Sinéad Harnett takes the responsibility of being an artist very seriously.

Hailing from London and now based in Los Angeles, the independent songstress has written anthems about love in all its forms. Since finding success with her breakout single “If You Let Me” in 2019, Harnett has garnered over 200 million career streams, 1.2 million followers across platforms, and features on “The Terrell Show” and “A COLORS SHOW.”

With her latest offering, the introspective Boundaries, it’s more evident than ever that Harnett is perfectly positioned to become one of the most soul-stirring it-girls of R&B. REVOLT spoke to the rising star about her creative process, the power of self-awareness and her highly anticipated tour.

Check out the exclusive chat below.

You didn't necessarily sit down and conceptualize this album, but in the intro, you made it clear that it’s about “boundaries, baby!” How did you realize this was the theme you wanted to focus on?

The intro was one of the last things I made. About halfway through the process, I realized the songs were all lessons I was learning through therapy. The title came together [in the] middle. The last song was one of the first I wrote. It’s funny how they say, “You write the songs that become your life, but your life also writes the songs.” Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is happening. When I wrote “Wish You Could See,” which was a collaboration with two other women, I didn’t know who I was talking to. That conclusion came before I realized it was the album’s conclusion. The intro coming last was because I started to see the story.

Listening to the LP, it feels like it is for women. Who would you say it’s for? Who did you have in mind?

I'm not friends with Rick Rubin, but I wouldn't mind having a cup of tea with him because he said, “An artist should never write for an audience.” They should write from the heart and for themselves. The second you start to think about who this is for, you're not in the zone anymore. You're not the vessel. It's written for a number of people in my life that have been abusive, but I also think it's written for myself — for the woman I've still become in spite of that. But I think it's also for my family. It's for the people that saved me and are my heroes, and then it's also for the man that I love. We're not together, but so much of that album is about him and the healthy love he taught me. It's for no one, for me and for everyone — all at once.

You’re telling the story in first person and every emotion is palpable. How do you get into the mood to write and record? How do you translate those feelings so honestly?

I think this is my best project because I had time for the first time. And I had more self-awareness than I ever had in life. So, the mode I got into for this was — I was very much being re-traumatized by being in therapy when I wrote this. I was really in a dark place. I don't agree that only tortured souls can create. It just so happens that I was incredibly vulnerable the whole time. I'd never been with someone who actually loved me for me before. I'd never spoken about childhood to a professional before. I'd never really known how dark my past was before. These stories were telling themselves because I'd finally opened that vault. The place that I was in was very much a cathartic, open place. It's like I’d broken myself open and the wounds were all out.

That sounds cathartic but also terrifying because you're sharing such vulnerability with millions of listeners who create their own narratives. How do you handle that?

I've had a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with whether I deserve to do this job. It's so funny being an artist. You have to — every day — sell yourself. It's so interesting how much of an introvert I am because [social media] brings a sense of repulsion because it's so “Me, me, me! Highlights, highlights, highlights!” and you have to paint that aspirational picture for people to buy into the music, which is so complex. There's a huge part of me that wants to hide away, to keep myself small, to give in to that inner negative voice from childhood.

But then, there's this other side of me that's like, “B**ch, you have a responsibility. If you don't share this vulnerability, if you don't share these wounds, what are you actually offering the world?” Because there [are] millions of people that — you know, even the fact that I'm Asian — don't have an Asian role model. I won't even get into the generational trauma of Asian households. [Being first generation] is something else because they be bringing the f**king toughest love that they learn but bringing us up in a Western society where our friends can stay out till midnight and whatever.

It's like my responsibility takes me away from feeling like some sort of “Oh look at me, I'm a singer!” and actually shows me [that] this is a service. And then I'm another human being of the world that maybe is making the world a tiny bit of a better place because, f**k me, do we need some sunshine in this world!

Seeing the response -- whether it's people who you are very close to, people from your past or your supporters -- what's it like hearing from everyone?

Right now, for the first time in my life and my career, I really know that I'm where I'm supposed to be. Today, reading the message from my sister. Talking to you and other friends. I really believed them for the first time. I believe the compliments, so it's beautiful because it offers more connection. I've been quite closed in life. I think this album is helping them to know who I am, the battles I faced [and] why I've been closed. And that's a nice way for them to understand me and for me to understand them when they tell me the bits that they relate to.

Working your way up in the industry, there's pressure to collab with big writers and producers, which can make it difficult to find your voice. How were you able to trust yourself again when it came to writing for this project?

There's one side, which is how dark this industry is. But then, there's the other side: We see something in an artist that's magic, and then there's this knee-jerk reaction to immediately sign them and put them in every room with said hitmaker of the past 10 years. And then what actually happens is this artist gets more and more diluted, more and more lost and — for me — more and more ashamed to be in my own skin.

I got to a place where I removed everyone telling me what to do… so that I could just sit in the room. Some days, nothing came. Other days, too much. And it just started to form because I finally was like, “I'm the girl who wrote ‘If You Let Me.’ I have it in me.”

What does it look like when you're collaborating with folks like D’Mile, Camper and Jayla Darden?

Every single song, I was -- at some point -- with the person. You brought up Jayla. This is the first time I've worked closely with a woman for quite a lot of the project. That has been such a great journey because I know she's got my back. I know that she just wants to empower me, and I am so inspired by her. Even though there was a lot [of time] on my own, I'd still connect with the collaborators because I think the songs were owed that. And I'm so thankful to Jayla, Camper and D’Mile… I've never had an executive producer, but I had those people to lean on.

There are many moving parts and a lot of content considered when creating an album. How do you narrow things down?

It's leaning on people that you trust. I played stuff [for] friends and Courtney [Stewart]. And then you get to the point where you know on your own. So, a little bit of time and then a lotta bit of gut.

Is there anything you can share about your upcoming tour plans?

I guess I'm gonna say... the eye emojis (laughs).