It’s been a long music career for Oklahoma City songstress Camille Harp — one that’s lasted as long as she’s been alive, really.
“I was born into it. It was never having to decide if I was going to do this or do that,” said Harp, born to country-musician parents. “I’ve been asked when I decided to play music for a living, and I never decided that on my own. It was just meant to be, as corny as that might sound.”
The sounds of Tanya Tucker and Merle Haggard filled the house since birth, and at just 4, she would join her parents onstage, a guitar thrust into her hands soon after. Songwriting followed in her teens, and Harp has been headlining her own shows since she was just out of high school.
So it makes sense that despite being just a 30-something, she’s slowing down with the ceaseless gigging, recently leaving her weekly residency at The Deli in Norman.
“I’ve been playing weekly since I was 19. I’m getting to the age where I really enjoy my beauty sleep,” Harp said, laughing. “I need some time to live a different lifestyle for a minute. I feel lucky to have fans who understand I need a little time to recharge.”
Luckily for them, that void will be filled by new music, a seven-song EP titled Little Bit of Light. Joined by frequent collaborator John Calvin, she unveils the album Sunday at Performing Arts Studio’s Summer Breeze Concert Series in Norman.
Harp recorded and co-wrote the disc with Oklahoma native Luke Dick in his new home in New York City, marking her first time to bring another person into the writing process.
“The main thing was loosening up enough to share my ideas without feeling silly. I had to be open and confident,” she said. “Half the pressure off of you, and bouncing ideas off someone is a huge help. I felt totally comfortable. It was a two-way street.”
Harp believes her music is all the better for it, capturing the twangy folk feel she’s always wanted.
“It’s more organic and raw compared to my previous records. It’s heavy on the acoustic side, which is what I’ve always loved,” Harp said. “It’s vocally driven, and it’s different than anything I’ve ever done before. I’m very proud of it.”
Slight sonic changes aside, Harp is still the same, passionate songwriter she’s ever been and always will be.
“My perception is that people enjoy that I’m pretty real,” she said. “There’s not much of a filter to me, and I sing and play that way, too. I’m an open book, waiting there to be read.”