Hayley Jensen (AUS)
Hayley Jensen is an accomplished singer-songwriter based in Sydney, Australia, passionate about stirring the soul through music.
Hayley’s first taste of fame came after placing 4th in Australian Idol (2004) however, as many who followed her journey would recall, this outstanding achievement didn’t come on a silver platter. After being turned back from her first audition in her hometown of Canberra, she travelled to Sydney, determined to try again and make her mark. This time around she wowed the judges to earn a place in the Top 24 where she performed Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Angel’ and was subsequently voted through to the Top 12 by the Australian public. Week after week Hayley fought for her place in the competition, holding her ground until the final 4 and securing her place in the hearts of millions of viewers across the country.
“Making music and performing is all I ever wanted to do. As far back as I can remember I was always whistling, harmonizing and making up melodies. I grew up listening mostly to Country-pop music like Shania Twain, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, and my parents’ favourites, Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles, but I loved all types. I dreamed that one day I would be the superstar in the music video shows and got up early every weekend to watch them and imagine it was me. Then a little show called Idol emerged, and ignited a fire within.”
Since Idol, she has worked tirelessly and forged a successful career in the music industry. From starting her own label, performing for the Prime Minister, mentoring aspiring artists in the Solomon Islands, to entertaining coalition forces in the Middle East with the Australian Defence Force, she has certainly covered some ground! Not to mention the thousands of shows and high profile corporate gigs she’s performed at or hosted across the country.
Over the past decade or so, Hayley has worked with some of the top producers in music, and in 2006 released her debut EP ‘Alive’ which hit #2 in Australian Independent Records (AIR) charts & #20 on the ARIA Australasian Singles charts. Hayley’s debut album ‘Note to Self’, was brought to life by an ARIA & Golden Guitar winning producer and released in 2007.
Follow up singles ‘Stronger’ & ‘Waste Away’ both experienced successful national radio campaigns and the music videos were broadcast nationally on ‘Video Hits’ and ‘Rage’ music TV shows.
In 2011 Hayley worked with award winning producer Lindsay Rimes at SongRimes Studio (Timomatic, Reece Mastin, Stan Walker, Madden Brothers – Benji & Joel) to produce an EP with band, Seasons, called ‘A Moment of Clarity’ released independently later that year. Track 4, a haunting ballad called ‘From Dust’, was later featured on TV1’s promotion for ‘Law & Order’. Her next release with band ‘Silver Cities, called ‘Lights’ saw life in early 2013, broadcast a number of times during the AFL on Channel 7, it also won them a coveted MusicOz – Australian Independent Music Award.
In 2014, Hayley auditioned for The Voice Australia, making an unforgettable return to the small screen. Will.i.Am described her rendition of Zoe Badwi’s ‘Freefallin’ as ‘flawless’ and Kylie Minogue described Hayley as ‘the whole package’.
“I have grown so much as an artist since Idol and really wanted an opportunity to share that with people – to reconnect with fans and friends from that time (remember there was no Facebook then!), and to hopefully make some new fans along the way!”
The performance and what was to follow dominated mainstream media for the next week, with Joel Maddens impressive ‘free-fall’ from his spinning coaches chair all over the news across the globe. Hayley joined Team Kylie and even had coaching advice from superstar Katy Perry on the next ‘Battle Round’ performance of ‘Roar’. Although not giving up without a fight, Hayley graciously bowed out of the competition at this stage. The YouTube video for her performance of ‘Freefallin’ has now amassed almost 2 million views and deemed the #1 chair turn of all time on the show.
Toward the end of 2015, Hayley knew it was time. She sat down with her piano and began writing from her heart once more. An experience that guided her back to her Country roots.
Returning to work with her very first producer, Matt Fell, Hayley recorded her second solo album, and released her first solo single in 8 years, ‘The One’ at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Performing a number of shows at her first ever TCMF, including supporting the legendary James Blundell, Hayley was also a Finalist in Toyota Starmaker, previously won by country superstar Keith Urban.
‘The One’ gained serious traction on country radio stations across the nation, reaching #1 on the Australian Country Radio Charts. The happy, summery music video accompanying the track continued to move up the Country Music Chanel’s Top 40 charts for 5 months after its initial release, proving that Hayley has found great support and a loyal home for her new music in the Australian music industry.
Hayley’s follow up single, ‘I’ll Always Love You’ was co-written with Nashville based, #1 Billboard charting songwriter, Phil Barton, and digitally released on the 3rd June, her Father’s birthday, in memory of him. Hayley’s Dad sadly and suddenly passed away from a rare type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma only two months earlier, and Hayley had cared for him during this time.
