The musician, producer, and creative visionary known as Ionne (pronounced ee-oh-nay') has been making music since he was a child studying classical trumpet and piano. Born in Riverside, California into an Air Force family, he grew up “a little bit of everywhere,” he says, from the USA to the UK, across Europe, and back again. Several years in Germany turned out to be especially formative in his early explorations of electronic music.
“Musically that was a very important period,” he says, as it was the beginning of a deep dive into the possibilities of electronic music and electronic instruments. With synthesizers, Ionne could “manipulate waveforms until they sound the way I want them to sound, feel the way I want them to feel.” The fruition of that time can be heard in his music today—a refined brand of electronica that encompasses synth pop, dance music, hints of hip hop, and just a bit of jazz.
With a music career beginning in the 1990s, Ionne has written music for Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns, and Making the Video on MTV. And he has worked with EMI Records, Atlantic Records, Capitol Records, Universal Music Group, V2 Records, and Hollywood Records on projects for Grace Jones, Pocket Size, Blessid Union of Souls, and LaKiesha Berri, to name just a few. He has produced numerous independent releases, including early solo works on the Clubhead Records imprint under the moniker Que and with actor-singer Jennifer Fouché, a longtime collaborator. Ionne is a creator at Midnight Oil Collective and co-founder at 5015 Records with his brother, Grammy-nominated guitarist Rod Harris, Jr.
Ionne, a moniker inspired by its etymological references to the atomic ion as well as the holy isle of Iona, aptly describes the artist's work, which is at the same time futuristic, spiritualized, polarized, and polarizing—or at least thought provoking—which is the intent. Friends and colleagues also know the artist as Dr. Maurice Lajuane Harris, a musician with an unusual academic background, a PhD in Ethical and Creative Leadership with a specialization in Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies, which he admits influences his approach to artmaking as much as intuition and training.
Ionne demonstrates that so called "serious music" is not just the domain of classical musicians and traditional singer-songwriters. In his hands, the electronica genre is elevated to the level of serious music that espouses important messages, catches the ears and the feet, and finds its way into the heart and mind.
Inspired by these sources:
Czepiel, Kathy. "World Music." Daily Nutmeg, 24 June 2021.
Slattery, Brian. "Ionne Finds A Way Forward." New Haven Independent, 23 June 2021.
Valuzzo, Andrea. “New Haven Artist Tackles Social Issues in Genre-Bending Electronic Dance Music.” CT Post, 1 July 2021.