We all can live our lives eager to have our talent seen and elevated by others, but there are a few whose amazing talent is caught, appreciated, and forwarded from a young age. From her parents to her scholars, Hayley Mckay’s life seems like a chapter by chapter plays on the opportunities life gives you to define it according to your happiness. For Mckay, music is her joy and calling, but it not something to take lightly, even if it makes her feel enlightened. This young woman has the right amount of ambition and professionalism to turn her lovely talent into a prosperous career.
Diandra: When people think of country music, they do not usually think of the UK, as much as its heart: Nashville. What is it about country music that makes it more internationally appealing/ known then portrayed?
Hayley: Country music resonates with me as it’s music of the people for the people. It’s also about telling stories, which I love. I believe the way country music has evolved also has a lot to do with its appeal. For example, in the UK, you now have British Country, New Country and British Country Americana. But for me Nashville is, and always will be, the heart and soul of country music and I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels that way.
//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.jsDiandra: In school, you had access to so many acclaimed artists like Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora. Of all the fellow artists you have encountered, who has given you the best advice for dealing with the music industry, and what was it?
Hayley: I think the best advice has come from my parents who have supported me in my career from when they first took me to stage school when I was a kid – I think you can apply it to a career in any business. It’s simply to believe in yourself and keep your feet on the ground. It’s advice that’s served me very well so far.
Diandra: You have lived such a charitable life, thus far, and you are even a Prince’s Trust Ambassador. What is it about charity that inspires creativity within you?
Hayley: It’s not just about charity, it’s something that goes right back to when I was at stage school. Being around such talented children, and having incredibly inspiring teachers, gave me a confidence and a belief in myself. I simply want to help children and young people to have that confidence and a belief in themselves too. Being a Prince’s Trust Ambassador enables me to do just that and it’s such a privilege to be involved with them.
Diandra: You won one of your first major competitions with a rendition of your great-grandmother’s poem. What did that poem and winning teach you about your family lineage and your talent?
Hayley: My grandmother is another inspiration and a real rock for the family. I think the poem brought some of my family history to life and to set it to music made it even more emotional than it already was. I think if you can deliver authenticity with a song and a performance then you can really connect with people as that song obviously did. It’s just so nice for both me and my family that it had that effect and helped to launch my career.
Diandra: From the onset of your career, you have won praise, accolades, and even scholarships to fund your studies for your voice. Being deemed so quickly “one to watch” and invest in, do you believe that your life in music is fated?
Hayley: I do have a belief, but I wouldn’t want to jinx it by saying my career in music is fated. I think whatever talent I may have needs hard work to develop and I will continue to work as hard as I can to reach people with my music and to maximize that talent.
Diandra: You have studied and traveled to develop your sound. What lessons from your schooling and travels have helped you discover your essence in music?
Hayley: It’s really about working with different people. It took a while for me to find my own sound, but it goes beyond schooling and travels. I think it’s also about having an open mind, listening to lots of different music and then working with those people – co-writers, producers – who understand what I’m trying to achieve.
Diandra: This may sound like a humorous question but being so talented and creative can have its pressures, especially if people have invested in you. What are the most difficult anxieties you have come across in terms of developing your sound, and how have you overcome them?
Hayley: I think there’s always pressure to perform and to be as good as you can be when people pay to come and see you. It’s also about recognising that we’re all human and that we all have our off days, but essentially it comes down to belief. I believe in myself and in the team around me. They really help to remove any pressure and anxieties so that I can just focus on myself and what I need to do.
Diandra: Usually, songwriters/ singers have “dreamer” personalities or are someone that lives and breathes in the visions their mind brews. What is your greatest vision for yourself as a person and as a singer.?
Hayley: I don’t think I’m a dreamer. I just want to share my music with the widest possible audience. It’s not simply a vision, it’s more an ambition for me.
Diandra: If there is a thought, experience, or a feeling currently in your heart that you have yet to write a song to, what would it be and can you give us a lyric?
Hayley– Ha – I have so many songs to finish let alone start! But I’m always getting inspiration from things that happen to me from day to day. And every song I write is based on an experience. I think you need to listen out for the follow-up single for the lyric!