Bailey Hefley is an exciting rising Country crossover talent hailing from Little Rock, Ark. As a child the 27-year-old suffered debilitating seizures and unfortunately the medication that saved her life also robbed her of her innocent enthusiasm for eight years and left her in a state of perpetual lethargy.
As a teen, she overcame the condition and felt “awake” for the first time. Hefley then felt ready to tackle life as an active participant, not just an observer. That meant making up for lost time by developing real friendships, discovering boys, and riding horses, a passion that led to competitive barrel racing.
And now she’s ready to put all her feelings and emotions into her music and later this year she will share her brand new EP. Here we chat exclusively to Bailey Hefley to discuss the forthcoming record, health issues, and future plans:
Growing up how do you feel music helped you deal with your health issues?
When I was 5-years-old, I was diagnosed with Petit mal seizures and took medication daily because my doctor feared they would turn into Grand mal seizures if left untreated. I immediately became shyer socially and wasn’t fully ‘present’ most of the time due to the effects of the medication. Music became my escape. I felt free and happy. Being so sedated on the medication, I would talk very slowly and get interrupted a lot in conversations. I can remember thinking on stage at the school talent show in first grade, “how great—no one can interrupt me up here.” That might sound sad, but I see it as a positive. If I hadn’t developed seizures, I might not have had that innocent desire to be heard that led to becoming enamoured with the connection I felt with each audience member on stage. I started writing songs when I was 15 and I fell so in love with the process that I joked I was “dating my guitar.”
How important a role do you think music plays in the escape of every day issues?
It’s everything to me. I can’t imagine a day without playing my guitar. I’ve always been an in the moment type of person and consider myself to be pretty go-with-the-flow, but when I’m having a bad day or I need to escape the occasionally routine nature of life, songwriting is my go-to.
Your upcoming new EP celebrates finding love, what made you want to sing/write about this subject at this time?
I haven’t found the real thing yet. There have been some big false alarms, but true, once-in-a-lifetime love is still this daydream in my mind that I replay and hope I’ll find which is why I titled the EP ‘Hopeful Romantic’. That’s where I’m at right now. I like to keep my music real and write what I know, and I think a lot of girls in their twenties will be able to relate to all of the topics I cover on this EP.
How would you describe the overall vibe of the record?
My sound is organic. I wanted to take some of my favorite instruments like banjo, fiddle and real big drums and combine them with drum loops to create a different kind of sound. I am really proud of how the music turned out. Every song began with a feeling, and each song’s production reflects the respective initial emotion, which I think is really cool.
What was the overall writing experience like for the EP?
Songwriting is simply putting my thoughts to a melody for me. It’s always felt so natural. Writing a song is like taking a Polaroid picture of an emotion, seeing the feeling come to life instantly, and then preserving it so that feeling can live on forever in someone’s speakers. What I love about songwriting is that no two songs are written exactly the same way. Even within certain habits and parameters that I’ve established as my typical process, there’s always little surprises and changes and new people to meet.
Is there one song in particular off the record that you’re most excited about sharing?
My songs are like my children, especially once they make it to the point of being placed on a body of work. I’m like a little kid waiting for Christmas to arrive (but it’s only October) about all the songs I am releasing soon. The debut song, “Dust on a Diamond,” is very personal to me and it embodies my desire to be there emotionally for listeners via my songs. The lyrics are very real and directly written to other girls even though I wrote it recalling my own struggles after a breakup. I’m also very excited about “So That Girl,” because as the title suggests, it’s.so.me.
What are you hoping the fans take away from the new music?
I want the fans to take away a feeling when they listen to my songs. I think you’re really fortunate when you can write songs for a project that collectively embody every emotion. There’s a song on this EP for every situation, whether you’re falling in love, falling out, have-a-huge-crush-but-he-has-no-idea, or you’re excitedly getting ready for first a date and curious as to where it will lead.
What would you say was the most challenging song to write for the EP?
Definitely “Chemistry.” We wanted to build really strong analogies between the passion you feel in true love and one of my favorite subjects: Chemistry. It took us three writes to completely finish the song. I am so happy my co-writers wanted to keep working on it with me to make it great.
Do you have any plans to tour this record?
I may have some surprises coming your way—stay tuned!
Make sure you follow Bailey on Twitter @baileyhefley to keep up to date with all her latest music and tour news!
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