Haiz interview al

Haiz says hello: Exclusive interview with Hailee Steinfeld

Since the performance that earned her an Oscar nomination in True Grit (2010), we’ve seen Hailee Steinfeld grow up in front of our very eyes. But she’s no typical Hollywood child actor-turned-out-alright type, what’s with her plan to perfect both acting and singing (these, for her, are not mutually exclusive gigs), chart climber singles and Platinum first EP. During her trip to meet the fans and reconnect with her heritage in Manila last month, we got to talk to the Fil-Am superstar a bit about her music, influences and the two worlds she’s having the best of right now.

Your new EP is entitled Haiz. What does Haiz mean? How did you come up with this unique title?

Haiz is actually a nickname given to me by my fans a couple years ago now. It really started to catch on when I released “Love Myself” and obviously the EP came soon after that so I felt that in naming the EP Haiz, it would feel as though my fans named it for me, and, along with that, it’s a gift from me to them.

©Universal Music Philippines for AsiaLive365

Do you have a favourite song on Haiz?

I don’t know if I have a favourite song on the EP. They all are very personal to me and I love them all equally. Right now, though, I will say, with “Rock Bottom” featuring DNCE, the song might just be my favourite at the moment. It’s existed with me alone on it when the EP first released, and having DNCE on it now has really added a whole new element to the song. Not that I ever felt like the song was missing anything to begin with but it really does feel complete now.

Are there any other artists you’d like to collaborate with?

I would love to work with Alessia Cara, Troye Sivan and Meghan Trainor. I would love to write with them and collaborate with them. I think they’re incredible. I would also love to work with Justin Timberlake. Gosh, I’ve obviously got a lot of work to do!

Hailee Steinfeld's debut EP Haiz (2015)
Hailee Steinfeld’s debut EP Haiz (2015)

You’ve said that “Hell Nos & Headphones” is inspired by Alessia Cara’s “Here”. It’s natural for people your age to enjoy partying and having a good time but you are singing about the opposite. Tell us more about the song and what inspired the message behind it.

The song was actually inspired by the experience that I had not too long ago. One thing that stood out to me about the whole song – not necessarily being about singing about having a great time, that’s not what the song is about – is that it’s really about not feeling like you have to conform to a certain behaviour to fit in or to feel cool. It’s about being okay about the fact that you can get up and walk out of the situation that you feel uncomfortable in.

Who are your musical influences?

I have quite a few musical influences. I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock and a little bit of R&B so there’s quite a lot of musicians that I’m influenced by – from The Eagles to Boyz II Men, to Stevie Wonder and James Taylor, that whole side of things. With my music now, I’m influenced by them lyrically rather than sonically. I think lately I’ve been able to pull from what I grew up listening to a lot during my sessions in the studio. And from a lot of what is out now, too. Alessia Cara is one of my favourite artists, so are Meghan Trainor, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. They’re definitely some of my musical influences.

What are the top ten songs on Hailee Steinfeld’s playlist?

Oh my God, I don’t even know if I can choose! I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I can say Justin Bieber’s album Purpose has been on repeat. I love that album on so many levels. I love so many of the people he worked with on that album. I’m obsessed with Rihanna’s [Anti] and Drake’s two new songs (“One Dance” and “Pop Style”) that are on Apple Music right now. They’re pretty damn cool! Yeah, those are the main things I’m listening to right now.

©Universal Music Philippines for AsiaLive365

You are a singer, actress, model and all-round celebrity. What are the similarities or differences of these jobs?

The main similarity of what I know from acting and singing now is the gruelling schedule! That’s definitely the main similarity. And one of the main differences, I would say, is the paces that they move at. Movies can take years to make while music is so much more immediate, from being in a studio to coming with an idea that turns into a song, if not an entire album, then touring the world and performing live in front of people and getting that instant live reaction you don’t get with movies. I’d say that’s one of the main differences.

Hailee Steinfled out in Manila, April 9, 2016 ©CelebMafia
Hailee Steinfled out in Manila, April 9, 2016 ©CelebMafia

You have accomplished so much at a very young age, how do you keep yourself grounded?

I owe a lot to my friends and family for keeping my grounded. They’re definitely my rock so any time I need to be reminded why I’m doing what I’m doing, I always go to them. My fans, too, constantly remind me why I’m doing what I’m doing. I think it’s important to remember the real reason because it’s easy to get carried away with certain things. It’s nice to be reminded why I set out to do these things. And that’s because I love them.

Is there anything else you haven’t done and would like to try?

I would really love the opportunity to sing in more movies. I obviously love singing and acting so much to the point that I don’t see myself doing one and not the other, and I will continue to do both but any time I get the opportunity to do both at the same would be quite a dream.

Lastly, tell us one secret about Hailee Steinfeld.

I’m obsessed with socks and avocados. Socks and avocados. They make a great combinations. If there were avocados on socks I would wear them all the time (laugh). I’m so loopy!

©Universal Music Philippines for AsiaLive365

Stream or download Haiz now on iTunes.





Let me know what’s up!

Be up to date of the news and events from Asia Live 365