Why Brighton singer Hayley Ross just can't wait to get out there

The timing couldn’t have been worse for Brighton’s Hayley Ross.

Friday, 12th June 2020, 7:47 am
Hayley Ross

She brought out her debut album in February; and the country went into lockdown in March.

But Hayley’s hanging on in there with the release of Come Back: The Remixes EP on Barracuda Recordings.

Come Back was one of the stand-out tracks on Hayley’s debut The Weight of Hope. It has now been innovatively reworked by an array of DJ talent, new and established.

Among the tracklistings, 90s House icons N-JOI offer a euphoric remix. There’s also a techno-tilting instrumental take from Duncan Forbes. Rising Manchester EDM star Geek Boy offers a “sensory-rushing” makeover. Thomas Aston delivers a “distinctly downbeat and cerebral” interpretation, and, closing, the collection is a climactic remix by Lost Raven aka Michelle Lister with a “darkly sensual overhaul.”

“I am always a little bit resistant when it comes to remixes,” Hayley admits.

“I am used to a level of control. I co-produce all my work so to give over a piece of music for someone else to have a complete spin on it is quite a challenge for me.

“But my label came up with the idea of doing a remixes EP, and you have just got to hand it over and let them run with what they are doing. And I am really pleased with it – the same track remixed by five different people, and they are totally different. It is my vocals over it, but every single one of them has put their own stamp on it.

“It has been a good exercise in relinquishing control for me! It has been a good thing to do. I don’t listen to a huge amount of dance music, but this is just brilliant. It is great to see how they have transformed it into different genres.”

Hayley has lived in Brighton for about 12 years now.

“I grew up in Surrey and then we moved around a bit and I lived in London and then moved to Hastings and then ended up in Brighton. I always wanted to live by the sea, so it was either Hastings or Brighton, but I got a job as a piercer… But I wasn’t very good at it. I was OK at the piercing, but my hands began to shake when I was fitting the jewellery. So I decided to go fully into something else that makes me nervous… music!

“I have always sung on and off, but I started to take it more seriously when I knuckled down and sorted out how to record myself.”

And then earlier this year came the debut: “It came out in February and that seems like a whole world away now. I was looking at live shows and everything.

“The last one was in Oxford and then that was that. It was lockdown. It was just gutting… especially when you have got a new album. You have been working towards this whole thing for many years and then getting the band really sounding tight, gearing up for everything… and then it is like having the rug whipped from under your feet.

“So you just try to create opportunities at home. You do what you can.

“My partner is a drummer and we take the kit out onto the driveway, and we have been going out and just playing for the neighbours, all socially distanced, and for passers-by… and we haven’t upset anybody yet!

“I have also done a few Facebook Lives, but you just don’t have that engagement with the audience. You just don’t have the feel. You want to be bouncing off people. I did one Facebook Live that went really well, but the last one, I just felt like I was shouting into the void. There were lots of people watching, but it just wasn’t the same.”

Inevitably, then, Hayley just can’t wait to get back out there. It won’t necessarily be a case of relaunching the new album.

“But I will certainly be wanting to play it and to get it out there. I was getting some really nice feedback to the album, some lovely reviews which was great – and people were loving it.”

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