I had the pleasure of interviewing
Hayley Richman, 19-year-old singer from Canada.
Her main platform has been YouTube, where over the past few years she has grown her audience to nearly 90,000 subscribers with more than 12 million views!
Known for her moody and melancholic style, her covers and original songs have drawn a dedicated indie audience.
Thank you so much for joining us, Haley! Let’s show everyone you’re a normal human being. What are your hobbies, favorite places to visit, pet peeves? Tell us about YOU when you’re not at the office.
“Thank you for letting me take part in this! When I’m not working, I’m probably spending time with friends or working on illustrations. I’m a visual artist as well and love to draw/paint/design whenever I get the chance. My favorite place to visit is always New York.
“I’m a cliché but I really feel like a different person when I’m there. It has such an energy and there is always something to do, plus it’s pretty easy to be anonymous there. It’s kind of a safe haven for the content loner.”
Can you tell us something about you that few people know?
“I collect small puppets, marionettes and vintage toys/dolls for reasons unknown to me. I just love the intricacies of them; I’m weirdly comforted by macabre things.”
Do you have any exciting projects going on right now?
“I’m working on a new original song and video. Haven’t posted anything for a few months while I was figuring out what direction I wanted to go musically (I still am!), but I’m excited to post it.
“After that I really want to focus on making a new collection of originals to release or shop around. Been lots of inspiration in the past year and a half that feels ready to be put into art form.”
Many people say success correlates with the people you meet in your life. Can you describe two that most impacted your success and why.
“My dad has been a huge influence and partner in my musical process. He plays and programs all the instruments for my songs and has given me a lot of advice about the industry. He was in bands until 30 and then had a record company of his own, so it’s been a huge gift to have someone with that experience on my side through all of this.”
Leaders always seem to find ways to overcome their weaknesses. Can you share one or two examples of how you work outside of your comfort zone to achieve success?
“I’m almost never comfortable when releasing new music or posting something to social media. Putting personal things out into the world is troublesome for the introvert like myself, but I don’t think anything good comes from being comfortable and realizing that makes it easier.
“Being uncomfortable just means you’re putting yourself in a position where there’s a risk, and if there’s a potential risk there’s potential for greatness, too.”
What unfiltered advice can you give aspiring stars regarding how to avoid common mis-fires in starting their career?
“Read your contracts! There are definitely some mistakes I would have made had I not been advised against them by people with experience. Any offer seems exciting when you’ve never gotten one before, but it’s important to read them critically so as to avoid any future bad situations.
“Also, just be authentic and do it for yourself. If you’re gonna make a mistake, make it your mistake. Make sure you get exactly what you want and don’t be afraid to make those things clear. That being said, I’m still starting my career and will probably make plenty of mis-fires as I continue my journey with music.”
What is the best lesson you learned from your worst boss?
To keep your self-worth and morals and don’t ever let someone walk all over you. There’s a fine line between authority being authoritative versus blatantly disrespectful. It’s very important to remember that you don’t owe anyone anything and there are always other options. No job is worth losing your dignity for.”
What is one “efficiency hack” you use consistently in your life to keep your time and mind free to focus on your strengths and passions?
“I try to remind myself that most emotionally heightened states are product of my mind working against me. Learning how to ‘come down’ from those debilitating emotions so I can efficiently go about my tasks is an efficiency hack that I’m still perfecting but viewing my mind as a separate entity that I need to win over does help at times.”
All actors or musicians have sleepless nights. We have a term we use with our clients called the “2 a.m. moment.” It’s when you’re wide awake and thinking not-so-positive thoughts about your business choices and future. Can you describe a 2 a.m. moment (or moments) you’ve had and how you overcame the challenges?
“Oh, I have 2 a.m. moments nightly.
“I’m very self-critical and seem to love ruminating over things I could have done differently to be in a better place right now. If it is debilitating, I’ll listen to music or draw (that’s like a form of meditation for me) until I feel calm enough to see the situation clearly.
“Usually things seem better in the morning.”
Nobody likes to fail, and we sure don’t like to admit we failed. Can you describe a moment when you confided your most closely-held business issues/problems to someone close to you, and how the conversation(s) helped you work through the issue?
“It’s hard to see things in perspective when you’re so intimately attached to what you’re creating.
“Whenever I feel like something is impossible, I usually talk it through with a friend and realize I have way more options than I think I do. Sometimes it takes someone separate from the art to give you the emotionally sound advice you can’t reach on your own.”
What’s on the drawing board for your next venture?
“Right now, I’m working on new original music. I think some of it will be released very shortly — I’ve spent the last little while figuring out where I wanted to be sonically, and I feel very ready to put out new things.”
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
This was really awesome! Thank you so much for joining us!
Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts and the very interesting questions! Much appreciated.
Originally published at medium.com