Hailey Knox – who is she?
From: New York, USA
Latest Project: Hardwired Mixtape
Debut: ‘Geeks’ (Feb 2016)
SheBOPS: How do you describe your musical style?
Hailey Knox: I consider my sound to be in a soul/singer songwriter world. I’m still developing a sound of my own but love to incorporate R&B, a little rap and soulful elements in my songs and when I perform live.
What are your favorite sounds to incorporate into your music?
I’ve been creating a lot of songs on guitar and have focused a lot on a really strong lyric and melody that pull you in. However, I do love an awesome groove with real sounding kick and a lot of harmonies! I’ve learned a bit of production through using my loop pedal/GarageBand and just love stacking up harmonies.
What emotions do you hope your music conveys to the listener?
I hope that people relate to whatever it is I’m singing about. With my song ‘Hardwired’ it was definitely an emotional one to create, so seeing people connect has been really cool. I’ve received a lot of messages about people feeling or going through similar situations which is so cool they relate so much. It honestly makes me feel better that I’m not the only one too!
What is your message with Hardwired Mixtape?
This mixtape feels like an intro to me and doesn’t really have just one message. I worked with a lot of different producers and writers which was cool. I talk a lot about how much traveling you do as an artist, missing home and family, my insecurities and getting used to life as an artist and just as a person. Some of the interlude songs I wrote and produced in my room at 3 in the morning and others I created three years ago with my ordinal team “the dreaded us.”
Do you have a favorite lyric from your new mixtape?
I really love the lyric from ‘Hardwired’: “Maybe I’d talk if you just ask me.”
What was the biggest difference in terms of writing and recording Hardwired Mixtape compared to your previous music?
I feel like I’ve definitely grown as a writer from my first EP! I feel more confident grabbing my guitar and writing on my own. There are a few songs on the mixtape that I produced myself too which is also exciting because I’ve never released anything I produced myself!
Newest single ‘Bitch Bitch Bitch’ is all about focusing on positivity and you wrote about the perils of social media in your single ‘Don’t Got One’ – why was it important for you to explore these topics?
I’ve connected with so many incredible people through the internet and social media and love how easy it is to just reach out to someone and stay in touch with them but sometimes if you’re not in the right mindset you see it differently. On the days when I feel low, seeing other’s highlights and their best days makes you feel worse. I think it’s just a balance. Staying off your phone and being present is important!
How important to you is it that the values you communicate through interviews and across your socials are reflected in your lyrics?
When I write I try to make the lyric conversational so I’m just being myself in interviews and in song lyrics. Whatever I write it’s usually how I’m feeling at that time and try to get that emotion across through the song.
If you were planning your own music festival, which five female musicians would be at the top of your list?
I would include Alessia Cara, Victoria Canal, Ariana Grande, Yebba and Camille Trust. They are all incredible vocalists and artists.
Are there any female artists you’re particularly into at the moment?
I really love Alessia Cara. ‘Out Of Love’ is such a beautiful song lyrically and melodically. I am also a huge fan of Yebba. Her voice is out of this world.
How do you feel about the representation and portrayal of female musicians? Is there anything that you’d like to change?
Women should be able to dress and speak their mind without being so judged. The internet has allowed everyone a platform to state their opinion on anything and everything about you which makes it even harder. I’ve been fortunate and experienced a lot of empowering women who all really support one another. I work with this incredible female producer Pom Pom, who is the first female producer I’ve ever worked with and it’s awesome. I also wrote one of my favorite songs with my amazing friend Emlyn (Maggie Peake) which was such a special moment. I encourage more women to be more involved in production and share their ideas!
As a woman, is there anything about the music industry that frustrates you?
Sometimes people don’t take you seriously so you have to be confident and direct about what you want. Make sure the people you work with listen to your ideas and respect your opinions.
What issues do you think female musicians are facing today?
We are often judged simply off our appearance. We can wear whatever we want! Some days I want to wear cozy clothes on stage and other days I want to wear my crazy high heels.
Have you noticed any double standards when it comes to gender in the music industry?
There is a lot of judgement in general being a musician. You are sometimes looked at as a brand, which is strange. As a female in the music industry, we do have to worry a lot about appearance, our makeup and aesthetic.
Do you have any top tips for other female musicians?
Trust all the ideas in your head and write them out. I write a lot in my notes and voice memo almost everything!
What advice would you give to young girls and women looking to work in music?
Care less about what other people think! People have a lot of opinions but if you feel strongly about an idea share it and trust your voice. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
How do you think musicians can create a sustainable income from their music?
To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out myself! I guess playing out a bunch and just doing a lot of gigs!
Which aspect of the music industry excites you the most?
I love creating and collaborating with artists. It’s such a cool feeling when you connect with someone, jam out on some chords, create melodies and create a song out of it all. I also love playing live and touring! It’s so fun to meet people that connect with my music and hanging with my Haliens.
What do you stand for as an artist?
Being honest and myself in my lyrics and just everyday life.
What’s left to come from you in the next year?
New music and a tour coming up really soon!! I’ve been creating and writing a bunch and can’t wait to get even more music out.