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Getting To Know: Jackie Hayes

Chicago’s Jackie Hayes shares her long-awaited debut album Over & Over, via Pack Records. Produced with longtime collaborator Billy Lemos (Omar Apollo, Binki, Dua Saleh, Lava La Rue) and mixed by Henry Stoehr of Slow Pulp, it’s the follow up to Hayes’ 2021 EP There’s Always Going To Be Something.

Over & Over includes singles ‘Focus’, ‘Wish It Was’ and ‘Bite Me’, as well as Hayes’ recent live dates supporting the likes of Claud, Sunflower Bean, and The Regrettes.

We had a chat with Jackie all about the making of Over & Over, her upcoming shows and more. Read the Q&A below.

Hi Jackie! How are you? What does a typical day look like for you at the moment?

“I’m good, thank you for asking. Right now I’m in the middle of playing a bunch of shows – I’m on tour opening up for vacations and then I’m playing a few one-off headliner shows. A typical day right now is waking up, driving to get to the next city, and playing a show that night. This is my third week of tour and it’s been going really well. When I’m not touring I’m usually working or writing music.”

You’ve just released your debut album Over & Over. What can you tell us about the record?

Yes. I’ve been very excited for this one to come out – I’ve been working on it since early 2021. This album feels like the true introduction to my music and what I want to achieve moving forward. I see this project as the beginning of something very special. This is also the first time I was able to record in a professional studio.”

How does it compare with your previous releases and what do you hope fans/listeners take way from it?

“This project is by far my favorite and I feel like I’ve really grown as an artist. When it comes to what people take away from it – all I can really ask or hope for is that people enjoy it. I want people to have fun at these shows when we play these new songs.”

What was your creative process for the record? What did you enjoy most about it? Were there any challenges?

“I spent a year and a half working on this album, Billy (producer) and I usually started off with just a simple chord progression/instrumental and then I’d add a melody on top. The instrument I’d usually start off with was guitar. Then came the lyrics. I wrote some of the lyrics for these songs with my friend Michael. For those we would start off with a conversation about whatever topic we chose and would write a bunch of sentences/phrases to describe how we felt. When it was just me, I’d write down everything I was thinking at the time even if it wasn’t all cohesive or about the same thing. It was essentially a documentation of my stream of consciousness. I went back and re-recorded a lot of the songs after my first tour earlier this year because being able to play them live added some new perspective to things.”

What else is next for you? Any shows coming up? Which of the new songs are you excited to debut live?

“I’ve actually already debuted most of my songs from this album as I’ve been touring it since February of this year. When it comes to my favorites, I’d say ‘last second’ and ‘best of it’ are the two I’m enjoying the most. The crowd seems to respond very positively to them. As for what’s next – I have some one-off shows after this longer run. I’m playing a festival called Zona fest in December and a show in LA. And I’m already getting started on another project.”

Finally, if you could change one thing about the music industry today, what would it be and why?

“I wish it was more feasible as an artist to live off the income we receive from streaming services. It’s very difficult to sustain yourself as an artist even if you’re getting 1000’s of streams every day. I would want to start there.”

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