Hailey Livingston is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, producer and director who just released a very DOPE music video for her song “PORCUPINE PLEASURES”, which appears on her album “CLAP BACK”. We connected with Hailey for an exclusive interview to discuss the visuals and album, as well as find out whether she ever felt pressure or overwhelmed during their development, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Hailey Livingston, be sure to connect with her on social media and stream the “CLAP BACK” album on Spotify!
Congratulations on the release of the visuals for "PORCUPINE PLEASURES" which appears on your "CLAP BACK" album. What are you most proud of with this video and the album overall?
The part of my album “CLAP BACK” which I am most proud of is the personal growth that has happened to me because of this project. It was literally like therapy and gave me the outlet to express my frustrations as a young woman with relationships, disappointments, and finding that self-love is the most important. I feel like dating nowadays is so backwards and tainted for millennials. It is definitely hard to navigate to say the least haha.
This project allowed me express my current experiences and past experiences on my own terms. It really helped me moving forward through all the rottenness of it all to find the silver lining I was searching for through art. I hope people can relate to what I am saying and find personal growth for themselves through my music.
Would you say that there is an overarching theme of the "CLAP BACK" album?
I feel that the overarching theme of the album is two main ideas. One is standing up for yourself and speaking your mind. The truth is that you know when something is off in a relationship and it is SO important to be clear right away with what you expect from another person before feelings get hurt and you end up writing a whole damn album about it haha.
Second is learning from your life experiences. Although the first half of the album can be seen as pretty harsh towards men, the albums theme turns with “ELEGY”, a dedication to my grandpa Ben. One of my favorite human beings on this planet who is also a man. After recording the whole album I decided to add the rap verses of the very talented Alexander Watson who speaks from the male perspective showing the other side. The album ends with “MORNING GLORY”, where I talk about simply having a good day by yourself. A beautiful, happy day regardless of external factors. I think that is the most important message. You have to enjoy YOUR life!
You not only wrote the album's songs, you produced them as well, and directed the "PORCUPINE PLEASURES" video. Throughout this whole process, did you ever question whether you were taking on too much or putting too much pressure on yourself?
I never thought once that I was taking on too much with this project. I actually intended to make a full visual album with a video for all 11 songs. I may have overestimated financially what I was able to do as an independent artist/sole producer and I was only able to make 4 music videos but I am currently working on creating more videos right now. I have always been into film-making so it felt like the only way to go for me to have control my my vision for the project.
I am so glad that “CLAP BACK” is what I spent the last 9 months doing with my time. It feels like I just had a baby. A unpredictable, beautiful little baby, like most are.
This may be a difficult question but do you have a favorite song on the album or one that you'd say reflects you the most as a creative?
I feel like it would be like killing one of my children to pick a favorite song. I have a very personal experience attached to each song. I definitely really enjoyed the process of working with Alexander Watson in the studio and shooting the music video for “PORCUPINE PLEASURES”. We always have such a good time and he brings out the most creative and silly side of myself. Shooting the video with him was also lots of fun because all the others music videos for “CLAP BACK” I was by myself in front of the camera and it’s always fun to dance and get creative with another great artist.
What did you enjoy most about being an artist/producer/director of “CLAP BACK”?
The most enjoyable part of recording the album had to definitely be the time spent recording in the studio. As I said I truly consider my music a personal form of therapy. Just sitting there for hours in the studio with my producer of the album, Brendan Moore AKA Ferguson, brainstorming ideas and talking about our life experiences was so inspirational and pure. That dude is magic and all of this would not have been possible without him. I guess men aren’t so bad after all haha.
If you had to describe your style of music to a stranger, what would you say about it?
If I had to describe my style of music to a stranger I would have to say just listen and I’d leave it up to them to describe it. So far after releasing “CLAP BACK” I have mainly gotten RnB/Pop. I think that is pretty on point, however so much of my influences for creating the beats and lyrics come from Hip Hop and Rap. I am a huge fan of Hip Hop and Rap and have been writing poetry for over 20 years but have kept it to myself until recently. I just never really considered sharing what I write or even trying to write a song until now. I guess it all started with finally sharing my poetry at open mic night at Da Poetry Lounge in LA. Shortly after that I started making beats and after the first song I was completely hooked. I just couldn’t stop and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.