I Am Harlequin is the recording and production alias of London-based artist Anne Freier.
Freier was born towards the end of the GDR regime in Dresden, Germany. She grew up listening to 1970s prog pop, 1980s pop and classical music. Her father had used a magnetic tape recorder to copy music of forbidden vinyl that was being passed around discreetly from person to person – something he could have been imprisoned for then had the state found out. With the fall of the Berlin wall, the family was able to travel freely and her father started collecting cassettes of a wide variety of musical genres and later CDs. Freier mentions that he had a big impact on her musical influences, fully introducing her to the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Chakha Khan, Cindy Lauper, Yes, Billy Joel, Kate Bush, Grace Slick, Ricky Lee Jones, Tori Amos, and Joni Mitchell, but also classical music such as Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and later Sondheim.
She wrote her first English song at the age of seven with the help of a bear-inspired English book for children. Freier then performed regularly with her sister in front of family and friends and moved to London after school to study music in the city. She is a trained singer, but focused on production and technology whilst at university, mostly recording herself performing on the piano with a laptop and an Mbox on Pro Tools.