Emerging Country singer-songwriter Bailey Hefley enjoyed a breakthrough moment with her track Dust on a Diamond.
Having moved to Nashville in 2012 to follow her dreams of becoming an artist, Bailey gathered support from Radio Disney more recently for her song +1. Dust on a Diamond built on that momentum, showing a more mature side to Bailey and on Friday she dropped new track Doing Time With You.
I caught up with Bailey on the phone earlier in the week to talk about her music, find out how she’s staying creative during quarantine, and discuss her journey so far…
To a lot of our readers you’ll be a new name to them so tell us about your path to becoming a singer…
I grew up singing all the time. My sister would bang on our adjacent bedroom wall and tell me to stop singing. It was hilarious. I would sing any song. I would get fixated on one and try to get every single riff in the song and then once I mastered that I’d move on to another. It pretty much drove my sister crazy because I was always belting something out. When I was three, one of my first memories was telling my mom that I wanted to be a singer when I grew up and she was amazing. I just immediately fell in love with it and I played songs in my school talent show every year. I picked up the guitar and would play the guitar and sing a song. I saw a documentary on Shania Twain when I was little and I was like, ‘okay, she got discovered in Nashville, I have to go to Nashville’. I basically just begged my mom to take me to Nashville (laughs) and that’s what got me really hooked. Once I got over there, you could not drag me out. I knew that this was what I wanted to do and I just felt it in every bone in my body.
Nashville is such a busy place with so many artists trying to make it. What’s it like to be an artist at the start of your career in the city?Is it challenging or quite inspiring?
I find it inspiring. I’ve always been a very positive thinker. As soon as I got there, I felt so at home. I’ve never felt more like I fit in. I didn’t always feel like I fit in at school and it got worse after I started going to Nashville because I was at such a young age. I was hanging out with adults and I was trying to play a show. I think I felt even more like I didn’t fit in with my peers when I would get back to school but I knew that Nashville is where I belong.
A lot of artists didn’t feel that they fit in growing up and I think that’s because they have a gift that can cause their peers to feel jealous…
Oh, I didn’t ever feel like people were jealous. I think I grew up really quickly if that makes sense. When I started hanging out with so many adults, I began to feel more comfortable with them. I was doing things that people would normally do when they were in their 20s when I was 11. It’s almost like I reversed age because once I got to high school, I had this moment where I was like, ‘wait a minute, I’m only going to be young once’ so I did actually try to go to parties and that kind of thing. I did that for a little bit.
Your official debut single is Dust On A Diamond. Where did the inspiration for that song come from?
It came from a very honest place. I went to a song camp and it was a camp where we were meant to learn and they were going to have speakers come in. It was really amazing. They also put us in co-writes and one of the ladies that I was set up to write with was named Marti Dodson. I’ve always admired her and I’d been dying to write with her for years. When I walked in, I was prepared with a couple of ideas and the first thing that I pitched as an idea was this story, a 10-minute heartfelt story. I didn’t really leave anything out about how I had been through something with a guy where I lost a guy and lost myself and I just really didn’t know what I was doing or who I was anymore. We wrote the song and it only took us about an hour to write the whole thing.
That’s pretty fast for a song isn’t it?
Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. The fastest I’ve ever written was in 20 minutes. They aren’t usually that fast. Sometimes it hits me like a lightning bolt. When I write songs, I always use the voice memo app on my iPhone, and I hit record and I just let that roll if I can the entire time we’re coming up with things at the beginning of the write. That way I can go back and I can listen and go, ‘oh, I really like what she did here or he did here or I did right there, and I love that moment where I said that and played that chord’. A lot of it is stream of conscious and you don’t even realise what you’re doing.
You’ve just released your new song Doing Time With You. What’s that one all about?
I actually didn’t write it during the quarantine, I wrote it before. I write so many songs, it’s easy to forget about one, but I on the phone with someone and they said, ‘what are you doing during the quarantine?’ and I was like, ‘I’m just doing time’. I looked up the song immediately, I played it and I sent it to my team and I said, ‘guys, we have to put the demo of this out. Let me call the guy who made it’. I called him up and he was like, ‘yeah, let me just let me tweak that really quickly for you. I don’t like putting demos out’ so he did some stuff on his computer, brushed it up, replayed the piano part, and then I made a little selfie video at home that I’m super excited about putting out.
Ae you finding quarantine to be frustrating or is it actually allowing you to be creative?
I would say it’s been more inspiring than frustrating. I tend to look for positives. This is how I am and writing over Zoom has been challenging. It’s definitely harder to read a vibe. I find with writing, it’s very personal and usually you pick up on energy in the room. That’s a little bit more tough. I’m actually meeting more new people during quarantine over the Internet than I was beforehand, which is really interesting to me. I’ve had a lot of people reaching out to me to write that I didn’t know before on social media.
You’ve opened up for lots of artists including Old Dominion and Ashley McBryde, two artists that are super popular over here. What was that experience like?
It’s incredible. I’m gonna be honest you do get nervous, or at least I do. One thing that I’ve learned as a performer is that if you try to remember why you’re doing this, that takes a lot of the nerves away. Usually that happens when I see all the people in the crowd that really look like they’re connecting to the song. It’s such a beautiful thing that I’m writing these songs and people seem like they’re really enjoying them that have never even heard them before when I’m opening for somebody.
We have a pretty stellar reputation in the UK for being a great audience. Would you make plans to come over here one day?
I would absolutely love to come to the UK. That’s one of my dreams. I would love to play over there.
Is there anything else that you are going to be able to do over the next few months?
Yes, I’m definitely focusing on writing. I just actually wrote a song on Zoom yesterday and one on Saturday. I’m gonna be focusing a lot on Doing Time With You. It was a very spontaneous release so I’m still getting together my ideas. I’ve got some other things coming out soon that may or may not be turning into a full album, which we think means it will be, and I am so excited about that. I’m doing live streams a lot on my social media so you can go to my Instagram or Facebook to see me doing some live concerts. I’m doing some takeovers. I have one with Guitar Girl Magazine on Tuesday on their Facebook page, and I’m excited about that.
Bailey Hefley’s new single Doing Time With You is available to stream and download now. Watch the video below: