Kerry Hayes Interview.
Kerry Hayes is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter. She has a soulful voice and writes quality songs. Kerry recently discussed coming from a musical family, how love inspires her music and her love of the music scene in Nashville. For more info on Kerry Hayes, check out https://www.facebook.com/kerryhayesmusic
Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
I do have a very musical family. A very big, very musical family.
My mother is a musician, college music educator, and a music therapist working primarily with autistic children. My father, from ireland, always exposed us to great irish musicians. when I was about six my mother remarried a new orleans drummer, adding two more sisters to the three kids she had, and together they made twin boys. Seven kids, and only one non musician in the bunch, but she’s equally talented, an amazing mother, athlete and teacher. We were all exposed to it, came to it in different ways and at different times, and all have different relationships with music, but it’s important to all of us.
What was your earliest musical memory?
Hmmm, I have a terrible memory, but its probably somewhere between wishing I was Belle in beauty and the beast, singing at home with my siblings, and terrifying elementary school talent shows. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Hahaha
What was the first instrument you learned how to play?
Singing was my first love. I took my first lessons at 8 or 9, but I always sang. My mom has shown me home videos of a tiny shy blonde girl humming out disney songs.
Outside of singing? I started playing cello when I was seven. I grew up in youth orchestra, and I credit a lot of my musicianship skills to being a string player.
How old were you when you wrote your first song?
Haha I was in kindergarten, so I guess I was 5. I still have the piece of notebook paper with the lyrics scribbled on it, and it’s locked in a vault on an off shore island hahaha
I’ve never shared it with anyone, but I still know it like the back of my hand, and it will die with me hahaha
How often do you find yourself writing songs?
I don’t know, there’s really no specific pattern to it. Sometimes when things go wrong, the kinds of things that go in songs, It often takes a little time for me to write about them; time to digest, time to avoid dissecting further. but i have songs about loved ones as well, and those just appear when the inspiration hits.
What inspires you lyrically?
Love, usually. Too much love, lack there of, romantic love, familial love, other peoples love, etc. It inspires most of my life and decisions, so I guess its only fitting that my songs orbit around the topic.
How did the song “Home” come together?
Home! That’s an easy one! Cause It’s not about me 🙂 Haha
My dear friend and roommate my freshman year of college had a boyfriend from back home that she stayed in a long distance relationship with. The song is just my take on her love for him and their relationship. I wrote it in one sitting in our dorm room.
What do you enjoy most about the music scene in Nashville?
It’s nice to live in a musically professional and productive city.
My views on music and how it fits in my life are unaffected by the outside world, but its nice when the outside world’s views of my music are positive and productive and affirming. There are plenty of places and people who hear the words “performing musician” and think negative stereotypes or uneducated opinions, especially when it comes out of the mouth of a twenty something. But not Nashville. It’s a young professional city that gets it; the importance of music of all genres.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
I don’t think I’ve had much of a career yet haha so maybe thats the biggest challenge? I have a supportive and loving family and group of friends, and I sing and write songs because I have always done those things. it’s therapeutic and natural and just part of who I am. It just so happens that some people like to listen. I haven’t had anyone say I couldn’t do it, and why start believing them now if they did? That’s no way for anyone to live, and certainly not how anyone who conquered there challenges did. So I guess the challenge is being patient and recognizing healthy opportunity when it crosses my path.
What are your hobbies outside of music?
I have an unhealthy obsession with my dog hahaha. He’s a 20 lb senior rescue, and the best thing that ever happened to me. He saved my life and came into it during a tough season, and I spend lots of time at the dog park with him. Adopt senior dogs!
I like to travel too, and do so as much as I can. Being an Irish citizen as well as an American citizen, my culture and family are important to me and I try to get across the pond as often as I can. Also I love movies, a genetic trait, and quality time with friends and family over great food and great drinks. Other than that, I’m a nester, and I like cleaning, organizing and spending time at home.
Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?
I do my best to be honest with myself and with those around me, and I try to be a loving human. Kindness goes a long way.
What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
Well, if you’re just starting out as a musician, get a good teacher for you. There are lots of great teachers that may not be compatible with you. It’s like dating, you have to find a teacher you trust and connect with enough to be able to make mistakes and learn with. When you find that, listen to them. And they aren’t kidding, you should play your scales every day haha
If you’re a musician just starting to declare it in public and make a go of it?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. There’s a difference between a job and a career.
A job, which I have as well, pays your rent.
A career is built over time with a lot of dedication and passion.
If it’s meant to be it will always be in your life to some capacity, and you know better than anyone else to what capacity it should be, so always trust your gut. You’re the driver of your life.
“Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue.
You’re a writer because you write.” -Cheryl Strayed