Hayes, welcome to TMI! Your new single and video “Shut Up” is out now – can you tell us about the song and video – what inspired you to write it?
I came up with the idea of SHUT UP after watching one of my best friend’s flirt with someone she really liked at a bar. I obviously eavesdropped on the conversation and heard my friend lightheartedly making fun of her crush’s T-Shirt. It was super clear that their lighthearted teasing was flirting, and every time her crush teased her back, she would respond with a playful “shut upppp.” I thought it would be really fun to write a song that explored this period of flirting–– before anyone admits their feelings or has to be vulnerable––because there are no stakes, everyone’s and a little nervous, and it’s exciting.
I wanted the melody and production of SHUT UP to reflect the nervous-excited energy of flirting with someone new. It’s a similar vibe I get when I listen to Y2K pop-punk bangers (Avril Lavigne, P!nk, Ke$ha, Fall Out Boy). I hope people feel that SHUT UP taps into the fun dancefloor energy that makes those Y2K songs so addictive.
For the video, I was lucky to work with incredible directors Frankie Fire and Rook (French Montana, Saweetie, and Roddy Ricch) who helped me translate the song’s concept into the visual storyline I imagined. I really wanted the video to play into the no-nonsense attitude of the song. The video follows me and some friends during a not-so-typical night out and features two storylines: a carefree night clubbing with friends, and a girl boss energy that comes from a pre-planned heist scene.
We have heard your live show is high energy – what will fans expect when you tour next year?
I LOVE touring and I try to bring my excitement to every one of my performances. For my live shows, I view audience connection as equally important to the quality of music and production value. My favorite performers all bring their personalities to their shows: one of my favorite parts of live performances are those moments in between songs when I’m chatting with the audience and feeding off their energy. I have a lot of exciting show opportunities booked for next year. My goal for these live shows is to keep connecting with the audience and make every show a unique experience for me and everyone there. I hope my setlist (with both released and unreleased music) is going to bring everyone together through a whole range of emotions––with some piano ballads, and some jump-around-the-stage bangers.
Can you share with us a little about your song writing process – what inspires you to write a new song?
My writing process is different based on the song and mood I’m in. But most of the time, I’ll sit down at the piano and play around with chords until I find something that sticks. The melody comes first, and the lyrics follow usually in that case. Sometimes I’ll think of a good song concept or lyric and immediately write it down in my notes app. These ideas usually come to me when I’m having a conversation with someone else about a situation they’re going through or thinking about my own day-to-day experiences. Other times, I’ll record a quick melody in my voice memos – sometimes these melodies become songs, sometimes they’re just cringey ideas I had in the shower.
Your EP will be out next year – any sneak peek information you can share?
I’ve been in the studio so much lately that creating my EP is going to be more about the editing process of which songs I should include. When it comes to deciding which songs I should put on my debut EP, I want to design it so the individual songs included each speak to a different emotion. Like an a-la-carte experience where you can listen if you want to cry in the car, or where you can play something else at a party. I also love using TikTok as a tool to tease unreleased music and get real time feedback as I work on my music. TikTok really helps me decide which songs resonate most with my listeners, and I love getting messages/comments from people asking me when I’m releasing specific songs. I want to make sure the TikTok favorites are included on the EP. I’m super proud of the music I’ve been making recently and am so ready to release this EP early 2023!
How can folk follow you?
I’m active on Instagram
Watch ‘SHUT UP’ here: