Check out our interview with talented Singer/Songwriter Hayley Sales who just released “Never Before,” in collaboration with multi-talented Hollywood icon Sharon Stone. The romantically cinematic ballad highlights Sales’ breathtakingly impassioned vocals combined with Sharon Stone’s sincere and captivating storytelling.
The duo effortlessly wrote “Never Before” after bonding over their shared experiences of love and loss and vintage music. The result is a timeless song that oozes soul, jazz and classic pop influences with a contemporary twist.
“What a pleasure it has been to work with HAYLEY, she is a true artist. She cares more about getting the truth of her art right than anything else. I cannot wait to be there to see her sing this on stage. Maybe even more than hearing on the radio. She is gorgeous, pure, true : the real deal.” – Sharon Stone
Follow Hayley @hayleysales
Follow Sharon Stone @sharonstone
NEVER BEFORE - OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO
Tell me a little about yourself?
I’m a hopeful romantic, madly in love with music, filmmaking, dance and Shakespeare (oh, and baby chickens), caught somewhere between now and the 1940s.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Can’t do it. 🙂
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
When I was born, I didn’t cry. I sat up and stared at my mom. My mom laughs, saying it’s as though I was smugly insinuating ‘what took you so long, let’s get going already.’ I haven’t stopped going since. I came in singing. I came in saturated with absolute love for performing. When I stepped on the stage at my Kindergarten talent show, I knew I was home. I’ve never looked back. I began to pursue a career in music and acting with all my heart right then and there. In many ways, I didn’t have a childhood…I practiced piano all day, went to dance all night, took part in hundreds of theatrical performances, Shakespeare, musicals, anything, attended arts schools and graduated at sixteen. I was enamored with the whole thing.
I moved to LA right after high school but had to leave after six months after lost my voice to an eating disorder. I couldn’t speak for a year. I had to leave all the progress behind and join my parents on a blueberry farm they’d bought on Vancouver Island. Felt like my dreams were over. The only thing that got me through was the recording studio. I spent hours learning how to engineer, how to create the sounds I heard in my head. I’d spend all night writing songs and imagining the melodies. As soon as my damaged voice did return, a year or so later, I began recording a record, “Drifter.” After it was finished, I started promoting shows around the NW and somehow, somewhere along the way, all of it led to my first record deal with Universal Music. It was a dream coming true. At the time, I had no idea how lucky I was. I had no idea how grateful I should have been. It came too easy. I had to lose it all to really realize how hard I’d be willing to fight to get it back.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
A roller coaster
Tell us about your new single “Never Before?”
“Never Before” is an ode to romance
What’s the story behind this song?
For me, romance has always been an extremely important and inspirational part of who I am and how I express myself. And not just that fall in love type of romance, but romance as a way of life. Music has always been a space where I can access that feeling, whether romance was actually happening in my life…or not. When Sharon and I began writing Never Before, we wanted to capture just that…that very special moment in life when you’re so in love time stops and every breath feels like velvet. That fleeting moment when you are so in love, you lose yourself entirely…a sort of reverberation of bold romance…something that’s a little scarce in our modern world, but at the core of everything that I am.
How was working with such an icon in Hollywood like Sharon Stone?
At the time Sharon invited me to write with her, I was rattled by the insecurity of having just lost my record label that year, a label I had been with since I was a teenager. I was hoovering on the edge of being swallowed up in a swath of fake eyelashes, hair extensions and Hollywood’s blinding lights. When I showed up at her house, I was a handful of nerves and excitement…I’d never done a co-write before and had no idea what to expect or how to even go about it. The second she walked into the room, all that went away. She was so warm and gracious, so absolutely unpretentious and open. We talked for quite a while, about absolutely anything and everything. We both resonated with the idea of unabashed romance…There’s such a courage required in letting yourself be vulnerable, letting yourself be truly in love. We decided to dig in and see where that thread took us. Sharon sat down on the couch, notebook in hand, and I slipped off my flip flops and settled in front of the gorgeous grand piano in her living room. Never Before just began to unfold between us. It was really magical. Very quickly, I could sense we were onto something special. I was blown away by Sharon’s ability to weave words around a melody. The lyrics and music somehow seemed to hum at the same frequency. I can’t quite describe it, and it definitely doesn’t always happen with co-writes, but it did with us. I’m truly grateful.
How did this collaboration happen?
An incredible friend, one of the angels of my life, must have brought my music to Sharon. The next thing I knew, I was walking in front of Canters Deli in LA when the phone rings. I answer, mid bite into my sandwich, “Hi…It’s Sharon Stone.” I almost tripped into the middle of the road. Next thing I knew, I was at her house writing. It’s a fairytale really.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
There’s simply nothing else I’d rather be doing. Music is everything to me. Being on stage…looking at the audience…and feeling as though somehow, if just for the moment, I’m not self-aware, I’m not even in myself, I’m swept away into the melody and into the eyes of those watching…it’s the most exhilarating feeling. And writing a song. You’ll be sitting there when suddenly a fuse twists, there’s a spark and time stops. I like to joke, but in all seriousness, I can’t write songs; they write themselves. All I do is try to keep up with where they’re going and not get in the way. I love everything about being able to be an artist and am so grateful that somehow, miraculously, I’ve been lucky enough to spend my life doing it.
