Nashville based Singer/Songwriter Halley Neal takes us on a progressive ride with her upbeat single, "If I Was Ready."
Influenced by the music she grew up listening to, Halley Neal's work can be compared to Ms. Stevie Nicks' during her time with Fleetwood Mac.
After many notable collaborations and performances, Halley Neal has been working on her solo career since parting ways with her previous band Rose & Kennedy.
Her single "If I Was Ready" is the first time we hear Halley Neal in an upbeat track since leaving the group, and it's one of the most compelling pieces we've heard this year.
Halley Neal sings a passionate story within "If I Was Ready," and explains that if she were ready to receive love, it would play out like a movie scene. From the very first beat, we can feel this warm and loving atmosphere that showcases the growth Halley Neal has seen.
With groovy instrumentals from an entire band's sound, we can hear why Halley's music is often compared to Fleetwood Mac's. The supporting instrumentals deliver a light and warm feeling through each melody, while Halley Neal pours her heart out through textured lyricism. It isn't every day we hear such a poised and strong-standing artist, yet Halley Neal challenges this with a sophisticated and wise outlook on love. "If I Was Ready" brings us that passionate sensation of love, while Halley Neal goes into detail with each lyric and locks us into her authentic sound.
We're very excited to feature your latest passionate single "If I Was Ready." What overall message did you want to deliver with the track's lyricism?
Thank you!! I’m excited! “If I Was Ready” was brought to me by my writing partner, Suzie Buist, a few years ago while we were studying together at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Immediately I connected with it, we even recorded a studio version for a friend’s class (who is actually my current producer, Julie Papili!), but I didn’t revisit the song until this year and I am so happy that I did!! This song means a lot of things to me, and it’s meaning has changed as time has gone on. I think at the surface, this song bops and feels good to the listener, and that was exactly our intention when we produced it in this upbeat feel-good way. Looking deeper into the lyrics lets the true core of this song shine - touching on that feeling of knowing you’re not ready to commit yourself to someone, no matter how much you really wish you could.
Within your single "If I Was Ready," we're able to hear these nostalgic instrumental elements taking us back to the 60s and 70s. What inspired you to take this unique route with the instrumentals?
I grew up listening to music from the 1960s and 70s - Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac. I was craving a bit of a different sound with this song than the direction I went with my former band Rose & Kennedy, or even in my first two solo singles “Isn’t That What a Friend’s For?” and “So Damn Perfect.” I decided to lean into that vibe from the music I’ve listened to forever, and “If I Was Ready” really came to life in that way. The vibe of this song really feels like me, and I am very excited to share it!
You've collaborated with many notable acts/artists within your career. What have you learned from these experiences with professionals, and how did you transfer that knowledge into your career?
A collaboration that really stands out was when I was able to record a song for my upcoming album with Clay Cook. Clay co-wrote a bunch of the songs off of John Mayer’s first album and now plays guitar and tours with Zac Brown Band. He’s just a total class act, and so down to earth and easy to work with. Working with him and watching him produce one of my songs taught me so much about the importance of being humble. Clay is an amazing, amazing musician with a ton of credits under his belt, but he never made me or anyone else in the room feel like we were less of a musician or artist. Working with him was the next level, and it made me want to take on that kind of down-to-earth presence as a musician.
We've heard that you're now venturing onto your solo career after parting ways from your previous band Rose & Kennedy. Why did you decide to take this leap, and what do you want to do differently with your solo career?
Yes! I’ve gone solo! Rose & Kennedy was my band from college, co-headed by my writing partner who I talked about earlier, Suzie Buist. Suzie and I both relocated to Nashville after graduating from Berklee and write together frequently! My solo project is essentially an extension off of Rose & Kennedy that perfectly suits the directions that she and I have wanted to each go in for a while now - me taking on the artist's responsibilities and her taking on a writer's role. All of the songs on my upcoming record were either co-written with Suzie or written solely by her. With this new project came a lot of individual growth for myself both personally and as a musician. I feel like I’ve been finding my voice and my path as an artist now more than ever. The sound is certainly reminiscent of the ol’ Rose & Kennedy days, but it definitely leans a little bit more rock. I am SO excited to put out all of this music that we’ve been working on, and “If I Was Ready” is in my opinion the perfect culmination of this new voice and sound I’ve been finding.
What has been keeping you inspired throughout 2020?
spent 3 months of my quarantine with my parents and my grandmother back in my home state of Connecticut and it was equally as difficult to be cooped up as it was wonderful to spend that time with them. I draw so much inspiration from the strength of my parents and their parents as well as from the music that they love and encourage me to listen to. Even more recently, I, like many right now, have spent a lot of time acknowledging my privilege being a young white woman in America. I’m so inspired both musically and even more, personally, by my peers and others that I see standing up for black rights and trans rights and who I have learned so much from.