“He loved my music and was my biggest supporter. He always thought I should have more success than I’ve had so far. I just want to continue to make him proud, and to prove him right!”
The beautiful love song roared up the iTunes Country charts on the night of its release to reach #2, second only to Keith Urban’s commercial smash hit ‘Fighter’.
Hayley has since been invited to become an Ambassador for the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund, an honour that she is incredibly proud of.
Hayley’s next solo album ‘Past Tense and Present Peace’ was released in February 2017 and debuted as #1 on the iTunes album chart.
“The songs on‘Past Tense & Present Peace’ are incredibly personal to me. Often, in the past, I’ve written about something/someone else or a hypothetical situation, but these songs are all from a very raw and honest place. They are my stories. To be truthful, it’s really quite scary putting them out there in the big wide world. I feel extremely vulnerable, but I know that the experiences I’ve been through and the lessons I’ve learned are not just for me. As a singer-songwriter, I feel a responsibility to share these stories and hopefully resonate enough to connect, help and inspire others.”
Hayley’s work in the country music field has been rewarded with a Southern Stars ‘Rising Female Artist’ Award and a Top 5 finalist position at the 2018 Country Music Channel (CMC) Awards for ‘New Artist of the Year’.
Off the back of these outstanding achievements, Hayley has also signed with Social Family Records with whom she has released her brand-new album ‘Turning Up The Dial’ in May 2018. The album was the 3rd highest selling Australian Country Album according to ARIA, and the 2nd highest selling digital album on iTunes Country charts, amongst the esteemed company of country icons, Keith Urban and Kasey Chambers. ‘Turning Up The Dial’ also hit #16 in the ARIA Australian Albums (all genre) Charts.
In a recent review by Country Music Capital News it was said, “Hayley Jensen takes it up a notch in this album. It’s country pop vibes reflect the vivacious and charismatic nature of this established artist and showcases her superior vocal talents.”
Produced in Nashville USA with Grammy Award winning producer, Jamie Tate at The Rukkus Room, the album features some of the finest musicians in the world, including electric guitarist Jeff King (Reba McEntire, Faith Hill), drummer Tommy Harden (Kip Moore, Blake Shelton) keys player David Dorn (Rascal Flatts, Lauren Alaina, Kelsea Ballerini) and acoustic guitarist Pat McGrath (Eric Paslay, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan).
Hayley launched ‘Turning Up The Dial’ at a jam-packed launch tour across the south east coast of Australia before heading to Manchester in the UK to perform as a headline international act at Buckle & Boots Country Music Festival, where her song ‘Summertime Soundtrack’ has since been dubbed the official festival soundtrack. At the festival, Hayley performed alongside popular international acts such as American Young (US), Filmore (US), Jenn Bostic (US) and The Wandering Hearts (UK).
Hayley has been embraced by the genre that inspired her as a child – where she feels most ‘at home’ personally, vocally and as a songwriter. In the past 2 years, Jensen has release five hit singles, with music videos appearing daily on Foxtel’s CMC. Each release has charted higher than the previous, with her last two singles lifted from her new album – ‘Summertime Soundtrack’ and ‘Saturday Night’ – featuring heavily within CMC and KIX Country rotations. ‘Summertime Soundtrack’ was added to the ‘Fresh Country’ playlist on Spotify, and ‘Aussie Country’ and ‘Pure Country’ playlists on Apple Music accumulating over 150,000 streams across platforms.
The year has seen an influx of new country fans connecting with Hayley and her music on social media, with her online following more than tripling across major digital platforms. This following has been nurtured in real life through stellar performances on the festival circuit across Australia, and abroad.
Hayley released her third single of the album, titled ‘Forever Wont Be Long Enough’ in August 2018. The song was co-written by Hayley and hit country songwriter, Jerry Salley (USA) especially for her wedding day, which features in the music video.
“Our wedding day was a private gathering of our closest friends and family, however as it was such an important milestone, I really wanted to share it with my extended family – my supporters – who’ve been such a big part of my life also, allowing me the privilege of continued success in my music career through all of life’s ups and downs. I hope everyone that watches the video and hears ‘Forever Won’t Be Long Enough’ feels the love that Kris and I feel for each other, and is moved by the words and sentiment of the song.”
The fourth single from Turning Up the Dial, This Love, was released in November 2018.
Buy Turning Up The Dial on digital or CD here: http://smarturl.it/Get-TurningUpTheDial
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