Q&A with Hayley McKay
Hayley McKay has a distinctive style that shows her to be an all-round soulful country artist with flair that is very much her own. She has been likened to Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchel and LeAnn Rimes thanks to her beautiful sincere voice and moving lyrics.
This has led to the singer-songwriter heading to Nashville to co-write with twice Grammy-nominated songwriter Jan Buckingham (Whitney Houston), performing in Bob Harris’s home studio for his Under the Apple Tree sessions as well as supporting the likes of Tom Jones, Albert Lee, Scouting for Girls, Martha Reeves and Hazel O’Connor. Original songs are played worldwide in Café Nero stores, and she has sang on the soundtrack for Harrigan starring Steven Tomkinson, performed at Sunday For Sammy at Newcastle City Hall, and has acted and sang on various educational films for schools nationwide. Hayley has appeared at major festivals including Glastonbury, Cornbury, Latitude, Northumberland Live, SummerTyne Americana Festival and Hardwick Live.
Hayley will join Danni Nicholls as special guest at her concert here at Sage Gateshead on Friday 30 April 2021. Find out more and book your tickets here.
What was the first record you bought?
I think it’s titled: the best dance album in the world ever. It had all the big cheesy anthemic dance hits.
Where in the world would you like to play that you have not already?
Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
Who was the first band/artist you ever saw perform live?
I think it was Steps at Wembley Arena! I was/still am a big fan of musical theatre so some of the first live singers I would see would be in the West End which was pretty cool!!
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Ooo a nice hot summers day with family and friends with live music and party vibes! where everyone is happy and healthy, and there are no worries at all!
Who are your favourite writers?
Songwriters would be Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Kate Bush, Bernie Taupin, Brandon Flowers
Who are your favourite painters?
My Grandma! Judith Turner. She does it as a hobby, but she’s great. My Mum and Grandma once painted my room seaside themed, I even had a seagull light which flew around my room!
If you could collaborate with any other artists, living or dead, who would you choose?
There are so many artists who I would like to collaborate with. Dolly Parton and Kate Bush, and I’d like to do a duet with Sam Fender.
What are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment I’m listening to The Killers (love their new song Caution), Sam Fender, Niki and The Dove and I’m interested in music therapy and worldly music so I’ve been delving into Tina Turners new mantra songs!
Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?
So many places to choose from! I love Turkey-we stay near Oludeniz. The people, the food, and there are so many things to do. In January I went to Thailand for the first time and I absolutely loved it! Would love to go there again and Vietnam is on the list.
Best advice you can give to emerging talent?
I would say my advice would be to try not to compare yourself to other people or their success, and believe in yourself. I’d also say whatever happens keep enjoying it and be grateful because so many people would love to be creative, and be careful who you work with, but also open to opportunities!