Bringin’ It Backwards: Interview with Hailey Knox

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Together with American Songwriter, we had the pleasure of interviewing Hailey Knox over Zoom video! 

In the past, Hailey Knox has been called a “music sensation” by People Magazine with a “preternaturally soulful voice” (Billboard) and the “ability to create a symphony of sounds with just her voice, a guitar and a looping pedal” (Earmilk). Her cunning songwriting (a combination of understated personal irreverence and “heart-on-her-sleeve” aching vulnerability) and beyond-proficient guitar/looping skills have found her transitioning from the category of viral web music breakout into a fully-formed artist.

2018’s ‘The Hardwired Mixtape’ was a taste of the creative brilliance of Hailey Knox, and today she releases “a boy named pluto”, a track that demonstrates a true artistic force evolving her songwriting and style, and pushing herself into musical territories not yet personally charted.

Also out is a visual video retelling of the song via claymation, directed by Hailey and created by artist Claire Maske. Ones To Watch said if the track “is any indication of where Hailey Knox wants to take us musically, we’re ready to go along for the ride.”

Out on S-Curve Records and written with Angelo Angelides, Knox wanted to take a detour from her traditional “pulled from my own journal” writing style, exploring a narrative based around two fictional characters experiencing a very real, relatable situation: the tentativeness and fear that comes from admitting your feelings for someone.

With emotionally astute storytelling, a hypnotic dreamlike vocal delivery, and a noticeably more indie-soul leaning sonic landscape for the pop songstress, “a boy named pluto” is a glimpse into the boundless creative talents of a rising force in the singer/songwriter genre.

Of the track, which she also co-produced, Hailey said “I wanted to make a song about two fictional characters. While writing, we really pulled from our imaginations and put ourselves in the shoes of Pluto and Genevieve, the characters we created. I feel like one idea leads to the next when I write – I rarely go in with a main concept. I often write from my own experiences but I wanted to try a different approach – writing a story about other people.”

Of the personal meaning this song holds for her, Hailey added “This song means a lot to me because it’s the first song Angelo and I wrote together. We are both perfectionists so saying that this song has evolved is an understatement. From countless vocal takes, to spending hours just to find one word, it’s fulfilling to see the song at its final stage.”

Hailey Knox has earned praise from the likes of Billboard, Teen Vogue, Paper Magazine, Mashable, People Magazine, and Seventeen, she has toured alongside Charlie Puth and AJR, and has performed on the Austin City Limits Festival stage as well as on NBC’s TODAY. 

Hailey is currently also performing a weekly performance on BeApp every Tuesday night

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