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“Haylen” inspired by the language of love. Tribute to Amy Winehouse

Posted: May 11, 2023

Belief in a powerful singer comes easy when you have proof that it exists. With decades of hearing all kinds of melodies, voices, and lyrics, I can truly say it is a gift. Not every singer possesses the gift, not all desire to obtain it. Some enjoy it, but do not have the passion or patience embrace it. I was thrilled to say the least when I heard Haylen sing. She has a strong voice. Powerful in fact. The kind that could move the hardest of hearts.

I looked over Haylens bio and saw some interesting names that she has been inspired by. Amazing artists such as Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Elvis Presley makes total sense to me. Even the late Amy Winehouse. Then what really caught my eye was Nirvana, Incubus and System of a Down. Now, I am totally mind blown. It isn’t because these artists and bands are different genres. It is because they are the artists that inspired me as well. I grew up listening to all these artists. In fact, I still listen to them. I could even break each artist down with why they were all outstanding. Each equally as good, but so vastly different.

Therefore, it was almost a must that I would interview Haylen. I had to find out more about her musical talent and inspiration. There is so much more to Haylen, that I believe it will take several interviews just to touch the surface.

Let’s start with some of the basics first. Such as who she is, and her history in the music industry.

 

ABOUT HAYLEN

Haylen is a modern-day pin-up. Perched on her heels in all circumstances, nothing can cut into her dreams and desires. As a teenager, more attracted to music than to studies, she decided to skip lessons to learn the guitar with friends at Place des Innocents in Paris. From "Nirvana" to "Incubus" via "System of a Down", Haylen discovers a real passion. It is in the metro, squats, underground scenes and through jam sessions that she will forge a solid reputation as a rhythm guitarist and assert herself as a talented singer with a sweet, deep voice. During one of these jams, she crosses paths with Simon Truxillo and Andrew Mazingue who will allow her to record her first titles and thus, to realize her ambitions. Then one day, "his punk diva" Amy Winehouse comes on stage, who introduces him to the soul of soul, jazz, the whole vintage, and glamorous universe of the 50's/60's and its icons that still inspire him today.

Today: Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Wanda Jackson, Betty Davis, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley… On the strength of her various experiences and accompanied by her musicians, Haylen then went on tour in London and throughout France for nearly 300 dates (concerts and festivals including "Les Femmes s'en mingle" at the Machine du Moulin Rouge in 2013). After being the live face of "Jack Daniels" throughout France, she agreed to participate in the show The Voice in 2016. The 4 coaches almost instantly turned on her. Haylen then conquered a new audience and sang during the primes in front of 8 million viewers. When she left the show, she landed the lead female role in the rock opera "Le Rouge et le Noir", co-written by Zazie and produced by Albert Cohen. She takes up this new challenge by expressing, every evening for 4 months, her talent as a singer but also as an actress on the stage of the mythical Palace. A unique experience that takes him to China in 2019, for a tour of 52 performances through the most beautiful theaters. In 2018 and completely independently, Haylen released an EP "Out of Line" with trip-hop and blues sounds.

Hailed by critics, this EP led him to perform on many stages including the American Tours Festival and the Vintage Legend Festival before sharing it with various renowned international artists such as Nico Duportal, Ray Collins' Hot-Club , Sugar Ray Ford, Aisha Khan, Gizzelle,… She also performs, invited by Matthieu Chedid in person, to share the stage with Keziah Jones at the Villa Schweppes in trio during the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Then everything is linked, Haylen joins the troupe of Jean Paul Gautier "Fashion Freak Show" for a world tour, becomes leader of the review for the famous cabaret Le Crazy Horse, 1st French muse of the famous American brand Klipsch and artist supported by Gibson Guitar. In the spring of 2022, she even hit the road for a tour of 16 Zeniths across France with the “Dire Straits Experience” (Gérard Drouot Production). His first album "Blue Wine" is composed of 13 titles including two in French and one signed Darrel Highman (composer of Imelda May's hits). It was produced by Félix Bourgeois, new member of the project, at the studio la Gallandière (Tours).

Imagined with the codes of the 50s/60s sometimes 70s, they record these pieces with vintage microphones for a vintage side closer to their musical inspirations. It is a bewitching journey through time between his blues, soul, and rock & roll aspirations. The lyrics are directly inspired by his life and his experiences, talking about love, society, and the thirst for freedom. Haylen's accurate, powerful, and embodied voice is further enhanced by arrangements of strings and brass that are both explosive and delicate.

Now, do you see what I mean. She has a plethora of talent, and an amazing list of artists that she was inspired by. We need to dig into the talented mind of Haylen.

