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INTERVIEW: SPOTLIGHT WITH HALLE KEARNS

Meeting Halle Kearns would be one of the high spots for #TEAMw21 across the whole C2C 2024 weekend. Having supported her from her very first single, we've watched her take a very singular path, her songs don't sound like anyone else, her subject matter is also both varied and socially aware, she can do a break up song but she'll also call you up to check how you are feeling. There are themes, conscious or unconscious that run through her material that gave us an idea of what she might be like in person but nothing is quite the same as spending time with them.


SPOTLIGHT WITH HALLE KEARNS

#TEAMw21 managed to catch Halle on both the Barrelhouse and ICON stages, this little powerhouse would prove to be a fearless performer, playing on her own for a start, no additional backing guitarist like many of the performers, she was unafraid to debut new material, in fact quite the opposite, she was proud and eager to show it off and once head it was easy to see why. Her confidence and stage presence, easily able to converse with the crowd and get them to work at her her command all pointed to a real class act.


We would meet in the artists rest room which by Sunday afternoon had emptied considerably and allowed us to dip into a number of subjects. Halle dressed as shown opposite in her jeans and country shirt would prove to be great company as we rolled back the years and reveal why she made such an impact on us.


If there was to be one teeny tiny fault with Halle it was to prove to be her grasp of UK time - where she would ask if anyone had been affected by the clocks changing - only to find out that they in fact hadn't!!


#TEAMw21 - We heard about your time difference problem earlier - ( in fairness to Halle the US had indeed changed their hours overnight - it was just that the UK hadn't)


Halle - That is so funny


SPOTLIGHT WITH HALLE KEARNS

#TEAMw21 - We picked up on your very first single "Pick Me Up" and discovering you was probably one of the only good things about the Covid times. Your single immediately stood out as being something different - Why would you choose to launch your career at that time?


Halle - Do you know because I had been playing out for so long. I'd been recording material for a few months and playing for nearly four years and I was finally in the studio, finally ready to release and then Covid happened. I was sitting on all this music and we have no idea when this thing is going to be over, we'd hit like May I think at that point and I thought we are just going to go ahead and release this anyway. I'm so glad I did in the end.


#TEAMw21 - In some ways it was a masterstroke as everyone was at home needing something new to listen to and all had the time to search for something new.


Halle - I forced them to find me - an accidental great marketing tactic!!


#TEAMw21 - The debut single in may ways set out a blueprint of themes that permeate through your repertoire - That acoustic sound for a start - even on the bigger production numbers the original starting point can always be heard if you listen carefully enough. They also avoid the trend for click tracks and electronica.


Halle - I think it's a sonic preference for me, I play guitar as my first and favourite instrument, so I feel that has a strong theme in my songs. I typically write to a guitar, I love the sound of it and it is what I grew up listening to. That 90's country that has so much of that tone all throughout it so when I started creating music it's just the sound that fell out!


#TEAMw21 - The other thing that got established on that first single is your working ethic - You're working 9 - 5 and overtime. We called you a Country Springsteen for your ability to evoke the spirit of the working man or woman


Halle - Smiles, and pulls an "Aw shucks face" and laughs - won't let it go to my head!! I appreciate that. You work at a job , do music on the side as a hobby or out of love and then music does something and it becomes your job, you can't just forget about your earlier job


#TEAMw21 It also helps build a bridge between you and all those folk who are slaving 9 to 5.


Halle - Exactly


#TEAMw21 - Family is also a recurring theme whether you are sitting next to your Mum in Church for "I Drink Whiskey" and your Dad in "Big Shoes To Fill"


Hale - They are everything to me - I have 3 sisters so a lot of energy, emotions and personality is probably the best words to describe it. When we eat together is my favourite thing in the whole world. We're starting to multiply 3 sisters and now 3 nephews and then my Mum and Dad - It is so much fun getting together for the holidays. My baby sister made it with me to the first week of Europe (the German & Dutch C2C's) - she traded out with my husband. My baby sisters name is London - she only got to London for a day!


#TEAMw21 - When we first covered you had about 300-1000 followers and now it's 75,000 and 7 million stream which probably makes about $20. Are you surprised how rapidly this has all happened


Halle - I had 14 cents in my checking account!! It is funny as it doesn't feel rapid at all - There's obviously been parts where I can't believe this is happening - I live day to day hour to hour so it doesn't feel quite as extreme as it may seem from watching the numbers rack up. Honestly I have no idea what is going on - I'm so grateful to have one person listening to my music - it's been a crazy couple of years.


#TEAMw21 - Your music I guess has reached all corners of the globe - 60 countries


Halle - That is indeed crazy, even with "Pick Me Up" to find out people in the UK were listening to my songs was amazing - How are these real people listening to my music?


#TEAMw21 - And they've been singing your lyrics back to you over the weekend


Halle - I've never even set foot in this continent before - it is insane - and so to come here and see the faces follow me from stage to stage is amazing.


