Member Profile

Piper Hayes

Piper Hayes is a critically acclaimed international performer, singer, songwriter and dynamo. Her inspiration as an artist comes from her need to perform, to heal people through song, and to inspire change in herself and her audience. She is truly authentic and thrives in the spotlight. She has been known to say she feels more herself on stage than off. She is a one-woman party and her evocative yet powerful voice will take you to other dimensions. Captivating and contagious, power pours out of her when she sings.

She hesitates to define her music by a specific genre, but does agree to say, “folk is closest!” She states, “I hope to work towards a new genre of theatre/music/art/performance, where I will combine music, dance and performance to tell a story and engage the audience with all their senses.”

On October 14, 2016 Hayes released her second EP ‘Goodbye Mister Nice Guy’, which quickly rose to #3 on CFMU 93.3's charts and remained top 10 for the whole month. Produced by Dean Drouillard (Royal Wood, Justin Rutledge) at his Toronto studio, ‘Goodbye Mister Nice Guy’ (a concept album) plays in the order in which the songs were written and in which the stories took place in Hayes’ life.

The new EP is the follow-up to her 2014 Mike Schlosser produced (You Say Party! We Say Die!, Kendal Thompson) EP ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like...’, the title track of which was nominated in the top eight for Ontario Arts Council's 2016 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award; And her 2013 Ray Montford mastered (Shawna Caspi, Cris Cuddy) live album ‘Live in NYC’.

She considers voice her main instrument and in recent years has taken to combining her training as a vocalist with her background as an athlete, yoga instructor and personal trainer. She teaches what she calls “Vocal Empowerment”; A program that encompasses the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of voice. It’s intention to break down all bearers allowing the individual to discover blocks in their expression.

Locally she runs musical therapy based classes for Hamilton Adult Community Support Program, with a focus on inclusion. It is through music that she bridges the gap of communication across all abilities. She also uses contact education to give workshops on mental illness and well-being, and more recently, in association with the Canadian Mental Health Association gave presentations and workshops in schools and at conferences. In 2015 she began curating a monthly, site-specific community based music event that provides an immersive experience for the audience. Music combined with plant walks, BBQ’s, and discussions around emotional labour where all part of last years programming.

Her touring experience is extensive, and she always makes an effort to get out of big cities and into the heart of the smaller towns when she tours. Piper is often found at local pubs, with local people. It is this kind of grass roots community building that she is most passionate about. There’s no wonder Piper doesn’t call her followers fans, because they all become her friends in the community she is growing all over the world. From Edinburgh to Amsterdam, Vancouver to Halifax, New York to Toronto, she never shies from a challenge and strives to have her music heard, yet also be a driving force for social change.

Quote:
"I love people. I believe one of my keenest gifts is my ability to bring people together, to find a common ground. Music is a universal language, and I continue to learn how to use it with people from different places, experiences and backgrounds. My biggest wish in my lifetime is to help elevate the voices of those who are not heard. To raise people beyond where they thought was possible, and ultimately allow people to feel the love all around and within them. Music has this power and I simply am the vessel.” ~ Piper Hayes.


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

“The Harmonies in tandem with Carson Ritcey-Thorpe were spot on and Hayes went in search of the vulnerability and the hope in the songs, burnishing them to a shine via her forceful vocals and from the gut lyrics.”
- Lenny Stout, Cashbox Canada

“Piper Hayes is WAY too young to have been in the 60s folk scene but she sure sounds like she came straight out of it and its decorous outfall, kind of like a cross between Melanie Safka, Janis Ian, and a bunch of the time's chanteuses without ever seeming quite like any of them.”
- Mark S. Tucker, independent music blogger at the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

“This Toronto artist brings it all home….Sounds like: Some decade or many”
- Larry Lootsteen, independent music blogger at a Journal of Musical Things