I've recently "re-discovered" one of my favorite artists, Rebecca St. James, who just released a new EP, called Dawn (below), her first music release since 2011! I decided to share it here not only because I enjoy it, but because it brings up an important topic we often discuss in regards to Hayley's career, and whether or not she can ever return to music.
Last night I was listening to an interview she did last December, and it was all on the topic of re-launching one's career in the music industry after so long. Naturally, I thought of Hayley. It was half an hour long, but I listened to it. She talked about how her career started at an early age, just like Hayley's, and how she was working almost constantly because she was afraid to say no to things... also a bit like Hayley.
However, the difference was that her dad was involved in the music industry, which is definitely what helped get her career started, and also that she moved from Australia to Nashville at 14 due to her father's career. In fact, she was managed by her father. So, she was able to break the American music market almost instantly, and gained big success fairly easily, touring with other major artists of her genre, and even receiving a Grammy for her 4th US-released album. So, success wasn't much of an issue at all. However, the constant touring, recording, book deals, etc. eventually wore her down and overwhelmed her to the point where work was all she was doing. She began to have trouble singing during concerts due to the stress nearly causing panic attacks, or would leave the stage in tears. After a time, she began to go on sabbaticals, and then gradually there were longer stretches between albums. In 2011, she got married and later had 2 daughters (she's currently expecting a 3rd child!). She said she was quite content at the time just being a wife and "mum" and had no longing to return to music. She also unfortunately suffered 2 miscarriages. But she was drawn back to music after she was invited to sing with the band (also her brothers), For King and Country during a music festival they were involved in. When she sang on stage again, she remembered how much she loved it, and she realized she wanted to come back. Despite her previous success in the industry, she did run into a few challenges, considering (as we often discuss regarding Hayley and her genre of music) how vastly different the music industry now is, and even her genre had changed just enough that the record company she went to at first were a bit unsure of the material she presented. Of course, her father was still able to be her manager, so that made it much easier for her to return to music.
I was a fan of hers back in her hey-day, but I hadn't thought of her much lately due to her absence from music, and because my taste had developed so that I was mainly interested in the classical crossover genre... Hayley, Sarah, Josh, Bocelli, and now lately, Hauser, my only favorite artist who does not sing. I was not even following her on social media, but I just so happened to see an ad for her new music on instagram (also the same place I discovered Hauser, coincidentally).
Her new songs are based off of the difficult time she went through because of her miscarriages.
So, here is Dawn, for anyone who cares to listen; the link just below is for the full playlist, and the embedded video is one song for a visual aid:
Yes, she has been in the US music industry since the mid-90s,and is now 43, the same age as my brother, coincidentally. She writes many of her own songs. My favorite songs of hers are from 1998 and the early-mid 2000s. I got to see her live once in 2004, when she was touring with the Newsboys, another long-time favorite band of mine (they're still around and going strong, with some band members leaving and returning along the way). She did a duet with them on the album they were touring with that year. Well, it might have a trio or a quartet, depending on which band members were involved. LOL but it was mostly her and the lead singer, Peter Furler.
Here are some of my favorite songs of hers, including aforementioned duet and the title track from her new album:
(These are official videos from the artists' pages):
This is from the album that won a Grammy:
Luke Smallbone is her brother, who as mentioned is one half of the band For King and Country; her maiden name was actually Smallbone, and her married name is Fink.
I have to mention I looovve Peter Furler's singing. I know most of you prefer pretty lady's voices, but his voice has always had a profound spiritual effect on me when I listen to it, especially because of the rawness and conviction with which he sometimes sings. There's a reason why they are still the most popular Christian rock band. Incidentally, he and the drummer are Australian, and the secondary vocalist & bassist with the long hair is from New Zealand!
At 9pm tonight (4pm EST ) I'll be watching Classical crossover magazine's 3rd lockdown concert on Facebook live featuring Classical Reflection, G4 and Nadia Eide among others. It makes me wonder why Hayley doesn't join in one of these events. Everyone else seems to !
If you missed it here's the whole concert. All the singers were excellent and not all singing Classical Crossover. It's probably unfair to highlight one, but I did think Christina Johnston stole the show (after 42 minutes.)
Me, I'm listening to a brand new radio station, Caroline Community Radio. This is a new channel launched by Radio Caroline, which incidentally I believe is the oldest UK radioo station that is still broadcasting. Can be found on the internet on Tunein Radio, also I believe on FM in some parts of the country. Only doing test transmissions at the moment though, but it is good to hear. A bit like the early days of offshore, (pirate) radio, except that this one is legally registered.