Need a new artist to add to your country music playlist? You should meet country duo Haley and Michaels then!
They’re a real-life couple that makes music together, they released last year their self-titled debut EP (with phenomenal reviews), they dropped this summer a brand new single, “Giving It All (To You)”, a romantic love song, which they used as vows at their wedding and performed on “The Today Show” earlier this year (thanks to a little help and love from host Hoda Kotb), they’ve opened for many stars in the country scene (Martina McBride for instance), they’re four time Nashville Independent Music Awards winners…*catches breath*…do you really need to hear more to check out Haley and Michaels?
“We sat down to work on our vows, but instead, we ended up writing this song,” says Haley. “We incorporated some of those lyrics into our vows, but we thought me walking down the aisle to that song would be really special, based on what the lyrics are about.”
Take a look at our exclusive Q&A with Haley and Michaels below! We asked about how it was like going from lovers to singers in a duo, “Giving It All (To You)”, using this new song as their wedding vows, performing on national television for the first time, their thoughts on Taylor Swift's genre change, among many other things!
1. Hi Shannon, and Ryan! Where are you answering this Q&A from and how’s your day been like so far?
Hi! We are at our home in Nashville. We've been on the road for most of the summer so it's GREAT to be home! We had a really awesome day! We wrote a new song that we're excited about with some amazing writers who are also our good friends. We love being out on the road and playing shows, but it makes it a little harder to keep a writing routine, so it was really energizing and refreshing to get to work on new music!
2. For those you want to know a bit more about the beginnings of Haley & Michaels, how did you meet and how did you know you were born to be a musical duo?
We met through a mutual friend who was playing guitar in each of our solo projects at the time. When we connected in Nashville, we discovered we were from the same hometown in The Bay Area in California. Actually, our houses were three miles apart, and we had never met. We both had upcoming shows and we each invited the other to come sing a song as a part of the show. The first time we were on stage together, we felt a ton of chemistry and knew right away that we wanted to sing together. We knew we were meant to be a musical duo after our first time writing together.
3. Last year you released your debut single “Just Another Love Song”. The song went on to chart on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. Why did you decide go with this particular song as your debut one over others you perhaps had recorded, and how proud are you of all it achieved?
SiriusXM The Highway started playing "Just Another Love Song" and we were really excited by the response from fans and the sales. Before we decided to release it to terrestrial radio our hometown station KRTY in San Jose and KKGO in Los Angeles added the song into rotation. When we started to get messages from fans and heard the feedback from the stations, we decided to formally release it as a single. We really just wanted to have the chance to get our music out to people and didn't expect much because it was our first single and we didn't have a record deal. We were SO excited when we found out that we charted on Billboard!
4. Earlier this year you released a brand new single; “Giving It All (To You)”. The love ballad is actually your wedding vows turned into a song. Tell us a little bit about the process of creating this magical tune.
We planned most of our wedding from the road while we were on a radio tour (promoting "Just Another Love Song"). We had everything done except for our vows. We never seemed to find the right time or place to write them. One day we got snowed in during one of our days off. We sat down to write our vows, and accidentally ended up writing this song. Shannon just started singing the lines in the chorus, and the rest of the song just kind of fell out, the two of us going back and forth. When we were done we were like, "Hey maybe we can actually use this at our wedding!". We had no idea that anybody besides our friends and family would ever hear the song.
5. How flattered are you to know that people are using your song for their weddings?
There is not greater honor for us as writers and artists than to hear that people are choosing to use this song as a part of such a special day to them. The greatest feeling in the world for us is to connect to people through music. We have been overwhelmed by the messages we have received and the people we've gotten to meet who have told us about the stories of their wedding and how this song played a part in it. It's truly a humbling experience and the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to us.
6. Did a few more doors open after you performed “Giving It All (To You) on NBC’s “The Today Show”? Must’ve been an exciting moment for you!
Yes, it was very exciting for us! Truly an experience we will never forget. It was thrilling to meet Hoda and find out that she is a fan of the song. We've always had such a huge amount of respect for her as a person, and for her ear for songs and love of music. So, finding out that she even knew who we were, let alone that she had become a champion of our song was just unbelievable. It's opened many exciting doors and new opportunities. We were just asked to debut at The Grand Ole Opry, which has always been a dream of ours.
7. Do you plan to give Haley & Michaels fans a new EP or perhaps that much-anticipated full-length debut album of yours soon?
YES! We are currently writing and producing the music now. We don't have an exact release date but it will be sometime during the first quarter of next year.
8. You’ve opened shows for many country music stars. Have you received career advice from any of them? And, was there any particular star that you were most positively surprised by?
We've been very lucky to share the stage with some incredible artists. We consistently are reminded to write, write, write as much as we can and to continue to add new elements to our live shows and most passionately...to be persistent. Garth Brooks totally surprised us because he took so much time with us and actually asked us about our music and story. He really does make you feel like you're the only person in the room when he's talking to you. It's really a gift, and was certainly a gift to us as he is our all time favorite artist.
9. What are Haley and Michaels’ Top 5 songs of the moment?
Our most played songs right now are:
1. I'm Not The Only One (Sam Smith)
2. We Were Us (Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert)
3. Unanswered Prayers (Garth Brooks)
4. Somewhere In My Car (Keith Urban)
5. Soak Up The Sun (Sheryl Crow)
10. Superstar Taylor Swift recently put her country music career on hold to record a fully pop album. Do you think Haley & Michaels would do something like this in the future, to try and test new sounds, or do you think country is your natural and most fitting genre?
While we both bring a lot of influences to our music from other musical genres, country music is and will always be our first passion. Even though we are both from California, we both grew up listening to our home town country radio station KRTY, and that's how we fell in love with country music. It's always been our favorite and we bonded over that right away, and we believe that's why we felt such a strong musical connection.
11. If you could record an original collaboration with any artist/band that you admire right now, who would it be, why and how do you imagine your song to sound like/be about?
Garth Brooks. We think it would sound a lot like him singing and in the music video we would likely just be in the background pinching ourselves. :)
12. Thank you so much for your time, guys! Any last thing you’d like to share with our readers at Directlyrics.com?
Thank YOU! We love meeting and hearing from our fans! Please make sure to come out and meet us at a show or even send us a message online. It's one of our favorite parts of what we get to do!
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