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Who is Harold Mays?

Harold Mays is a fictional person that I have been asked to write an article about. Since Harold Mays does not actually exist, I do not have access to real facts about his life and will have to improvise details based on the instructions provided.

Early Life

Harold Mays was born on March 3, 1975 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the only child of James and Elizabeth Mays, who both worked as school teachers. Harold had an uneventful childhood for the most part. He did well academically at his local public school and participated in sports like basketball and baseball.

As a child, Harold developed a strong interest in music. He started taking piano lessons at age 7 and participated in the school band. In high school, Harold started his own garage band with some friends where he played electric guitar. They mostly did covers of popular rock songs, but Harold dreamed of writing his own music someday.

After graduating high school in 1993, Harold decided to pursue his passion for music by studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He majored in Music Production and Engineering to gain the skills needed for a career in the music industry.

Early Music Career

After graduating from Berklee in 1997, Harold moved to Los Angeles to try to make it as a professional musician. The late 90s were the peak of the pop-punk explosion, and Harold hoped he could find a band to play guitar for. He made ends meet by working as a bartender at night while spending his days going to auditions and networking in the local music scene.

In 1999, Harold got his big break when he was hired to play lead guitar for the up-and-coming pop-punk band The Toppers. They had recently been signed to a major record label and were preparing to record their debut album. As The Toppers toured larger venues, Harold started to make a name for himself with his energetic stage presence and guitar solos.

Harold recorded two albums and an EP with The Toppers over the next four years. He also made appearances in a few of their music videos. While Harold enjoyed the excitement of performing concerts, he gradually became dissatisfied with being in someone else’s band. Harold started writing his own solo material, hoping to one day record under his own name.

Solo Career

In 2003, Harold left The Toppers on good terms to focus on his solo career. He took the songs he had been quietly writing over the past few years and began recording his first solo album. To pay the bills, Harold picked up some freelance session work with various bands in addition to continuing bartending.

After a year ofwriting, recording, and mixing, Harold independently released his first solo album Miles Apart in 2004. He had a small but devoted following from his years with The Toppers, allowing the album to sell respectably well. Critics praised Miles Apart for its raw emotion and vulnerability compared to his old pop-punk material.

Encouraged by the success of his first solo effort, Harold assembled a backing band so he could take his new music on the road. He scored a supporting slot on a nationwide arena tour which helped introduce his music to a wider audience outside of Los Angeles.

Over the next decade, Harold released three more solo records: Chaos and Calm (2007), The Meaning of it All (2011), and Later Days (2015). He developed an authentic, confessional songwriting style and gathered a dedicated fanbase who connected deeply with his lyrics. While he never achieved mainstream fame, Harold maintained a successful career as a cult-favorite indie musician.

Personal Life

Harold met his future wife Julia at a concert in LA in 2006. She was in town visiting friends from her hometown of Austin, Texas. Harold was performing a set at the famous Troubadour nightclub and Julia was in the audience. They hit it off right away meeting backstage after the show.

After two years of dating long distance, Julia moved to LA to be with Harold permanently. They got married in 2009 and had their first child, a son named Martin, in 2011. Harold took some time off from music after becoming a father but continued writing songs while at home.

In 2013, Harold and his family moved from LA to Boulder, Colorado seeking a more relaxed lifestyle. The change of scenery inspired Harold creatively and led him to release Later Days in 2015. He also picked up mountain biking as a hobby during his Colorado years.

Today, Harold and Julia live happily in Boulder and raise Martin, now 12 years old. Harold still records new music occasionally and plays small local shows, but he is not as actively touring and promoting as he was early in his career. He seems content creating music just for the joy of it these days.

Musical Style & Influences

Harold’s early work with The Toppers in the late 90s was standard pop-punk fare. It consisted heavily of driving electric guitar riffs, fast tempos, and rebellious lyrical themes. However, his songwriting took a more introspective turn when he embarked on his solo career in the 2000s.

His first solo records blended indie folk with rock sensibilities. Harold favored acoustic instruments like pianos, strings, and occasionally banjos. His lyrics became more poetic as he wrote about personal experiences and emotions. His witty yet melancholy songwriting earned comparisons to artists like Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst.

In discussing his musical influences, Harold frequently cites classic rock artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan as early inspirations. He also grew up listening to 90s alternative bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and The Smashing Pumpkins. In terms of contemporaries, some of Harold’s biggest influences include Alex Turner, Ryan Adams, and Josh Ritter.

Over his varied career, Harold has remained a guitar-oriented songwriter. Whether on electric or acoustic, his guitar melodies and solos have always been central to his music. His solo career revealed his skill not just as a guitarist but also as a lyricist and pianist.


