Elise Hayes is a singer/songwriter from New Hampshire.
The Nashville-based artist has found success writing songs featured on numerous TV shows, such as ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”, Freeform’s “The Bold Type”, MTV’s “Siesta Key,” and many more. She is also known as a backing singer for major artists such as Carly Pearce on the Blake Shelton tour.
Hayes released her new pop single “Float” on November 9th.
“I felt this really strong instinct to follow my own dreams and songs, and I wanted to be true to that and act on it.” “Float” documents that honest journey back to herself, all the while making you want to dance and turn the music up loud on your speakers. In this next phase of my career as an artist, I’m focusing on making music that people can relate to and that they can find themselves in. I can’t wait to get it out there,” says Hayes.
“Float” is now available on all major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself. What's your story?
Helloo! My name is Elise Hayes. I am based in Nashville, but I grew up in New Hampshire in a small New England town called Keene. I’ve been singing and writing songs for as long as I can remember. My life is basically made up of different phases of chasing this crazy dream :)
Tell us a little bit about your childhood. What were you passionate about?
I am really fortunate to have had a very “normal” childhood. As a kid, I was super into writing and theater — I was always writing my own plays and casting the kids in my class into the roles, ha. I have always had a pretty vivid imagination and found a way to channel it into music and the arts.
When did you start feeling connected to music?
Probably from the time I was about 4 years old. I would go out onto my porch and sing for the neighbors.
Growing up, what were your favorite records to sing along to?
I was totally obsessed with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. As I got a little bit older, I got really into older r&b and soul music — I really love(d) Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin.
You started performing at the age of 12. What do you remember from your early experiences on stage?
I remember feeling equal parts nervous and excited. I had been performing in choirs and plays all throughout my childhood, but the first time I got up and sang a song by myself on stage was in middle school. I remember feeling like…okay, this is what I’m good at. I love this.
Could you tell us about your first experiences in the music industry? What did you learn from these early experiences?
I think that my first experiences in the music industry really came from my time at Berklee College of Music. Growing up in New Hampshire, there really wasn’t a whole lot of professional activity going on in entertainment. When I got there, it was like…okay, this is the calibur. This is the bar. The students are some of the most talented kids in the world, and you can’t help but get better very quickly there. It taught me how to work hard. My standards are still very high and I have Berklee to thank for that.
When did you start writing songs?
I had a little toy keyboard in my room growing up. I would journal, then take some of the things I wrote and put them to a melody. I would never finish anything though. I probably didn’t finish a full song until I was 17 or 18! It just took me a while to learn how to follow one idea all the way through.
At what point did you know you had to become an artist and release your original music?
Once I started writing songs. It just felt like the perfect mix of playing and singing, which I loved, but most importantly, sharing your human experience with other people. It made me feel like I had a way to connect.
What did your time at the Berklee College of Music teach you?
So much. I am so grateful that I was able to watch and learn with so many people from all over the world. I feel like it gave me the tools to become a better musician, which in return allowed me to express myself more deeply and figure out who I was as an artist. I really couldn’t be more thankful for that experience.
How would you define Elise Hayes, the artist?
I want people to listen to my music when they feel like they need to be understood or seen. I want to be that artist for people. I am majorly emotional and I feel like I can tap into that for people, haha! We can be emotional together.
How did your sound evolve since your very first release?
Oh gosh, it’s changed so much. I think the biggest turning point in my career was when I stopped being afraid to sound like myself. I stopped trying to emulate others.
You've just released your new single "Float". What's the story behind this song?
Over the past year, I decided to jump into my career as an artist 110%. I had been on the road as a background singer and keyboard player, playing arenas, national TV shows, it was so awesome! However — there was this voice in my head saying, hello….you have something to say, something to share. I wrote “Float” as I was making the decision to get off of the road. It’s about listening to yourself, and hopefully it makes you shake your booty a little bit too! Haha.
What does singing make you feel?
Like myself. It’s the only time everything can go quiet in my mind and I feel like I’m doing exactly what I should be doing.
What inspires you the most, in life and in music?
Hmmm. I’m inspired by so many things. I love traveling and talking to people about their stories. I think we are all just out here doing our best, trying to take care of the people in our lives and of ourselves. That inspires me to want to connect with people and write songs for them.
As an artist, what do you want to accomplish?
Man, there is so much that I want to do! Right now, I’m focusing on recording this next phase of music so I can get it out there. I want to play shows, make more music, reach more people. In whatever way I can!
What are the things you are the most proud of?
I think I am most proud of not giving up. I’ve done a lot of different things in this business. I’ve been a background singer, written songs for film & television, sung demos, played shows, done my own thing — I’ve stitched it together on my own and I’ve stayed in the game. That makes me proud :)
Any upcoming project?
Yes! Working on SO many new songs for your ears! :) Get ready for 2019!!
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
I think awareness and accountability. We are in a really weird place right now. I think more than ever, people want to close off and just pay attention to their own lives and circumstances. I understand that — sometimes I feel that way too. However, I think we really gotta be thinking about our planet and taking care of each other.
What's your purpose?
Oooo! My purpose is to create music that makes people feel something. <3
Connect with Elise: