Garrett Godwin: Why does a 20-year-old R&B/Pop singer-songwriter such as yourself calls herself a “music addict”?
Haley Small: When asked to describe themselves, a lot of artists use adjectives like “writer,” “singer,” “musician,” etc., and I am all of those things. But I thought in a nutshell, “music addict” described me perfectly because when it comes down to it, I “sing” and “write” and “perform” because I LOVE music. It’s just been something in me since I was born. Listening to it, singing to it, [and] jamming to it is all I did and all I ever wanted to do. Music is my addiction.
GG: Which would you prefer more: R&B or Pop?
HS: R&B, for sure. I mean, I love Pop music as well. I grew up listening to mainstream music, but my all-time favorite genre of music is R&B. I just like to really feel the music in my soul, and R&B does that for me.
GG: Who were your musical influences and aspirations growing up and why?
HS: Some of my main musical influences were Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Musiq Soulchild, Brandy. They were all music that my parents listened to. My parents are music lovers as well and always played good music in the house, so a lot of my musical taste started with their favorites.
GG: Are you in the process of recording an album? If so, could you tell us a little bit more about it, and what can people expect from it?
HS: Yes, alongside my team (Ebony Sons Mgmt, owned by DTP — aka Disturbing Tha Peace — Records whose founder is Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) we have been recording new music here in Toronto and in Atlanta in hopes to release an album next year. We are still in the early stages as far as developing a cohesive “sound” for the album, but we are well on our way and I am grateful for the amazing writers and producers I have on board.
GG: Where do you see yourself in the next 15-20 years? What are your “big dreams,” of course?
HS: I see myself looking back on 15 years of working with producers and writers that I always dreamed of and idolized. I hope to have collaborated with other artists that I admire. I hope to have shared a lot of my music with the world, and be teamed up with a label who supports me 100%. Performing at big venues and I hope to just be having fun making music like I always dreamed of.
GG: Where can people find out more you and your music?
HS: http://www.youtube.com/haleysmall; updates on Twitter @HaleySmall & Instagram @HaleySmall
GG: Who would you love to tour with?
HS: Probably Beyonce, just to learn from her. I think she’s such a well-rounded artist with so much experience and talent, I would love to just sit back and watch her behind the scenes.
GG: Tell us about your showcase coming up in Toronto
HS: I have two shows coming up. One is the Emerge Artists Showcase on December 29th at the Revival Bar. There are 9 other artists on the roster and I am playing 4 original records with some really dope musicians! The second show, I am opening up for Bobby Valentino and Ginuwine at the Sound Academy on January 12th. Super excited for that. I will be performing 3 original songs.
GG: What advice to you have for up & coming recording artists?
HS: Stick with it and don’t get discouraged. As artists, our art is so personal to us. So much so, that we can start to feel almost depressed when the business aspect of this industry starts to come in with harsh realities and criticism, but that’s just the nature the business. I constantly have to remind myself to not take things personally and just do my thing, and learn from every downfall. There will always be ups and downs, but if you love music, focus on that love and make every experience a positive learning experience, whether it be good or bad.