading [Facebook COO] Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In, was incredibly eye opening for me. She has done all these incredible studies on how we unconsciously hold ourselves back as women. I don't want to do that. I want a seat at the table."
This revelation led Harper, a musician based in Los Angeles, to pen her gritty dance-club anthem "Mouth Wide Open," a decidedly cheeky play on words. "What's in my head is on the tip of my tongue," she sings. "I tell you what I really mean / Come here, boy, 'cause I got a little secret..."
The psychedelic video for "Mouth Wide Open," Harper's second single, is inspired by old zines, Andy Warhol and Dadaism, as well as feminist collage artist Linder Sterling. the song is the follow-up to the luscious "Neon Heart" and anchors a forthcoming EP.
"I definitely have enough material for a full album, but I will be putting out another single at the beginning of the year and an EP," she teases, noting she plans to cover topics like "battling perfectionism as a woman, depression, self-sabotage."
"Even if some of what I write about is dark," she muses, "I turn in into something empowering, and I think that's important."
Below, Harper discusses her personal journey to self-realization, the patriarchy, her wide-ranging aesthetic influences and addressing politics in art.