 

INTERVIEW WITH HAYLEN AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

GT: Hello Haylen. I want to thank you for joining us for this month’s issue of Guitar Thrills Magazine. After reading your bio, I was amazed at the artists that you either listened too or was inspired by. I really enjoyed it, as my taste in music is very similar. I would describe my taste as neutral. It isn’t specific to one genre. I just love music. What is it about these artists that inspired your music career?

Haylen: Hello Edward. Thank-you so much for having me in your magazine. I very happy you liked the album and I think we have a lot in common. Just like you I love music so much. A lot of artists inspired me on my music. Very different kind of music. From the 40's till now! But I really like old bands!

GT: Your persona is very identical to Amy Winehouse. How would you compare your style and sound to her?

Haylen: thank you for the compliment. It's always a pleasure to be compared as people you love that much. She is of course a big inspiration. I discovered her in 2006. At this time, I was listening on rock bands and metal. And suddenly I found a real woman, with this amazing style and deep voice but with a true rock n roll attitude. I felt in love totally. I wanted to know what her inspirations were. And I went back in time, and I discovered the 40's and the 50s with Elvis Presley, Etta James, Wynnona Carr, Little Richard and all that king of artists that inspire me so much.

 

GT: Sometimes people do not like to compare themselves to other artists. I think that there is always room for comparison. So please keep up the vibe you have created for yourself. It works for you. With that said, you can sing in different languages. French is probably more comfortable for you. Which language do you prefer to sing in?

Haylen: as I said I totally take that for a compliment. She is amazing. And unfortunately, she passed away to soon….

For the language I prefer to sing in English cause it comes naturally to me when I write songs. My inspirations are American and from UK.

 

GT: Which is the language of your heart?

Haylen: Language of my heart... This is hard to choose. You know, my father is Persian. I love this language so much. It feels home. It's rich and beautiful. I don't sing very often in this Language, but it happens sometimes. French is the language of love.... I love this. But it doesn't sound as English language. I love to speak this language around the world, and to write songs.
It's hard to choose. It's like choosing a day of the week. They all must exist to make sense. It just depends what day it is.

 

GT: When you compose music is it difficult to translate it into English?

Haylen: sometimes it comes in English directly and sometimes in French... It depends on my mood.

 

GT: What genres of music have you considered making your own? Is there one specific genre that just feels right?

Haylen: You know, I love Rock music, blues, soul, jazz, gospel, Rhythm, and blues. I don't want to choose. That's why, if you like this kind of music too, you can find it in my music. It a big mix of every kind of good music.

 

GT: Do you play any instruments? If so, please provide us with the details.

Haylen: I started violin at the age of 7. But obviously it wasn't for me. It's very ungrateful especially very academic at the conservatory. It wasn't the best method for me to learn, I think. At 15, I had already been singing for a few years, I wanted to play an instrument to accompany myself. And obviously at that time I discovered all these rock bands. I turned naturally to the guitar, which I learned as an autodidact.

 

GT: How has your music been received internationally? Is one language more popular than another? If so, why is that, in your opinion?

Haylen: I think people liked my music, precisely because I offer several things. Singing in French in other countries is very well received. And the fact of singing in English in France is rather badly received by the radios. There's like a boycott if you're French and you sing in English. I personally find that ridiculous. I am an artist, and I am free to do my art as I see fit. If I was a painter and I wanted to paint only in red, who could come and tell me that putting on blue would be better for me.

 

GT: Tell me about your recent release. Who was the producer and where did the creativity come from?

Haylen: I produced this album by my own. I'm an independent artist. I’m totally free to do whatever I want to do. And for this album I really enjoyed it.
I worked with great musicians to make this album. Some songs were even composed with several hands. It was between two lockdowns that we recorded. We had things to say, and we needed to create so much. We recorded the album at Théo's place, the guitarist, when we weren't allowed to go out. But we stayed for a few weeks, we rented vintage microphones to get the sound we wanted, and we are very happy with the result.

 

GT: Do you have anything in the works that you would like to tell your fans about? We want to know. Especially since you have won us over.

Haylen: For the moment I am really focused on the release of this album. But I would like to do a nice tour by your place in the United States. I still must work on this. There are beautiful things to do in any case. And I'm happy that you enjoyed this album. I put my heart, my body, and my soul into it. Thank you for your touching words about me.

 

GT: That is awesome. We look forward to hearing more from you. We know that Haylen continues a strong path of success. Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule.

Haylen: Thank you so much for having me to be a part of your beautiful magazine. It's always a chance when someone talks about you in another country. I hope to hear from you very soon and to meet you in person maybe at one of my gigs soon. Have a beautiful path too 💋 much love.

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