Harrison Steele hails from the heartland of America. Raised in Wichita, Kansas, Harrison took a liking to the arts at a young age. His mother owned a daycare and was very artistic herself. She helped foster that creativity in Harrison and the other children through activities like finger-painting, drawing, paper mache, and many other hands-on activities. Harrison’s father, an entrepreneur and avid music fan, helped cultivate Harrison’s love of music; playing music on the stereo at home, jamming out in the car, and taking him to concerts.
Harrison spent much of his time as an adolescent doodling on his notebooks in the classroom and drawing and painting at home. As he matured and technology became more accessible, Harrison discovered other forms of art such as film-making, photography, and graphic design, but it wasn’t until high school that Harrison found his true passion; his love of playing guitar and songwriting.
During his freshman year of high school Harrison heard Jack Johnson’s second album, “In Between Dreams” during an art class and it inspired him to buy a guitar, and learn how to sing and play. “The way Jack Johnson fit words together, with rhythm and rhyme into the melody of a song fascinated me… his wordplay resonated with me, and his mellow vibe… oh and that chukka sound, haha… I definitely tried to imitate that.”
Harrison spent years writing songs in his room with no formal training, drawing inspiration from Youtube videos and learning tabs of his favorite songs, but never performing for anyone. Then, in the summer of 2012, Harrison got the nerve to start performing at open mics around Wichita, which lead to him playing acoustic gigs of his own at coffeeshops and small bars.
After graduating from WSU and playing gigs for a while, Harrison moved to Denver, Colorado in August of 2013. Soon after, he started traveling as part of a promotional marketing job. Many of Harrison’s experiences on the road, seeing the country outside of Kansas, especially on the west coast, influenced his songwriting and style.
Harrison’s voice and style of music are characterized by a mixture of folk, soul, pop, rock, and Americana; drawing influences from various artists such as Jack Johnson, The Lumineers, Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, Damien Rice, Bob Dylan, Amos Lee, Ray Lamontagne, Jamestown Revival, Rush, NEEDTOBREATHE, ELO and more.
Harrison moved back to Wichita in late 2016 and began performing publicly again in April of 2017. He eventually started gigging weekly around his hometown, finding a community of friends and supportive fans, as well as many opportunities for growth.
Harrison briefly appeared on the 2018 comeback of American Idol, making it through a series of rounds and auditioning on national TV in front of judges Lionel Ritchie, Katie Perry and Luke Bryan.
“Harrison, you have a smoky-soulful kind of voice that I love… and a great energy about you. I can tell you do this for a living.” – Lionel Richie – American Idol – Season 1 on ABC (2018)
Harrison currently resides in Wichita as a full-time musician, playing shows around the city and in surrounding areas. Harrison has been writing music for over a decade and has played over 1000 gigs in the past four years. He recently released his second album, “Love Over Fear“, on September 2, 2021. It is available on all major music platforms and streaming apps. For inquiries on hiring Harrison for an event or show, see Booking page.