However, it’s also the hardest, most heartbreaking, life long relationship I’ve ever had. It’s devastating. It’s merciless. At every turn, someone is trying to find the chink in your armor and destroy you from the inside out. The hardest part for me is that I’m all chinks no armor. I’m vulnerable, romantic and sensitive, and it’s a tough career when you’re sensitive. The odd part is, you can’t be an artist without being transparent and sensitive so…Kind of a catch-22. But I believe there’s a reward simply in not giving up when every voice in the world tells you to, believing in yourself and in your creations no matter what, and creating not for the reward, but simply because you have to – because you have to get out whatever your heart is bursting to say. If you’re motivated by the urge to express the human experience – your experience – and are somehow able to ignore the whims of fads and popular crazes…if you’re in it for the art itself not just the fame or accolades, you’ll be able to keep going when things get tough because there is no plan B. You might have some scars and a some PTSD, but it will all be worth the long uphill battle…PS, I’m clearly giving myself a pep talk right now J
What’s next for Hayley Sales in 2021?
Earlier in the year, we finished up RICOCHET, the first record I’ll legally be allowed to release in years. Over the next year, we will be rolling out the tunes one at a time and hoping that a couple people out there are moved to listen J Honestly, I’m just so excited to be able to release music I can’t contain myself. After years of being silenced, I’ve somehow managed to wrangle that sea witch into giving me back my voice and I feel elated. Can’t wait to get back on stage. Hopefully there will be touring, but we shall see how the year unfolds! Otherwise, I’ll be busy with a couple incredibly exciting acting projects I can’t talk about yet, but they’re dreams coming true.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Well, it’s a toss up between “The Little Engine that Could” and “The Art of War”
How’s a typical day in your life?
I might have answered this question quite differently last March. But like the whole world, like Covid turned every last corner of my life upside down and I found myself back on my parents’ organic blueberry farm on Vancouver Island in Canada. Thought it would only be a month or so. Well…here I am. I wake up most days around 8am or so, sit and listen to some positive affirmations or meditate, let out the chickens I’m babysitting, do an online workout class or dance class (Insanity has literally saved me) and then either head to the recording studio a hop, skip and a jump from the cabin I’ve been hunkered down in, or roll out of bed onto my piano bench. If I’m in the studio, my dad and I spend the day producing the music. He sits and tinkers on the guitar while I yell at him, I lay down a piano part and he throws pencils at me for deleting imperfect takes…it’s honestly the most incredible fun ever. We finished an additionally ten songs during quarantine making my new record “Ricochet” twenty-seven songs long. But the days I’m not recording, I sit at the piano and practice vocals and piano. I’ll sit there working till about five or six, then force myself to stop working for the day. Make some dinner. I’m obsessed with films, especially the classics, so I usually watch one of those before doing some late-night writing, then I head to bed. I miss traveling and touring so much. I cannot wait to hit the road and be able to do shows. But I’m sure I will look back on this time with a whole bunch of fondness…once the world begins to turn again.
What is your own definition of happiness?
I have an on and off again relationship with happiness. I’m one of the happiest people you’ll ever meet. I’m also one of the saddest. I’m a roller coaster. But as strange as it sounds, I love every facet of feeling. There’s a romance to the highs and also to the lows. Having said that, this past December the sadness won. I was so broken hearted, depleted, hopeless and disillusioned, there wasn’t a single spark left. I’d lost a record to a label. I’d finished a record but couldn’t release it. There’d just been so many obstacles, I couldn’t push them aside to gain perspective anymore. I was so full of tears I could barely breath.
For an entire day, I couldn’t pick my head up off the kitchen table. Perhaps it was the massive pause button COVID placed on my dreams or perhaps it was my stolen album haunting me and squeezing all the joy out of my truest love, Art…but the world just felt like a room I didn’t fit in. And I couldn’t seem to rally the romantic optimism into the trenches with me. I’d just reached rock bottom. I realized there were two options…Staying stuck in that story or choosing a new one. And I forced myself to choose a new one. I began to mediate, something I’m terrible at being an incredibly A type, hyper-anxious person with an incredible tendency towards a 48 – hour workday. I began to daydream and visualize the person I wanted to be. I spent hours in my mind sitting a grand piano on a stage, looking out into the gorgeous sea of eyes in the audience…and would burst into tears of absolute joy and gratitude. I felt such a sense of inner happiness, the state of dreaming became enough. At first, I thought the elation was simply a result of the daydreaming, that I was imagining my dreams finally becoming realities. And then I realized, it was deeper than that. The happiness was coming from within. That state of joy wasn’t outside of myself, it was inside me. And the more grateful I felt about the smallest of things, the more elated and inspired I would feel in my core. I’m not entirely sure happiness is the right word…our society has such a strange concept about what happiness is…but a grace, a levity, a deep sense of gratitude, started to bubble inside my heart. My entire life changed in three months. I can’t even begin to describe how amazed I am. But I’m a true believer, happiness is simply the way you look at things. And the more you can tell yourself the story you want to live in, the quicker it will manifest.
Quote: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” – Jack Kerouac
Movie: Roman Holiday
Travel Destination: Any Stage or the Amalfi coast if I was able to stop
Sports Team: Portland Blazers