Brisbane-by-way-of-Gladstone belle Hayley Marsten is a self-professed “lover of talking fast and cheese”, as well as a bit of a show pony. “My music is a lot like my personality; honest, sometimes vulnerable, big and a little bit dramatic.” Writing her first song at age 7, she’s long been prepared for the launch of her professional music career. In 2019, she crowdfunded the release of her debut album, Spectacular Heartbreak, which racked up 100 000 streams in its first week.
Writing music has always been a driving force for Hayley.
“Writing my debut album was one of the most therapeutic experiences dealing with grief and heartache, then having it embraced by people who've felt the same was incredibly humbling. I don't think that there's another art form that brings people together and makes us feel understood as much as music and that's what inspires me.”
Her live shows have been described as ‘a stand-up comedy show with music’, featuring disco balls, ribbon-twirling, storytelling and a whole lot of laughs. “I want to make music that transcends genres and have a live show that is as theatrical as it is fun.”
As part of #TheBIGSOUND50, Hayley is looking to grow her team in preparation for her second album, so she can grow her career in the same way she “kicks ass as an independent artist”.
“It's a huge achievement and honour to be a part of BIGSOUND this year. After so many things going sideways in 2020, it's amazing to have a big ‘hooray’ to look forward to!”
Safe to say there’ll be lots more for the alt-country songstress to look forward to in the future.
“In recent years it's undeniable how strong the talent, work ethic and community is in young Australian female country artists and I'm excited to see us keep achieving.”
In 10 years time, Hayley hopes she’ll have mainstream crossover success in Australia and be touring overseas while maintaining a strong relationship with her community at home. While this year has had plenty of ‘sideways’ moments, she’s happy to see the industry growing as a result of the challenges.
“I'm excited to see so many frank discussions about mental health from artists this year. I think it allows more opportunity for connection with audiences, and breaks down the stigma around it.”