Haley Griffin - 10 Questions Music Interview
Hailing from Wisconsin, Haley Griffin is an up and coming indie-pop artist who is noted for her authenticity. Originally pursuing a career in English, Griffin changed her career path to music, received a vocal scholarship, and graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Griffin's songs present honest lyrics and storytelling laced with poetry and imagery. Some of her lyrical icons include Kacey Musgraves, Kings of Convenience and Billy Joel. Upon graduation, Griffin Griffin released her debut single, "Ferris Wheels" on May 10th.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Not necessarily a person in my life, but the artists I grew up listening to. I've also always had a love for storytelling, so combining my two passions and writing my own music felt natural.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I'd honestly have to say leaving my small town in the Midwest and moving to Boston to pursue music at Berklee. I didn't know anyone on the east coast, and I've always valued security, so going to a place where nothing was guaranteed was scary. But I am so thankful that I did, because I couldn't see myself anywhere else, and I've met the most amazing people from all over the world.
What has been the high point of your music path?
My professional music career is still very young since this is my debut, but I'd have to say the high point was meeting my first fan that wasn't my mom. I went back to my hometown to perform for a gala, and I got approached by a high-schooler who said she's been to a lot of my performances and was inspired to join my high school theater company because of me. It was magical.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
For Ferris Wheels, I had written a poem and later decided to pick up my guitar to put the words to music. But for some of my upcoming projects, I've gone to a piano and played a sad chord and gotten in my feelings and wrote everything together, or I've produced on Logic Pro X different sounds and made the words to the music. It really switches! But if I'm feeling like basic songwriting, I do like an aesthetic, like candles, mood lighting, a journal, and just a beautiful, relaxing, environment. I also like my solitude. I still need to get better at collaborating; I'm a bit of a control freak with songwriting, because the words are often very personal to me.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Well, with COVID-19, we're limited in live performances, which is how most indie artists get their money, given the fact that streaming revenue is small and physical sales aren't what they used to be. I guess I wish that the music industry was still full of album sales. I always make sure to buy my favorite albums on vinyl to add to my collection, and not only do I love having records, but I feel like I'm giving back to the artists who have given me so much by creating their art.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
That is so tough. I have so many artists that I absolutely adore, but if I had to pick, it would be this duo called Kings of Convenience. Their music is pure poetry and really speaks to me, and it brings me peace. I think they're geniuses, and I think I would cry and thank them for everything if I met them.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Well, I'm also a voice teacher, so it would be full of lots of crazy warm-ups. Keeping my voice healthy and safe is important to me, because it's the only instrument I've got.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
It's not out yet, but I'd say my upcoming third release. This song has a quick melody that needs the words to be clear and not too busy, and that's where I struggle the most. Since I used to study English, I always want to tell a story and a half in my lyrics, and sometimes I need to simplify for the integrity of the piece. I'm getting better!
What's coming up in the future?
I've got two songs lined up after this that I've also been working on for a while, so it'll feel so good to release them into the wild and move onto new material. None of them are old as Ferris Wheels, which I wrote when I was 16 (I'm 22 now). My sophomore release, I wrote when I was 19, and the one after that, I wrote a year ago.
Tell us where fans can access your music?