Charleston-raised singer-songwriter Haley Mae Campbell just released a new alt-country single, “Thank You Card.” This 23-year-old mover and shaker, who now calls Nashville home, told the City Paper she was first transfixed at a young age by the power of song.
“I grew up listening to a lot of rockabilly and Americana acts, like Alison Krauss and The Old 97’s, from the backseat of my parents’ station wagon,” she said. “I remember wondering how a voice so sweet and pure like Krauss’ could exist and feel like such a strong presence at the same time.”
Campbell recalled an impactful moment in her journey that led her to Nashville’s Music Row where she is currently regarded as a rising star: “I was driving around Charleston after just getting my license, listening to country radio when Kenny Chesney’s ‘Somewhere With You’ came on,” she said. “It was the first time I had heard such a compelling and ear-catching country song that brought me into the story. After that, I was hooked!”
After landing in Music City in 2017, Campbell took advantage of her new surroundings to forge alliances, build her brand and work on her songcraft. Her consistent output demonstrated just how much she had grown as an artist.
“What I’ve found is that the more honesty and detail you can deliver in a song, the more people will relate to it,” she said. “Even though every listener may not have been in that exact situation, the emotion and truth that comes through can make them feel like they’re right there with you, feeling every feeling.”
Things aren’t like they used to be on the business side of the music profession so Campbell said she has had to be dynamic in promoting her music.
“For the past few years, I’ve been putting out singles that allow me to foster a continuously growing connection with my fans,” she said. “In the age of TikTok and other digital media marketing, one song can change it all. That was the case for me with ‘Never Been in Love’ (a 2021 song that’s racked up nearly a half a million YouTube views). But I’m looking forward to putting together a project that can showcase some different sides of my voice and include songs that might not be traditionally singled out.”
Come what may, Campbell senses that for now she is right where she belongs.
“I’ve always said that success to me is writing, playing and releasing music full-time as my only occupation. With those terms, I’m currently living the dream. It’s important to remember that turning your art into a career is no small feat, and it is something to be appreciated and cherished every day.”
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