Shane Harper Is ‘One Step Closer’ to Hitting It Big as a Singer-Songwriter
Even though most people are familiar with him for his role as Spencer Walsh on Disney’s ‘Good Luck Charlie,’ Shane Harper is much, much more than your average teen actor. The 18-year-old has numerous acting gigs under his belt and a long-standing career in dance, both of which intersected during his stint as a principal dancer in the ‘High School Musical’ franchise.
In addition to these endeavors, Harper is now setting out to pursue another one of his original passions — music. The singer-songwriter released his debut single ‘Dance With Me’ last year, and is now following this success with the release of his full-length studio LP, ‘One Step Closer.’ PopCrush had the chance to chat with Harper about his musical influences, his debut album, what it’s like being on tour with Greyson Chance and Cody Simpson, and his love for Elvis Presley.
Have you always considered yourself a musician?
I’ve actually been playing music ever since I was a young a kid. I got my first guitar when I was about 7 or 8 years old, so I’ve always been doing music. The industry started with the dancing and the acting, but I’ve always considered myself a musician. It’s really cool that I’m actually getting to do it professionally now.
What is the central theme of the LP ‘One Step Closer’?
All of the songs are all love songs. Some are more simple than others. For me, for example, ‘Wait for Me’ is one that has maybe a more complicated theme going on — it seems like it may be more of a mature relationship. So I think it does range that way nicely. Some of the songs are a bit more simple and it’s very clear what’s going on. But then we kind of have some more mature ones.
Your song ‘One Step Closer’ was featured on Disney’s ‘Good Luck Charlie’ Can you tell us about it?
I perform it in the episode, so it’s really, really cool. The writers called me and they were saying that they want to do a battle of the bands episode, and they were like, ‘Can we use one of your songs?’ And I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh! Of course!’ It’s a really insane opportunity because you don’t [normally] get a song played on an episode, let alone getting [the chance] to sing it on the show.
Which artists have inspired you over the years?
I love, love, love John Mayer. He’s incredible. I love all of his records and even his John Mayer Trio stuff. I love Adele. Her last record ’21’ is just out-of-this-world, unbelievable. I grew up listening to Switchfoot. I love Switchfoot, they’re a great band. John Foreman is awesome. I really dig mainstream pop music, but I also have a heart for jazz and rock. Oh! Coldplay! I cannot miss Coldplay! I think ‘Fix You’ is one of the most brilliantly written songs ever. It’s like my favorite song of all time.
What is the most exciting part of touring with Greyson Chance and Cody Simpson?
We just started a few days ago, so we’re just getting into the swing of things. Cody and Greyson are awesome. They’re so talented and really, really warm. They’re families are really sweet. There’s a great vibe with production and the shows and everything. I think my favorite thing is just performing every night. I’m always so anxious to get back onstage and see everyone, because it’s insane getting to play for all of these people. I hadn’t [played] a gig in [a while], so this is kind of the first time I’m out on the road and playing a ton. It’s wild!
You are an incredible dancer. Will you incorporate any dancing into your live performances?
I did start out dancing, and that is how all of this came about. It’s interesting because I do play guitar, so it’s not really [a] dance pop [album]. People always suggest that I do a dance record, because they’re like, ‘You dance!’ [laughs]. I love writing that sometimes, but I really like incorporating acoustic guitar and other stuff. There’s a song on the record called ‘I Know What I Know,’ and it’s a little bit dancey [and] really uptempo. And we were actually just talking about when end up doing a full-set with a band and tracks running and stuff, that we’ll choreograph some cool dancing in our show.
Finally, if you could work with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Let’s see. This is hard! You know what? I always thought Elvis was just wild. I would love to write a song and go onstage with him and sing. I feel like as a performer he was one of those people that had that special thing, [where] he just connected with people in a really genuine way. He’s the man!
Watch the Shane Harper ‘Dance With Me’ Video