Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): You seem to be influenced by a good deal of diverse singers, everyone from John Mayer to Sara Bareilles to Corrine Bailey Rae. In what ways would you say they influenced you as the singer you are today?
Hayley Roscoe (HR): I would definitely say they’ve influenced my writing more than my singing. I definitely draw on what I hear and what I like, but that’s not really a conscious thing. I think as a musician, I’m influenced by everything I hear and with the artists you mentioned, they create a lot of music I really enjoy. But I’m also influenced heavily by other musicians in various genres.
RMM: I wonder if you also count old-time Motown and blues singers among your influences, because your sound seems to transport me right back to the jazz lounges of days gone by. If so, which ones exactly?
HR: Thank you! That’s high praise! Well, I have a love for Motown, most definitely! On any given day, you’ll find a Motown CD in my car. But there are definitely a lot of influences – huge fan of Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Ella, Sarah Vaughan (among others, so many others . . . ). It’s hard not to be influenced by music as powerful as what they created.
RMM: Congratulations on winning the coveted TIMA for Best Adult Contemporary. How important do you think such an award is today, especially when the focus is so excessively on pop music and teeny bopper music like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, etc.?
HR: Thank you so much! I think it’s really important to celebrate art, and – not to say that the “teeny bopper” music today doesn’t have artistic elements, but I don’t think it’s goal of that type of music. So it’s very refreshing and inspiring to have an award like the TIMAs that really celebrates local artists.
RMM: Did you ever receive any formal vocal lessons to develop your singing voice? How about the piano? Did you take lessons, and for how long?
HR: I actually am in my last year of a jazz piano major, and am potentially looking to finish my BMus in classical voice. I’ve taking lessons in both for upwards of ten years, and actually completed my Grade 10 Classical voice with the Royal Conservatory of Music.
RMM: Your EP, Catalyst, features a prominent drawing of a heart, smack dab in the middle of the cover – and it’s not the cute heart that you see on a Valentine’s Day card, but, rather, a heart that comes straight out of biology class. Could you tell us what the inspiration was for choosing this striking cover art for your EP?
HR: The EP itself deals a lot with my own matters of the heart, and I think that had a lot to do with the cover art. I just felt a little like I was handing listeners my heart on a platter and that’s where it came from. I had a lot of help with that heart from my lovely friend Amanda MacLeod. She drafted several versions of that heart, and I’m so happy with the way it all turned out!
RMM: You’re quite young as an artist, yet there is an obvious maturity in the songs you sing. Tell us what you think accounts for this maturity.
HR: I feel like my maturity comes from things I’ve dealt with in life. We all have trials and tribulations, and in working through mine, I found, and created myself.
RMM: If you could play in any venue in the whole, wide world, what would be your dream venue in which to serenade your fans?
HR: I would absolutely love to play the Fillmore and the Olympia in Paris. And I’ve always dreamed of recording at Abbey Road.
RMM: Do you have any hot, new gigs coming up in the next little while? Perhaps a tour for 2013?
HR: Plans for 2013 are still quite up in the air. I’m looking to play some festivals in the summer, but for now my focus is just on finishing my last semester of school.
RMM: Where do you see yourself in five years? In ten years?
HR: This may be the toughest question you’ve asked! There are just so many variables. Ultimately, I would love to be writing music and performing (whether classically, or in a more contemporary style). I just want to do what I love and, ideally, not have to worry about struggling financially – that’s the dream.
RMM: What kinds of music are you listening to these days?
HR: This is a tough question because I am always listening to a different genre – I love classical music, jazz, pop, hip hop, Motown, etc. But right now probably. . . . Anything by Cold War Kids, Norah Jones’ album Little Broken Hearts, anything by Beck, Ray LaMontagne, Sara Bareilles, John Mayer, Corinne Bailey Rae. . . God, there are just so many!
RMM: What is your most sinful snack choice that you just can’t live without?
HR: I love cupcakes! Especially when you’re having a bad day, cupcakes make everything better.
RMM: And, finally, Mac or PC?
HR: Mac all the way!