Music Revisisted - Hailey Cramer

Music Revisisted - Hailey Cramer

She featured on the smash hit collaboration ‘The Festival Song’ with rapper Pez, knocked audiences away performing with the likes of Michael Franti, 360, Mark Levine, The Getaway Plan and Blue King Brown, all the while exploring and refining with her own sound. With the release of her self-titled debut EP, Hailey Cramer has sculpted a remarkable sonic landscape that reflects some aspects of her musical journey to date, but also reveals her eclectic musical inspirations and aspirations. Here, she revisits the music from her childhood for us...

Neil Sedaka
'Little Devil'

I started singing lessons at the age of seven. After my parents were encouraged by my grade two teacher Mr. Wong to put me into singing lessons, I was enrolled into Johnny Young Talent School. A couple of months passed and my mum asked me if I wanted to take part in the Johnny Young talent competition; I don’t think I really knew what I was getting into but I was excited. The song I was learning in class was ‘Little Devil’ by Neil Sedaka so that was an obvious choice for the comp. I became obsessed with trying to make it sound perfect.

My whole entire family was nervous and excited about me competing in my first competition. As soon as I signed up to take part, my mother started sewing a dress for me. It was a red tartan dress that went past my knees with white lace at the hem and a red bow that tied up at the back. My cousin who was working at a hat shop at that time got me a red beret to go with it.

My uncle came over a couple of times to help me choreograph some moves to the song. I remember performing the song to him in my lounge with my backing track and my plastic mic my dad got me to practice with. After the suggestion from my uncle to include a spin when I sang “got me in a whirl”, I then performed the song again to him with that move included. Not taking into account the lead attached to the end of the mic, I did my spin and tangled myself in the chord and fell flat on my face. The spin was promptly taken out of my choreographed moves.

The day had come. The competition day. My aunty had come to my house the night before to put my hair in hair rolls so I can have some curls for my big day. When I got to the venue, I remember looking around at the other contestants and mum and I were amazed at their outfits and that they all had make-up on. My mum quickly grabbed the red lipstick she had in her handbag and drew a dash on each cheek and little bit on my lips. She then rubbed my cheeks till the lipstick was evenly distributed and looked like blush.

I remember getting nervous backstage waiting for my turn to sing. Some other students told me that this boy Kevin was probably going to win because he was the best singer and dancer at the school in my age group. I knew who he was straight away. He was doing all kinds of crazy stretches in his scarecrow outfit. He had a pretty awesome costume. He had straw coming out of everywhere! He was going to sing 'If I Only Had A Brain' from The Wizard of Oz. Kevin performed just before me. He was pretty good. He even did a cartwheel during his song. Then it was my turn.

I pretty much nailed it to tell you the truth. I did all the moves I practiced, minus the spin, and…I won.


Hailey Cramer's self-titled debut EP is out now.
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