Although born in Long Island, NY singer-songwriter Haley Mae Campbell moved to South Carolina when she was just a few months old and explains in a recent phone conversation that she didn’t listen to country music until she was in her teen years. Starting her career in a non-singing role as Abu the Monkey in Aladdin when she was only 10 years old, Campbell was bitten by the performance bug. Her parents bought her a guitar when she was 13-years-old and she explains it all spiraled from there.
“I remember I heard this song, ‘Somewhere With You’ by Kenny Chesney and I just thought that was the most amazing song I’ve ever heard,” she recalls. Growing up, she listened to a variety of genres thanks to her dad, who was the family DJ, including The B-52’s, The Who, and a bunch of 80’s rock. She was also exposed to rockabilly early on, The Old 97’s being one of her favorite bands from a young age, she explains that she recently was on the bill on an outlaw country cruise where they were the headliner. “It was a childhood dream come true because I grew up idolizing them, because my parents did, so it was a pretty full circle moment to hang out with them as an artist.”
After graduating high school a year early and convincing her parents that she was going to pursue her music career, Campbell made the move to Nashville last August. At just 19-years-old she has already made amazing connections in the industry and has had incredible opportunities. Back in Charleston at the local radio station, she opened for artists such as Sheryl Crow, Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay, Chris Janson, and Lauren Alaina, watching them and being able to learn from them. “It’s not only about being talented or original but at the end of the day, you have to be great to work with to be successful and stay grounded and appreciate the people that are around you,” she tells us of what she has taken away from those opening slots.
Her latest release, Lovers Lottery is a good representation of the music she has been inspired to create since her move to Nashville. Four of the songs are solo writes while she tried something different on two of them, co-writing. “It was scary at first, but now I love it. It’s kind of like going on a blind date when you are writing with someone new for the first time, it can be very awkward or it can be the best thing ever so you just have to take your chances most of the time,” she says. The band that plays her live gigs with her are also the musicians on the new project, giving the EP a very natural and authentic vibe. “I really felt like it was the best representation of the songs and the way we play them live which was my goal. I really think it shows people who I am as an artist.”
“I think it’s just persistence, I am very determined and when I really, really want something I’ll do anything to get it,” Campbell says. It’s a matter of being strong and positive and building those relationships and eventually, I was able to get those opportunities along the way.” Follow Haley Mae Campbell on her social media channels including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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