Musical inspiration knows no age, and perhaps the youngest of artists are the most inspired. Welcome MKE Hip-Hop and R&B artist, Hailey Simone. At only 16 years old, and a Junior in High School, she has already dedicated a large part of her heart to a musical career, and commanded a solid following online. Expect to see her continue her passion into great heights as she grows and develops her skills as a songwriter and producer.
In a span of only 4 months, Hailey Simone has released the "Visions" mix tape and two new singles, including "In The Air" which you can listen to below. At the 1:52 mark in "In The Air" we see a strong side of Simone that highlights her skill as an MC, showing excellent phrasing and emotion. Check out our interview with her below.
MM: How are you doing?
HS: Things have been busy. I'm a junior in high school and I recently took the ACT. Now, I'm studying for AP exams that are coming up in May. I'm just trying to find a balance between my education and making music.
MM: Milwaukee's music climate is shifting favorably toward the hip/hop and electronic scenes. Has this trend inspired you or motivated you in anyway, as you continue to push your music in MKE?
HS: I've always had a love for hip hop, and I embrace the direction that the local scene is heading. I feel like there's room in Milwaukee for an artist like me to find success.
MM: Can you speak a little about being only 16 and putting your foot forward towards a music career? Do you witness any drawbacks, or has the music community been supportive?
HS: Sometimes when people hear my music they reply, "Oh, that's cute!" However, I don't think they understand that I take my music very seriously. But, overall, I've gotten a lot of love and positive responses that continue to motivate and inspire me.
MM: The art of lyricism and songwriting don't develop easily, but you definitely radiate the feeling of passionate skill and that you will continue to speak your mind. Was there any specific thing that inspired you to walk towards that musical light?
HS: My dad has an eclectic taste in music. Whenever he drives me somewhere, his playlist can go from A Tribe Called Quest to The Beatles, from Amy Winehouse to Nirvana, or from Prince to the Beastie Boys. The way these artists approach songwriting is so outstanding and incredible, and I strive to write at that same level.
MM: You've released two singles and a mixtape in 4 months, can we expect you to keep up that pace? Any new work on the horizon?
HS: With exams around the corner, I can't be specific as far as release dates go. Having said that, I do have a plan to take a few of my more popular releases, pair them with some new records, and package it as a mixtape which will highlight an upgrade in quality from previous projects.
MM: Something you want the world to know?
HS: Lately, I've been contemplating the type of sound that I'd like my music to take. As I get older, I realize that my musical tastes are beginning to change and I'm branching out from just being "rap." Having many influences from diverse musical backgrounds, finding a signature sound is a challenge. I've been taking many risks and trying new things lately, and I don't want anyone to be alarmed. Like all art, my music is an expression of myself that develops along with me. I've been teaching myself how to produce so I can construct the abstract ideas in my head to something of audible substance.
MM: Favorite spot/thing to do in MKE?
HS: In my downtime, I mainly go record shopping on the east side, or grab some lunch at Pizza Shuttle. I also enjoy walking on trails near the lakefront, as the relaxing and laid-back atmosphere helps me clear my mind.
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