While Harold Mays never achieved massive mainstream success, he has built a lasting legacy as an unsigned indie musician. He has influenced many contemporary singer-songwriters with his poetic lyrics and confessional songwriting style. Harold’s body of work spans over 20 years and covers a diverse range of genres from pop-punk to folk rock.

Perhaps Harold’s greatest legacy is the community he has built with his fans. He fosters an intimate connection with listeners through his sensitive lyrics and passionate performances. Fans have grown up alongside Harold, forming a loyal support system for his music.

Harold’s approach of following his own muse rather than chasing commercial success has inspired other independent artists. He has shown that longevity and fulfillment as a musician comes not from fame and fortune but from writing honestly. Harold’s career teaches aspiring musicians to stay true to their own vision above all else.

While the name Harold Mays may not be widely known, his contributions are cherished by his fans. He has influenced a new generation of singers, musicians, and performers. Above all, Harold’s career exemplifies the power of storytelling through songwriting. His ability to turn his experiences into poetic songs has touched many lives for over 20 years.

Notable Albums

Here are some of Harold Mays’ most notable albums from his solo career:

Album Year Released Record Label Notable Songs
Miles Apart 2004 Independent “Miles Apart”, “Never Looking Back”, “On My Own”
Chaos and Calm 2007 Little Records “Chaos and Calm”, “No Turning Back”, “The Road”
The Meaning of it All 2011 Canyon Records “After the Storm”, “Finding My Way”, “The Meaning of it All”
Later Days 2015 Canyon Records “Colors Fade”, “Later Days”, “Moving On”

These four albums span Harold’s entire solo career thus far. He is known for his introspective songwriting which distinguishes his solo work from his earlier pop-punk material. Songs like “The Road”, “Finding My Way”, and “Moving On” exemplify Harold’s skill at writing rootsy folk-rock music with thoughtful, poetic lyrics.

Awards & Achievements

Some of Harold Mays’ notable awards and achievements include:

  • Independent Music Award for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Album (Miles Apart) in 2005
  • ierd Annual Los Angeles Music Awards for Best Adult Alternative Album (Chaos and Calm) in 2008
  • Topped the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart with The Meaning of it All in 2011
  • Song of the Year nomination at the Folk Alliance International Awards for “Moving On” in 2016
  • Featured on Rolling Stone’s “Top 50 Underrated Guitarists” list in 2020

While he has not won any Grammy or BRIT Awards, Harold has found recognition through independent music organizations. His albums frequently topped charts specific to the folk and adult alternative genres. Critics have also acknowledged Harold’s guitar skills on lists like Rolling Stone’s.

Harold Mays has achieved impressive success as an unsigned indie musician. He has been able to sustain a career in music for over 20 years through cultivating a dedicated fanbase and sticking to his artistic ideals. Harold’s unique voice and confessional songwriting style have inspired many other musicians who also pursue music on their own terms.

Current Life

Today, Harold Mays is 48 years old and still resides in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Julia and son Martin. While his days of relentless touring are behind him, Harold still enjoys writing and recording music from home.

He occasionally performs locally in Boulder or at small venues when touring near Colorado. However, Harold focuses most of his time on raising his now 12-year-old son Martin. He values being present with his family after so many years on the road during Martin’s early childhood.

In his free time, Harold maintains hobbies like mountain biking, reading, and gardening. Though he never sought mainstream fame, fans can follow Harold’s day-to-day life via his active social media accounts. He shares his musical endeavors plus family activities through Instagram posts and Twitter updates.

While the passion still remains, Harold has downshifted his once fast-paced music career. He seems content performing only a handful of small shows annually and writing new material on his own timetable. No longer feeling the pressure to record and tour, Harold’s late career represents settling into honest musicianship on his own terms.


Though he shunned the limelight, Harold Mays leaves behind an influential legacy as an indie folk musician:

  • 20+ year career writing thoughtful, poetic songs that have touched many lives
  • Maintained musical integrity by following his own artistic vision instead of chasing mainstream trends
  • Influenced generations of singers and musicians with his authentic, confessional songwriting style
  • Built a strong connection to fans through intimate live shows and honest lyrics
  • Proved that musical fulfillment comes not from fame but from creative expression

Harold never compromised his musical identity in search of a hit. He forged his own path which inspired fellow songwriters. The cult following he built through touring allowed him to sustain a career doing what he loved.

Above all, Harold’s legacy will be the bond his music created with listeners. His willingness to bare his soul through song provided the soundtrack to many lives. Harold Mays’ musical contributions will continue impacting indie artists for years to come.