In this interview spotlight, we chat with Haley Vassar about her newest project, influences, the digital music world and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I’m from Nashville but the music I prefer and create is a lot different than what is often expected as normal there. At first it was difficult, because I would want to collaborate with other artists but felt that a lot of the ones I worked with were very boxed in the whole “Nashville” style when it came to their music. But now as I’ve been writing in different places such as NYC & LA, it’s actually been pretty cool to get to go home to that particular unique way of writing, and I’m able to bring what I’ve learned at home to other places.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
My family is in the business, so I grew up right in the middle of it. I always knew I wanted to pursue music in some way, but wasn’t quite sure what that looked like until last summer. Right before my senior year of high school I decided to take the year to finish school independently and really jump in and give music my all. Once I began devoting more (most) of my time to it, I realized how immense my passion for writing and singing is; and because of that passion, I’m encouraged and inspired every day to keep moving.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
My most recent release, “Take On Me” is definitely different than my first (my debut single “In My Feelings”). The song differs musically for various reasons, but for me as an artist the main difference was in the processes of creating and releasing the music.
The goal with “In My Feelings” was to share my music with the world for the first time as a sort of introduction to my identity and journey as a artist. From writing and recording the song to releasing it and performing for the first time, the process required a whole lot of preparation and work. I also shot a music video for the single, which was another key learning experience for me (go check it out on YouTube, by the way!)… the single “In My Feelings” musically is kind of dark, a little bit moody, and is really about getting into the vibe of the record.
My most recent release, on the other hand is just about having fun and dancing. It’s a super kick ass cover of “Take On Me” that my friend Charlie Klarsfeld produced. So technically, it’s his record & all I really did was sing on it — it’s awesome, so be sure to go listen cause it’s the perfect summertime jam. The process was much more carefree for me since I’m a featured artist on the track. Charlie really did all the heavy lifting, including throwing an incredible release party in NYC. It was such a great experience for me because I just got to let loose and have FUN during my performance. That’s what the record is really about anyways, so I’m thankful that Charlie’s efforts allowed for that feeling to come through the music so authentically.
Do you face challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? How has technology helped you (assuming it helps)?
I think the main challenge in a digital age is staying focused. With things moving so quickly and there being so much music available to people all the time, there’s a constant pressure to “keep up.” I’m writing and recording my debut project right now, and the biggest challenge is having the time and space to focus on the creative process in the midst of all the other distractions. It’s hard to balance the sense of urgency with a healthy amount of patience. At this point I have more than enough songs to release a debut album… and in the digital age there’s a time pressure to do that and keep momentum and people’s attention engaged… but as an artist I want to work on my craft until it’s perfected in a way. Perfection is really non-existent as any art form as it’s an ever growing process, but I do want to put in the time and have the space to create something that will represent me as an artist accurately.
That being said, the digital age is also my best friend. As an independent artist, digital music gives me the opportunity to share my music with people in a way that just would not be possible a few decades ago. It’s so crazy to look on Facebook or Spotify analytics and see that people in Thailand, Brazil, and Turkey have heard my music. Like that blows my mind!! Having access to tools that help you promote and share your own music an an independent artist in 2017 is a huge advantage in my opinion.
Where can we connect with you online and discover more music?
- Website – https://www.moximanagement.com/haley-vassar
- Spotify – Haley Vassar
- SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/haleyvassar
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/haley_vassar/?hl=en
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/haleyvassarmusic/?ref=bookmarks
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/haley_vassar
- Tumblr – https://www.tumblr.com/blog/blue—-rose
Anything else before we sign off?
Thanks for your time!! I have lots of exciting new things in the works and on the way so stay tuned!