#TEAMw21 - Do you enjoy the video aspect of your songs?


Halle - That is one of my favourite parts, I'm a very visual person , whenever I hear a song I always relate it to some imagery in my head - whether someone is describing flowers in their song, I'll picture what kind of flowers they are. So whenever I write a song i always have visuals in my brain about what I think it looks like and I love to make into real life so that I can show people "this is what I think of". This next song coming out, I'm so excited about the visuals - I cannot wait. The whole writing, recording and releasing process takes so long that the video just takes you out into a whole new element.




SPOTLIGHT WITH HALLE KEARNS

#TEAMw21 - Another theme running through your work is care for others and mental health - like in "Do You Feel OK?" - It's clearly important to you.


Halle - ( Becomes serious ) It's huge - I'm someone who has struggled anxiety throughout my life - I feel like i'd be super unauthentic if I didn't touch on it in my stories and my songs, f I didn't address it to people that feel and think like me, worry like me.


#TEAMw21 - Do you get lots of feedback?


Halle - Oh yeah! - those are the ones I think I connect deepest with people on. It's a very vulnerable part of anyone and when you can connect on the parts that hurt to talk about - you have a different type of bond than you know the ones about whiskey - which I love too but there's a space and a time.!


SPOTLIGHT WITH HALLE KEARNS

#TEAMw21 - The current single "High School Friends" we know it is not one that you wrote but we can sense there's a lot in there that you must identify with. Not suggesting all of it, but there must be some elements that are close to home.


Halle - My first outside cut, I ( pauses for a few seconds ) - Actually all of it other than the time frame I'm not 10 years out of High School but creeping up on it, I heard that song and I was stopped in my tracks, it's one of those songs that once you hear it you thing dang I wish I'd written that. I had the opportunity for my audience to hear this song that otherwise may not be heard - it was an honour to even be considered to cut something like this - I love the song, I admire the writers on it and it is that same vulnerable honest thing that I can either to rewrite in a song that makes you feel the same way or give this song a life. The songwriting community is so great for that.


#TEAMw21 - There must be that pressure to always appear happy and successful and that everything is fine.


Halle - Yeah we get told "Fake it till you make it" all the time from the moment you pick up a guitar. It's not real like any industry there's so many ups and so many downs. It's how you find you trajectory by going through the little lulls that get you where you are going. You can't appreciate those highs without a little bit of the lows as well. That's why moments like C2C are so special you can slow down and appreciate the hard work that got you here - I got emotional yesterday on stage yesterday because I was looking out and there were people from across the world singing my lyrics and that is a feeling I couldn't do anything with it just started coming, I didn't know how to process it and I couldn't get through the song - they finished it for me. You have to hold on to those moments.


SPOTLIGHT WITH HALLE KEARNS

#TEAMW21 - "High School Friends" is part of your next project - a 6 track EP in the summer?


Halle - YEEESSSS!!! I have a new single coming Friday - "Homemade Margaritas" and an EP in June - It's called "Quarter Life Crisis" and it is indeed 6 songs.


#TEAMw21 - One of our artists Kezia Gill has just released a song called "Quarter Life Crisis" with Ward Thomas


Halle - NO! Oh my gosh - no way - I need to hear this!


After hearing a little snippet of Kezia Gill and Ward Thomas singing


Halle - That's awesome - that's so great it makes me so like it.


#TEAMw21 - So it's going to be interesting to see how you interpret a quarter life crisis.


Halle - It's actually just the title of the EP not an actual track but collectively they interpret what my quarter life crisis looks like - the highs the lows!!


#TEAMw21 - Another fascinating thing about you is that you live on a boat! How does that happen?


Halle - I do! ( laughs ) If you have a weird creative husband and he says "I want to live on a boat". I was dating him at the time and he was looking for an affordable fun way to live in Nashville as apartments are so expensive. He was tired of paying rent but couldn't afford a house yet and so said about the boat. He's lived in Jacksonville Florida for a while and that's where he'd had the idea. He looked into how much boats cost, found one that he loved in West Nashville.


#TEAMw21 - You give a whole tour on Instagram


Hall - It's from the 90's, it's all pink and teal inside and I'm all about it. It's super retro and so fun


#TEAMw21 - We sit and watch the "Tiny House" programme


Halle - ( jaw drops) Me too! - They're interviewing us - We're going to be on it!!! We're doing it some time in June. I can't believe you said that! I have more clothes than I know what to do with - We had to change a whole bedroom into a closet to make it fit.


#TEAMw21 - One question we should ask for your expectant UK fans - Are there any plans to come back to the UK?


Halle - My Manager is already on it - We haven't even left and I'm saying "when are we returning?" because I want to live here.!! Thanks you so much for supporting me.



SPOTLIGHT WITH HALLE KEARNS

Halle's brand new music video for "Homemade Margaritas" is out now!!






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