Harper Simon was always “encouraged” by his father — fellow singer-songwriter Paul Simon — to make music. But the younger Simon makes clear that having a famous forebear did not necessarily make his own career path any easier.
“I basically taught myself and developed myself,” says Simon, 37, who recently released his first album, a self-titled effort that features a variety of high-profile guests — Sean Lennon, Petra Haden, Inara George and some of the finest session players in Nashville, Tenn., as well as his father.
“No company developed me. Nobody taught me how to write a song. I had to come at it. It was a long road, but it was time for me to make that leap and find my voice as a solo artist.”
Prior to “Harper Simon,” which took him two years to make, Simon appeared as a youth on some of his father’s projects, studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and worked with the band Menlo Park. The long gestation, he feels, served him well.
“I guess I just wasn’t meant to be the person who talked to my generation when I was in my 20s,” he explains. “I didn’t have much to say about being in my 20s, I guess, or my teens. That just wasn’t my path, but I guess when I write and what I have to say now is what matters.”
Harper Simon performs Thursday (Nov. 12) in the Majestic Cafe, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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