Bailey Hefley is a rising voice in the pop-country genre. She just released her new single, “Doing Time With You,” and we talked to her about the new song, her musical influences and so much more. Get to know her in this brand new interview.
Nashville Noise: It seems like you’ve always wanted to chase this country music dream. What inspired your musical goals?
Bailey Hefley: I think my parents being so supportive [has been a huge driving factor]. [They were that way] from the very first time I mentioned at age three that I wanted to be a singer… The fact that they took me seriously meant so much. I begged my mom to take me to Nashville when I was 12 and I made a demo that landed me an opening act slot in front of Hank Williams Jr. at 13. That made me realize with hard work anything is possible.
When I went to see the Dixie Chicks in third grade I knew I wanted to look into a crowd and see people singing my lyrics back to me the way I saw the crowd singing theirs. That dream evolved into me wanting those lyrics to be my own story so I started writing songs.
I assume the Dixie Chicks were an inspiration to you but who were some of the others?
BH: Growing up, I listened to everything from Jewel to Shawn Mullins, to Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and even classical music as my mom is a classical pianist. My sister, cousin and I would beg her to play our favorite, “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. We called it “The Bumblebee Boogie.”
Such eclectic taste. Now, on a more serious note, you were inspired by these artists at a young age and decided you wanted to commit your career to being an artist. Then, you started having seizures. Tell me about that and how that affected your dreams.
BH: It never slowed me down. If anything, it made me appreciate music even more. Daily normalcies like school, homework and just conversations with friends all became more challenging because the side effects from the medication made me feel so sluggish.
When I sang a song in my school talent show the year I was diagnosed, I felt almost normal for those three minutes and that was a major defining moment for me. I felt so connected with the audience in a unique way and that connection only grew when I started writing songs. It’s a beautiful thing when you can move a crowd with a melody and lyrics and it’s the greatest honor to be given the opportunity to do that for a living and I will never take it for granted.
Music is so powerful. Now, fast forward to today. You’ve overcome so much and even released your debut single last year. What did you learn from that release?
BH: I learned that the first song you release is always going to be like your first-born child and you’ll baby it and probably even overanalyze the production a little bit if you’re anything like me. Once I went to college, I became more comfortable with the process and was able to shape my voice. But I learned to trust the process and really leaned into the emotions and feelings when I was creating these songs… I have always said everything I do will be based on a feeling but I believe that even more now.
You just released a new song, “Doing Time with You.” What’s the story behind this one?
BH: I wrote this one with Jennifer Kennard. She and I had been trying to write something for two hours and just couldn’t come up with anything we loved, so we decided to just call it. Then I mentioned the idea I had for a song called “Doing Time with You.” It came together so naturally. Soon, the song was born.
Do you have any goals you want to accomplish with this song?
BH: I just want people to get to know me as an artist. This song was so fun to piece together and I’m so grateful for everyone who has listened to it.
Lastly, I know things have started to open up but, for the last few months, we’ve all been inside a lot. How did you manage to stay creative during this pandemic?
BH: I have been scheduling my writes over Zoom and I feel like my creativity has actually become sharper. Growing up, there was a specific spot in my parents’ house that I felt the most inspired and, even after I left for college, I would come back to that place and feel the creative energy surge. I get to write in that exact place every day and I swear there’s something magical about it. I’m writing so many songs that I love, it’s going to be hard to choose which ones to record.
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