“I get this feeling, I wanna be where you are.”
These lyrics, belted by none other than Hayla, helped create an instant classic. Now, with that voice heard around the world, Hayla—real name Hayley Williams—has just released a new solo single, “Fall Again.”
Williams hails from Liverpool, UK, and has traveled the world performing on stages in front of thousands. While many discovered her because of “Escape” by Kx5, she is far more than just a guest vocalist.
She is a singer, songwriter, and producer in her own right and she has been building the Hayla project on her own for over six years.
“Fall Again” dives into the stages of inner healing Williams has experienced, and tackles the self-doubt she has felt after feeling like she was completely healed after a breakup.
EDM Maniac had the chance to sit down with Williams and discuss her multifaceted career and what her next steps are moving forward:
EDM Maniac: People know you for singing on tracks produced by other artists, but you’re so much more. Can you give an overview of your experience in music?
Williams: I lived in Manchester in the UK. For some time, I did music up there, and I was involved in loads of different projects in different styles and genres as well. So I got used to writing for a plethora of different styles throughout my career.
Then I landed on doing EDM/house music and started writing top lines for that. I did work as a session vocalist as well in some aspects.
One day one of the tracks got heard by Example and he took me under his wing. Singing for me was always a passion from a really young age, but I was incredibly shy. It took me until I was a bit older to feel a bit more comfortable with singing.
EDM Maniac: A huge moment in your career was the release of “Escape” by Kx5 ft. you. What did you expect from this being the first single from this legendary new project?
Williams: It was written during the 2020 lockdown period and I think it probably resonates with so many people who wanted to escape from the situation we were in, literally.
We couldn’t have really anticipated how well it would have gone. Behind the scenes, we knew that they were creating some sort of supergroup, but we weren’t sure exactly which way they were gonna maneuver the single or where it was going to be positioned. I didn’t know until a little bit later on. It was quite amazing to be honest.
EDM Maniac: What was it like working with John Summit on “Where You Are”?
Williams: Oh, it was great. We actually did a lot of backwards and forwards, but I have to say it was probably the quickest turnaround of any track that I’ve ever had, from his side.
His team was so quick, It was only a couple of months, and then we had that finished product. It was a really nice, natural progression. It was incredibly easy to work with John, and the gigs that I’ve done with John so far have been incredible.
EDM Maniac: You performed with Kx5 at the LA Coliseum for the first electronic show back in over 10 years at that venue. What is it like to be a part of some iconic moments in the modern dance music era?
Williams: It’s a bit of a simulation. That sounds funny to say. You kinda comprehend it after the fact. You go through the motions. You just go on stage in front of how many people?
It was incredible. I was only doing the one track, so I was able to watch a lot of the shows myself. It’s quite emotional, actually, to be honest.
EDM Maniac: Artists who are known for singing on big tracks like yourself are sometimes only considered vocalists or singers in the music industry. What is your opinion on the current state of the music industry as an artist who might be categorized as just a singer but has more skills/knowledge beyond that?
Williams: I think it’s very short-sighted. There’s been a lot of chat about females within the industry, and also making sure that they get seen and heard and get their rights in the correct way, and also due credit in the right way.
I think the perception is “Oh, well, there’s just a figurehead singer, that’s all she’s done”. There are so many capable people behind the scenes who just don’t get the credit. I don’t know whether it’s because it has been a certain way for a long time or that people just think that’s the way it just is.
EDM Maniac: What can the industry do to properly recognize your talent and contributions?
Williams: Being honest, give credit where it’s due. Really rally for the people that have something to do with the product that you’ve all created, because, at the end of the day, it is most of the time a collaborative effort.
I think whether it becomes something; even if there was somebody who’s just [sang on it] and they didn’t even write it, they breathed a certain life into the track.
If they’ve actually done writing within it—those songs and those lyrics that are sung back by people in the audience—it’s kind of like having a baby, really.
When you have a song, it becomes like a child. We’ve all got to give it care. Everyone who’s given it a little bit of life deserves to feel like they have some ownership of it.
EDM Maniac: Take us through your new single, “Fall Again.” What is the story behind it?
Williams: I went through quite a massive breakup around COVID. You know, when you feel like you’re healed after the fact? But also, then you have a bit of a wobble if I see the person again?
It’s sort of going through the moments. You feel like you’re okay, but then it seeps back in at night. It’s all about finding myself. Regrowth.
When you build yourself back up, and then you think, “If I see that person again, will I actually crumble again, or will I be okay?” It’s that self-doubt after strength.
EDM Maniac: What would you like fans to know about you the most?
Williams: I suppose that I’ve found myself at a point in my life where I’m lucky to be doing the thing that I’m passionate about, and I think it took me a really long time to feel like it was possible.
I think a lot of people feel the same way, I think sometimes people end up feeling like they can’t do the things they really want to, and I think that there is always a possibility.
Sometimes there’s little glimmers. Even if you do it for yourself, find those moments. Surround yourself with people that you know love you and find your family. Even if it’s your friends.
Featured image provided by Hayla