Hailey Livingston is a 26 year old artist, born and raised in L.A. highly passionate about the music industry, she quit her job working as an Emergency Dispatcher, saving lives just 3 years ago, to pursue her music endeavours. In 2017 she began performing poetry at Da Poetry Lounge on Fairfax and often expressed her frustrations with men and dating. After going through a complicated romantic relationship she began writing her first album "CLAP BACK".
Hailey Livingston released her single titled “Porcupine Pleasures” featuring the very talented rapper, Alexander Watson, who adds his male perspective on this lyrical masterpiece. This record comes from the mesmerizing album, “Clap Back” , in which gives you the themes of love, relationships, disappointments, power dynamics, and finding the silver lining. “Porcupine Pleasures” was a beautiful piece. It begins with Hailey singing her version of how she believes the story is going. She gives an authentic point of view from a woman's true emotion. This led to Alexander delivering an addicting rap, giving a light-hearted battle of the sexes, yet instead of competing against each other, and separating the stories, they intertwine. This unique fusion created a gorgeous dimension to the record. “Porcupine Pleasures” is a song many people can relate themselves to. It was strategically written, and meticulously arranged, and we loved every bit of it. Hailey Livingston created an album that is so thought-provoking, and profoundly beautiful, where records like “Porcupine Pleasures” fits right in smoothly like the connection of a puzzle piece.
Listen to "Porcupine Pleasures" here and get to know more about Hailey Livingston below!
Hi Hailey! It's great to chat with you. Tell us about the challenges you’ve faced while creating “Porcupine Pleasure” ?
The process of creating “PORCUPINE PLEASURE” definitely took the longest out of any of the song off my album. I initially wrote the song and recorded it solo with my producer Brendan Moore AKA Ferguson. After finishing and recording the entire album “CLAP BACK” I decided I wanted a rap verse on “PORCUPINE PLEASURES”. The subject matter of my whole album is my true experience of falling in love with someone and things not working out. Every song helped me heal and get my frustrations about the situation out in a healthy artistic way. I had planned for a rapper from Brooklyn NY to do the verse and we had everything ready to go but I had a change of heart at the last minute. I decided that I wanted the person who I was actually talking about on the album to have his perspective and words represented as well so I reached out to Alexander Watson to speak his side. I didn’t want some random rapper speaking on a situation that was true in my life and wanted to give him the opportunity to speak his truth since I had spoken mine. It also just so happens that Alexander Watson is an incredibly talented artist. We knocked out his verse in two studio sessions and shot the music video in 4 hours. It was a very interesting but good experience putting the past aside to create with the actual person that I was venting about on the album. I consider him a dear friend and am very glad we got to work together. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way. “PORCUPINE PLEASURES” ended up being one of my favorite songs on the album and my favorite music videos that we made for the project.
Knowing that your album “CLAP BACK” has a meaning behind it all, how does Porcupine Pleasure fit into the storyline?
Before making music I was an actress and wrote screenplays. I wanted the album to be formatted like a script. The album is a complete story of my real experience during that time in my life. On the first song “MEET CUTE” I talk about that instant connection when you first meet someone special. In film and TV the term meet-cute is a scene in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time. Typically a staple of all romantic films. The meet-cute frequently leads to a humorous clash of personalities or a wild situation that ultimately brings the two characters together. The second song on the album is “PORCUPINE PLEASURES”, where I introduce the two characters and the conflict begins between them. The middle portion of the album is the climax where I vent and let it all out expressing my frustrations and sadness with being let down not just by this one man but also by all the others who came before. I was just plain sick and tired of BS and nothing was going to hold me back from speaking my mind. The 7th song on the album is “DANGEROUS” where Alexander Watson becomes the main focus lyrically and I am featured reversing the leading roles. Next in “WINDOWS” I talk about realizing how special it is in life to meet someone who can see into your soul, however sometimes you have to let that go and move forward. The 2nd to last song, “ELEGY” is a tribute to my amazing grandpa Ben. For the majority of the album I am extremely angry with men and express it with little sympathy but after writing so much about being unhappy with men I realized that my favorite person on this planet is a man, my grandpa who deserves nothing but respect. Lastly is “MORNING GLORY”, an upbeat song about finding yourself again and just having a good ass day with or without a man. I personally grew so much throughout the process of writing each song and feel very much at peace with how everything turned out. The anger and sadness experienced when your heart is broken can be so overwhelming and negative but this project helped me forgive and create something beautiful from the mess. It was a true refection of my personal experience in the form of music and visuals.
In what ways do the title of the song, reflect its meaning?
The title of the song “PORCUPINE PLEASURES” was originally “PORCUPINE PLEASURES & STORMY WEATHER” but the producer and I found ourselves just calling it “PORCUPINE PLEASURES” every time we worked on it in the studio so we decided to shorten it. My friends call me Stormy or Storm as a nickname so when I say the lyric “This is Stormy weather”, I am referencing my nickname and also saying that this is a rough patch in a relationship. Every song title on the album has a meaning behind it but for this one in particular I was focusing on the contrast of pain and pleasure that is often involved in love and relationships. A porcupine is sharp and dangerous which I thought was very fitting. I was also inspired by animals for 3 different song titles on the album. “PORCUPINE PLEASURES”, “CRICKETS”, and “CHEETAHS”. In the music video for “PORCUPINE PLEASURES” I wore over 100 real porcupine quills in my hair for one of the shots and they are definitely sharp and dangerous. I poked myself a few times while shooting. In both my lyrics and Alexander Watson’s we express our experiences with pleasure and pain. We mixed the blissful feelings with the reality of disagreements and dissapointments.
Out of all the songs off your album, which is your personal favorite and why?
I’m not just saying this because “PORCUPINE PLEASURES” is the main focus of this review but it is genuinely one of my favorite songs on the album. It was a very personal track to me and it turned out exactly how I imagined it in my head. Also shooting the video was a lot of fun and a day I will never forget. It all starts with the heart of the song which in my opinion is the beat. I created all the beats for my album myself and was entranced by the sounds immediately. I could just listen to the music with no vocals on repeat but also love what we created lyrically for the track. It felt like the puzzle piece to the album and really completed my vision for the project. Alexander Watson’s contributions to “PORCUPINE PLEASURES” and “DANGEROUS” gave the album a different dynamic other than just a heart broken girl venting about men for 11 songs. Having a man included on the project really made it whole.
What’s next for you, Hailey?
I feel so optimistic for the future and feel very inspired to create more music. My initial concept for “CLAP BACK” was to do a full visual album with a music video for every song. I ended up making 5 music videos that I produced/directed and edited myself. The videos are all now on YouTube and I hope for my next project that I am able to make a full visual album. I have always loved film and have created many short film over the years. In 2017 I made a short film involving my poetry called “TICK TOCK” that was featured in a few film festivals in LA. I am also excited to collaborate with more artist and evolve my sound. I don’t want to repeat myself so I am always looking for new ways to grow as an artist. I am very excited to do some live shows this summer. Being on stage is such a different experience than being in the studio and I feel very free in that space. I just can’t wait to create more because every time I do I grow immensely as a person and that is the overall goal. To grow as a person using art.
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