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Life & Work with Hayley Cass

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hayley Cass.

Hi Hayley, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
My name is Hayley Cass and I am a blues, soul, and jazz singer in the Nashville area. I have been singing my whole life but I started professionally recording and releasing music around 2014 with a band named “Red Martina” – a hip hop band based out of Philly. I was the jazz/blues/soul singer for the band and it was a pretty successful 2 albums.

After singing and writing for years, I decided that I was going to write and record my own songs as a solo artist. I went back to school for sound engineering because I figured that no one else can hear what I hear in my head, so I have to record demos to begin getting my music out there.

My debut concept EP, named “Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea”, is currently being released one single at a time for a total of 6 singles. As a concept EP, each song is part of a growing storyline but yet they are still unique to one another – not only in the music but in the graphics and cover art as well. Parts of my EP have been created, recorded, and finished in Philly, and some in Nashville.

It’s definitely been a feat to work on a project from two different cities – but I wouldn’t have it any other way! This has been many years in the making and I’m excited to say that I have many more songs that I am recording for release after my concept EP is complete.

Currently, I am living in Nashville to play more live gigs and start my band for a hopeful tour when all the songs on my EP are released.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not. haha! I think the challenges I have faced have helped me to create better music along the way. Actually, I don’t think it, I know it! I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am if it weren’t for the hardships of life and what I’ve been through, especially over the last few years.

In one of my songs, the lyric is “So you thought you’d take with ya, my grit, my wit fitness, my heart my soul my witness, So I Rose My Head Up”. I think that helps to put it into words regarding the ups and downs of being a musician for me. It’s like you basically have all of the cards stacked against you but no one can take away the passion and love for what you do.

No matter what, I keep raising my head and looking forward. Though the terrain has its twists and turns, it’s important to remember why you do what you do and to always continue to put one foot in front of the other. It’s funny because you ask about some of the struggles, and I don’t even think I can lay them out in one question and answer – not simply at least.

I have been told over the past couple of months that I should write a book about what I’ve been through over the past few years and I actually have begun writing one (albeit very very slowly). I know that sounds self-indulgent, but I honestly don’t think people would be able to believe what I’ve Conquered (shameless plug for one of my songs) and how I’ve tried to overcome all of it and thrive.

I’m proud of that; scared and nervous about the vulnerabilities of it all but I’m still proud that I have been able to grow stronger with each passing day. Even if it’s just to stay positive on the days it’s not so easy to do so, I will always raise my head up.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am primarily a blues, jazz, and soul singer. I write all of my own music and I also teach composition, voice, piano, and performance to students around the country.

I definitely am very proud of being a teacher of music students as most of them are learning to perform their own songs. I’ve helped them to find confidence in themselves in order to cultivate more of their own creativity and sound throughout the years we’ve been working together.

Some of my students have even written and recorded their own albums! I’m not exactly sure what sets me apart but I know that my love and passion for music and singing are unmatched. I’m beyond proud of my dedication, drive, and commitment to this life of creative music!

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you.
I honestly don’t think luck has anything to do with it. I am grateful that I’ve had to go through the ups and downs of life and music but if luck (good or bad) were involved, I think everything would be totally different in the scheme of things.

I don’t think that I would be the person that I am if I got lucky and someone else were to give me a leg up. In the same way, I wouldn’t be the person that I am if I were to blame bad luck for things that have happened in my life. I am surrounded by amazing people – I definitely have not gotten to where I am without the help and love from others – but I don’t believe that is luck.

I just don’t think I owe anything to just that haha. Not in a pessimistic way or anything but I have done all of this with hard work and dedication and I can’t give that up to “luck”. The choices I have made have grown my character and I am always working to better myself in all ways of life, music, and business.

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Image Credits
Nick Fargo, Elliott Daniel, and John Rowland

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