Check out our interview with talented Nashville based soulful pop artist and producer Elise Hayes who just released her new EP Human Heart.

The five-track collection of songs touch on themes such as living in the moment, dealing with anxiety, extreme sensitivity and loss. Elise confides, “I can only hope that knowing that I took control of my own sound and music will inspire listeners to do the same with their lives. I want listeners to be able to find themselves in the emotional highs and lows of this EP. I want them to be able to dance AND cry, and I hope that these songs can help them find their truth as creating them has helped me to find mine.”

She first sparked attention by having many songs featured on TV shows, such as ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” The CW’s “Charmed,” MTV’s “Siesta Key,” and more.

Follow Elise @elisehayes

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Friendly, creative, self deprecating

How did you get started in the business?

I started singing and playing piano at a young age. I was super involved in theater and different performance groups throughout my childhood and ended up going to college at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. After that, I moved down to Nashville where I started my career for real. I will say that it’s all who you surround yourself with. We moved down here with an incredible network of talented friends that helped us get started 🙂

How has this changed your life?

It’s really the only life I’ve known! I’ve always been in the pursuit of my dreams. Moving to Nashville was a huge shift. It’s a very professional environment that I feel lucky to be a part of.

Describe your sound in 3 words?

Heartfelt, Soulful, Groovy

Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?

Such a range of incredible artists! I grew up listening to folk singers like James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, and somehow found my way to R&B/jazz – Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday. When I started writing my own music it was all about who made me feel less alone – who I could relate to. Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Emily King all became huge influences. Right now, I’m loving Adele (of course), Haim, Sasha Sloan, too many to name! 🙂

Tell us about your new EP “Human Heart?”

Yes! I’ve just released my EP. It’s a really special collection of songs that touch on a lot of internal emotions. Anxiety, burnout, elements of depression, getting over someone, being softened by love. I produced it here in my studio in Nashville and it’s just truly close to my heart.

What’s the story behind the song “Human Heart”?

I wrote “Human Heart” with Danielle Blakey and Tori Tullier, two amazing songwriters in town. I had just gone through a professional conflict that really tore me up. I KNEW it was the right decision to make, but I FELT horrible. I couldn’t get over the difference of opinion between my head and my heart. I was frustrated and started talking to the other writers about the human heart and how it messes everything up, haha. We went from there and wrote the song 🙂

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The most rewarding part of my work is when someone sends a message or comes up to me after a show and tells me how much less alone that they feel. That’s my sole purpose as an artist. I just want people to know that I feel what they feel, and because of that, they should never feel truly alone. We all go through so much as people, and if my music can put some balm on a sore heart, that just makes me feel really useful and worthy.

What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?

Just to truly be who you are, unapologetically. In every sense. What makes you different is what makes you special. Always, always, always. Your story matters, even on days when it feels like it doesn’t. Also – life is short. Love your people. Live your life the way you want to.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

Oh, I think I would tell her to lean into who she is more. I think there was a season in my early 20s where I had no idea what I was supposed to do or sound like musically, but I knew deep down. I was just afraid to be myself. Listen to yourself, girlfriend!

How would your best friend describe you?

I’m kind of a goof ball, but I also cry a lot. So I think my good friends would describe me as sensitive and funny. Haha.

If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?

Oooo, this one is hard! I think “In the quiet, you will know” or something like that. I’ve really learned to trust my instincts over the years, and I continue to find more proof of that concept in my life.

What’s next for Elise Hayes in 2022?

I’m working on more music! I’m excited to be consistently releasing and don’t want to stop now. I’m looking forward to continuing to create and hopefully playing more shows, too.

What is your favorite healthy food?

I really really enjoy healthy food and this is a weird one, but – the jicama wraps from Trader Joe’s have been my recent obsession! SO GOOD. Go get them!

And your favorite cheat food?

Lasagna or baked ziti. Omg.

What is your own definition of happiness?

Getting to do what I love, having creative control over my career and my schedule, being with my family and friends.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

I was incredibly sad when Aretha Franklin passed away. I just had this vision of getting to meet her at some point and tell her thank you for stirring my soul and inspiring me from a young age.

What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?

I’m currently planning a trip to Europe! Italy and Greece. My husband is my best friend so I love traveling with him, but I also love a good girls trip. Nothing like it.

Best advice ever given?

Build your own fire, don’t just stay warm by someone else’s.

Do you support any charity?

I’m a huge advocate for Planned Parenthood and any sort of foundation that supports women’s rights. Very upset about what’s happening here in the states.

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

I hope I can continue to find my way as an artist and a songwriter. I hope that I never give up and that I continue to let the road in front of me unfold.

Favorite song? Why?

I can’t even pick a favorite song of all time..but right now, my favorite song is “pale blue dot” by Wrabel. I saw him perform it recently at City Winery in Nashville and I cried many tears, so good.

Book: Recently I really loved “Normal People” by Sally Rooney ”

Quote: I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.” – Mary Oliver

Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Tv Series: Parenthood

Favorite Food: Lasagna

Travel Destination: Kauai, Hawaii

Sports Team: Boston Red Sox