What: Mandy Harvey

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St., Bend

Cost: $22, $32 or $47 plus theater preservation fee

Contact: towertheatre.org or 541-317-0700

Any artist about to release new music will most likely have to answer the following question, posed by fans, promoters, labels and journalists alike: “What does it sound like?”

It can be a hard question to answer for any number of reasons — musicians don’t like to be pigeonholed to one genre, or their music is so genre-bending that it can be hard to pinpoint in a word or two (or several).

That question poses a particular challenge for singer-songwriter Mandy Harvey, who will make her Bend debut with her full band at the Tower Theatre on Wednesday. Harvey, whose star rose considerably after she appeared on “America’s Got Talent” in 2017, has been legally deaf since she was 18.

“It’s in the vein of pop, but it’s influenced with indie and sometimes rock, sometimes jazz,” she said via phone from Rochester, New York, where she was presenting and performing at the Rochester Institute of Technology. (She conducted the interview with the help of a closed-captioning app.) “… It’s hard; it’s a weird question for me, because if somebody says, ‘What does it sound like?,’ it sounds like me. That’s the only thing that I could think that it sounds like.”

This reporter certainly felt stupid after thinking about the question a bit harder. But Harvey just laughed.

“No, it’s a great question, and it’s one that I have to have an answer to,” she said. “It’s just kind of a funny one where you’re like, ‘Well, you know, I’m not really sure.’ I know what it is, but at the same time, it sounds like me. It doesn’t sound like I’m trying to sound like anybody else because I’m certainly not, which is really quite a beautiful thing.”

Once a music-education major at Colorado State University, Harvey dropped out after she lost her hearing due to a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She stepped away from music for about a year and a half, but re-emerged in performance in 2008 after encouragement from her family and friends, in particular her father.

By the time her audition video for “America’s Got Talent” aired and subsequently went viral online (the official video on the “America’s Got Talent” YouTube page has more than 32 million views), she had toured around the country and released three studio albums. That audition featured Harvey performing her original song “Try” from her 2014 album, “All of Me,” earning a standing ovation from an emotional audience and equally emotional judges (famously acerbic judge Simon Cowell hit the “Golden Buzzer” to move her directly to the live shows).

“I’d never seen the show before I went on it,” Harvey said. “I didn’t know what I was getting onto. I didn’t know what a ‘Golden Buzzer’ really meant. I wanted to stand up and say that it’s OK to fail and fail big.”

Harvey finished in fourth place on the show. Her performances included a simultaneous vocal and sign-language rendition of her original song “Release Me.”

“There’s a lot of invisible disabilities, and I wanted to change some perspectives to say that we’re not just broken people who have no future,” she said. “It looks different in so many different people. Every single person is dealing with something, and we have an obligation to encourage each other instead of stepping on each other all the time. I just really wanted to be an encouragement, and so I said the hell with it. If I’m gonna get judged, if I’m gonna get criticized, if I’m gonna get booed or feel embarrassed, I’m gonna go down expressing myself. I can only be shattered if I allow myself to be. So I said that even if I get X-ed off the show, it will be worth it. And so I showed up, and it was worth it.”

Thanks to the publicity from the show, Harvey became a full-time musician. She also has channeled the attention into advocacy work with organizations such as No Barriers USA, which works to provide “transformative educational experiences” to people with disabilities. Last year, she and others from the organization went to Nepal with a group of students, where they climbed mountains and visited a school for the deaf.

During the visit, the group “(helped) bring interpreters to the community and to the school to teach the students Nepalese sign language so that they had a way to communicate, as well as teach the community around (them) in hopes that it would break down those communication barriers and that stigma,” Harvey said. “But we climbed mountains together, so we rode horseback through the Mustang (District) for what seemed like an eternity. We went up and we visited all of Nepal.”

As mentioned earlier, Harvey is working on the follow-up to “All of Me,” which will be her first album since “America’s Got Talent.” Whereas her previous albums featured cover songs often in the vocal jazz realm — including classics such as “What a Wonderful World” and “Embraceable You” — the untitled record, anticipated for spring or summer, will feature all-original material.

Her friend at No Barriers, Erik Weihenmayer — the first blind person to summit Mount Everest — pushed Harvey to start writing songs again after she went deaf. She now writes every day, she said.

“It really has given me a lot of freedom because I’m not embarrassed about it anymore,” Harvey said. “… I’m not scared of making myself look stupid, because the only thing that would be stupid is to have all of this passion and all of these thoughts and all of these things that I want to say, and just never saying them because I’m trying to make it the perfect sentence. There’s never a perfect sentence.”

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