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Conversations with Haley Woolbright

Today we’d like to introduce you to Haley Woolbright. 

Hi Haley, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Music started out as a closet hobby for me, serving as an outlet for creativity and escape. Self-taught on guitar, I began playing at 17 years old and soon started experimenting with singing. However, I was too embarrassed to share, so singing and guitar remained a secret passion. When I say I was too embarrassed, I mean I had crippling stage fright! It was not until my junior year of college I began to gain the confidence to share my passion. Late 2017 consisted of frequenting open mics all around town and gaining credibility for my talent. Writing had always been a hobby and strength of mine growing up, so at the onset of learning to play guitar, I started dabbling in songwriting. Songwriting is what opened the floodgates to my musical endeavors, and it resulted in me striving to make a name for myself around St. Louis by playing shows and booking any gig thrown my way. I’ve released a variety of musical projects since 2017, including my first full-length album Hindsight, which was recorded at Sawhorse Studios in STL with local producer Chris Turnbaugh, and released in November 2019. I got married in June of 2020, and my latest single “Long Game” is a tribute to that! I wrote it as a surprise wedding gift for my husband, but due to Covid my plan, and our wedding day, didn’t exactly go according to plan, but it all worked out in the end and I released the single in March of 2021. I am now currently navigating songwriting within a whole new realm of experience (marriage), and above all striving to use music as a means of connecting with and influencing listeners. I have a bassist and a drummer that now play with me during live shows and I feel so blessed to get to do what I love on a weekly basis! 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Definitely not. Getting over the crippling stage fright took years; it was this endless battle in my head of wanting something so bad but being way too afraid of all the what-ifs and the possible ways things could go wrong. It took me a long time to realize that the only thing standing in my way was myself, so it felt pretty fitting when I released my first song to name it “Fear”. Looking back now, however, after pursuing a career in music for the past 4 years, the hardest part was not getting over the stage fright; that was the easy part. I probably question quitting every other day, because it is so darn easy to get in my head and compare myself to other artists, or question if I’m doing enough, or question whether I have plateaued. The hardest part is waking up every day and choosing to chase this dream, no questions asked. But because I love it so much, I think it would be even harder to give it up. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am an independent artist and singer-songwriter. I play guitar and sing, and when I play live, I have a drummer and bassist that accompany me. I love performing and playing, but my biggest passion is the songwriting. It is not hard for me to be inspired, I feel like I am always coming up with ideas for songs in my head throughout the day, and I love to write about my life, my heart, what I’ve experienced, what I’ve watched other people experience, and most of all I love to write songs that can make people relate and feel something. I am a people person and desire to connect with all types of people, so writing songs and sharing them with people gives me that opportunity to connect and influence. I am most proud of the moments I’ve had at shows or gigs when somebody comes up to me and tells me how much they relate with one of my songs or how much it impacted them; those are the moments I work for. I think my genuine lyrics set me apart from others. Yes, catchy music and beats are super important, but I don’t want to sacrifice good lyrics for that. 

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
The best way to support me is to come out to gigs, join my mailing list, and show physical support at events I’m playing at! Building a strong fan base is super important and goes a long way. Buying my merch and wearing it is also super huge. It supports me financially but it also serves as a walking advertisement haha. Sharing my music online with others is really big as well. I really depend on word of mouth and social media support. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jenee Mack Photography

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