interview: Hailey Henriques shares her battle with personal demons

"Some of my most memorable music moments were performing at school talent shows, but it was seeing Coldplay live in Toronto with my dad that changed my life forever.’’
28 December 2022

Fresh-faced Canadian artist Hailey Henriques blesses our ears with her newest release Voices, a movingly honest and authentic ballad. With feather-soft piano and a swell of strings lain beneath her beautiful, yet powerful, singing voice, Hailey shares with her listeners some of her struggles with negative self-talk and her battle with her personal demons to finally end up in a better place with herself.

Produced by The Koren Brothers and Kyle Mangles from LA Virtually, this poignant, piano-driven song provides the perfect landscape for Hailey to show off her sophisticatedly soulful voice. The track is laden with distinctive notes of pop-soul, reminiscent of heavyweights such as Adele and Amy Winehouse, who are some of Hailey’s biggest musical influences.

Although she is new to the indie music scene, Hailey is certainly no stranger to performing. At just six years old she began learning the piano, which would become her gateway into the world of songwriting during her teens. She recalls how she performed music casually for years before one particular concert ignited her passion for music. 

“Some of my most memorable music moments were performing at school talent shows, but it was seeing Coldplay live in Toronto with my dad that changed my life forever.’’

Hailey began her music career in 2020, when the pandemic was at its height, self-reflection was impossible to avoid, and the creative arts became a refuge for sensitive souls like her. We were lucky enough to catch up with the talented artist and ask her a few questions about her new release.

Hello Hailey! Glad to catch up. How are you? What are you thinking right now? 

Hi! I am great, really enjoying the Christmas holiday break, especially after the release of my second single Voices. I’m not sure what to think or feel other than gratitude and excitement. There has been such a positive response to “Voices” which makes me happy that people are receiving the song and resonating with it. 

Tell us everything we should know about ‘Voices’

Voices‘ tells the story of the struggle with internal battles when the little voice inside your head starts to mislead you and guide you down a negative path. These feelings made me so unsure of who I was at the time, leading me down a path of dissociation. However, the song talks about self-growth and how that negative state is not going to last forever. It talks about the struggle of learning to trust yourself and that little voice inside your head again. The song highlights this struggle during its chorus and builds up to a release that explains the freedom that comes with trusting yourself again. expressed through the lyrics, “I don’t need you anymore that’s why I’m letting myself go, on the path to gain back my control”. ‘Voices‘ depicts a story of taking your life back. 

What is your creative process like for a song like ‘Voices’

When creating a song, I like for ideas to flow organically, so my process usually consists of sitting down at my piano or playing the guitar until I create a melody that I like. This process was the same for “Voices” and once I created a melody that I liked on the guitar I began to flesh it out and come up with verses and a chorus. At this point, general lyrics start to flow and I let whatever wants to be said come out. The process continues into a refining stage in which I go over lyrics and melody and make sure that the story I am trying to convey is clear. 

What was it like to work with The Koren Brothers and Kyle Mangles? 

It was a fantastic experience to work with The Koren Brothers and Kyle Mangles. They are all such talented individuals with amazing ideas which made me feel really comfortable bringing forward any questions I had. They really focused on helping me convey the story and emotions that I would convey to them. As it was also my first time professionally recording and creating music they ensured that I was comfortable and felt heard every step of the way. The process of creating “Voices” wouldn’t have been the same without them and I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to work with them all. 

If you had to describe your sound in three words what would they be?

Emotional, impactful, and elegant

What do you want people to take away from listening to your music? 

I don’t know if I have specific takeaways that I want people to have as I want people to interpret my music in whichever way it best impacts them. I would hope that people feel some sort of self-liberation after listening to my music, as well as a feeling of community. Everyone’s life experiences are unique which can at times make people feel isolated in their feelings and emotions. I hope that after listening to my music people don’t feel as alone in these feelings and emotions. 

If you could tour with any musicians, dead or alive, who would it be and why? 

If I could tour with any musician dead or alive, I would choose Adele. Adele has been one of my favorite artists since I was a kid, she has such a beautiful, powerful, captivating voice and I would love to see her process behind it all. She also seems to have an amazing sense of humor so I know there will never be a dull moment. 

Which artists are you listening to right now? 

Currently, I have been listening to the group Half Moon Run, Amy Winehouse, and some Etta James. 

How would you describe your personal style? 

I would say that my personal style is one that includes many vibrant colors, it is somewhat simple and can be elegant. When I’m not wearing sweats, I wear a lot of jeans, recently lowrise, and style them with a simple but flattering little top. I have also been quite into the look of layering clothes, likely because it is colder out but it is a style technique I would like to improve on.

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