When it comes to pursuing her music career, Hailey Reese is all in. A talented lyricist, this twenty-year-old singer-songwriter originally from Cambridge, Ontario started belting out melodies at the age of two.
Every weekend, Hailey stole the mic (and the show) at a local karaoke spot where her family went regularly. Singing Spice Girls and other pop favourites, she was an instant hit with the crowds and landed her very own slot to sing karaoke every Saturday night.
“My family was really into music,” Hailey says. “From the time I was in my mom’s womb, she was always singing to me.”
Born to be, you might say. Though music seems woven into her DNA, the road to a career as an artist is something Hailey has paved with hard work and a dedicated drive.
Whether on stage, in the studio or on the red carpet, Hailey’s unmistakable passion drives her commitment to her craft. Her music, including her first hit single “Hustler,” radiates that positive energy with a pop/R&B mash-up style and fun yet soulful lyrics. “I can’t go a day with writing and singing,” she says. “I want to make something of it and use my platform to positively impact people.”
Right from her early karaoke days, Hailey immersed herself in a wide spectrum of music genres. “My Mom never kept me in a bubble. I was allowed to explore and express myself through music,” she says, remembering her interests in Michael Jackson and Hilary Duff. “I just dove right in.”
She learned to play the guitar, joined a choir and started making business plans. At 10, Hailey had already spent extensive time in a recording studio, producing her album and then sending it out to places she knew were booking artists for live shows.
That same year, Hailey stood in front of her biggest crowd to date at a concert where she was the youngest artist to perform for woman's motivation organization and she captivated the crowd like a pro, inspiring them to get to their feet and dance along to her music.
Fuelled by early success, Hailey went on to release her first official single, “Hustler,” on YouTube when she was 16. The song was picked by up MTV, MuchMusic, CMT and other major networks in the U.S, including Universal City. Her fan base grew rapidly.
But, like all teenagers, Hailey had her battles in high school. “I was really bullied when I started to put out music. People really tried to put me down because of it,” she says, noting that her pursuit of a music career constantly put her in the spotlight and made her different, which was difficult for others to accept. “It was a battle between knowing who I was and feeling like who I was wasn’t good enough.”
She struggled with the effects of bullying for two years before gradually learning to let go and refocus on her music dreams, regardless of what people said. Though it was a challenge, Hailey maintains she wouldn’t change what she went through. “It fueled my passion even more for my career,” she says, “because I almost let other people take that away from me. I almost let them take away the one thing that defined me.”
All of her time in the studio and dynamic live performances over the past several years—including opening up for Canadian R&B/pop singer Massari and performing for a basketball half-time show in front of 6,500 people—built up a buzz in the music industry. It wasn’t long before major labels and producers contacted her, interested in working with the rising star. Hailey went from a small town talent to working with award-winning producers like Mitch Allen (Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez) in L.A. and New York City. She also had a role on Nick Jonas’ show, Kingdom, won best dressed for showing off her unique style on the red carpet at The Teen Choice Awards.
Now, Hailey is focused on her upcoming EP, set to release, as well as her next single and video, slated for 2018. “I’ve be in the studio and already been thinking about cool video concepts and how we can bring it all life,” she says, eager to be involved in every element of her blossoming career. Dedicated to her fans, Hailey also gets them involved in the process, releasing snippets of songs through social media and asking for feedback.
The extraordinary moments, the tough moments and the hours of hard work in between—Hailey is ready for it all. “This is a job,” she says. “You have to put so much time and energy and your entire self into it. But it means I get to do what I love.”