By Maura Marcellino
This reading of Alchemical Records content is to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.
Toward the end of the summer, DMV-raised (University of Maryland graduate) and now Nashville-based soul-infused pop and sometimes blues singer-songwriter Hayley Fahey released a beautiful three-track EP that she began the process for during quarantine.
The EP, “Good Old Days,” includes “Halfhearted Love Song,” “Melting,” and the title track. I had the pleasure of chatting with Hayley about her influences, upbringing, creative process, fashion, and the ever so confusing topic of work-life balance.
Growing up in a musical family (her grandmother was in a big band), it is no surprise that Hayley Fahey is super talented in that area. From singing in her crib, to being in band and chorus as a student, along with taking piano lessons in high school and learning to play by ear, this singer-songwriter cannot imagine a life without making music.
She would listen to Otis Redding, Britney Spears, JoJo, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, and Maryland’s own Eva Cassidy, and even drew some inspiration from them for her art. Her voice has been compared to legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Bonnie Raitt.
I am sure like many other music lovers, one of my favorite things about watching artists perform live is seeing what they wear. Fashion can make or break performances, and even before our interview, I looked at some of Hayley’s recent posts on social media and noticed how stylish she is.
I admire her modern-day spin on some 1970’s fashion trends. She said she enjoys rocking some bell bottoms and always likes to keep a good eye out for thrift stores. (Not only fashionable and more affordable, but better for our planet, too!) After all, there are so many people that remember the appearance more than the actual musical performance.
As many of us know, finding the perfect work-life balance can be extremely difficult and disheartening. The music industry is no exception. When I asked Hayley if she knew the secret to finding balance, she responded by saying that it is a constant and ongoing learning process, but one of the most important things is to always make time for your craft, prioritize it, practice it, and put yourself out there.
These life lessons have helped her in her everyday life. The business side of this rollercoaster of an industry has enhanced her everyday life skills such as marketing, communication, and networking. Some additional advice she has for aspiring artists is to enjoy your craft so fully that you feel as if it is not really a choice to do it- it is a part of who you are as a person.
There are so many amazing opportunities and occasions that occur in the music industry, but that does not mean it is perfect and exempt from any criticism. If she could change anything in the industry, she would like to see more diversity on and off the stage. Being a woman in the music industry is not easy at all. Is it improving? Yes, but work still needs to be done. Hayley’s favorite part of working in the music industry is connecting with people in the industry and listeners.
As a somewhat new interviewer in the music industry, I have asked a few questions that I like to ask most, if not all, the people I interview. I ask how the artist likes to enjoy music, whether that be CD’s, online, the radio, record players, and even cassette tapes. While streaming music, Hayley enjoys going on drives. It is a great time to hang out with loved ones and sing along in the car, or even just a time to be alone and reflect while listening.
Another question I want to ask more people is to ask what album they feel describes them, if any. John Splithoff’s Make It Happen was her answer- she even got to open for him at one of her favorite D.C. venues, Union Stage. Some of Hayley’s other favorite venues in the DMV area include the 9:30 Club, Pearl Street Warehouse, and Rams Head Live.
To wrap it up, I wanted to share what is probably my favorite lyric on this beautiful EP. The “Try to forget what I see in the media, Wikipedia, what does it mean-ia?” line is such a fun, yet very relevant and inspirational lyric. As “Sad Girl Autumn” peaks this month, I highly recommend listening to the title track of Hayley’s EP, “Good Old Days,” that makes listeners want to have their friends over to dance like nobody’s around and bask in the nostalgia reminiscing about when times were simpler.
Listen to the title track here.
Maura Marcellino is studying business and environmental sustainability at George Mason University. When she is not studying, Maura enjoys listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
A songwriter by the age of 15, Karla Bonhoff has been entertaining audiences for decades. Native to Southern California, she came up in the L.A. circuit of the hippie era, where artists such as Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and so many others were continuously floating in and out of one another’s orbits. Bonoff and singer/songwriter Livingston Taylor will jointly perform at the Birchmere in Alexandria Dec. 11. Together, they will tackle new and established variations on Christmas favorites, as well as toss in their original tunes.
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