Hailey Clarkʾs favourite quote about music is: “Music is not what I do, but who I am”, an adequate description of this friendly blonde pop singer.
The Afrikaans singer recently released her first official album, Hailey Clark – Deurmekaar (in collaboration with Son Records).
The first English single, I Should’ve Followed You – a duet with Lee Scott – was well-received by radio stations and has already been featured on the popular kykNET music programme, JAM. She also appeared on various television programs such as Jukebox, kykNET Top 20 and SABC Morning Live. Her first Afrikaans was released during 2016 and can be heard on many radio stations nationwide.
Sonet Angelique du Plessis’ (better known as Hailey Clark) musical adventure started when she was only five years old. When a music school opened in her hometown of Christiana, she and her sister were immediately fired up to take up music lessons. It was here that her passion for music ignited and soon after she started participating in competitions (Supersterre, Solis vir Christus, Spontaan and the Afri-Visie Liedjieskryfkompetisie), and performing at churches, functions and festivals (KKNK). She also took dance- and guitar lessons and further qualified herself in music by completing her Grade 5 piano examination in Music Theory and Practical through Unisa. Sonder dat jy weet, Net ek en jy and Ek soek jou my baby, tracks that she recorded in her personal capacity, received very positive feedback on the internet and have also been heard on the radio.
Her debut album can mainly be classified as Afrikaans pop with an electro-sound, and it is a lot more upbeat than the music she sang in the past. “The main purpose of the album is for listeners to have fun when they listen to it. There is a couple of deeper songs but nothing too serious,” Hailey shares enthusiastically. “All the songs are new, fresh and of international standard and were a team effort by myself, Douw Steyn, Herman Steyn and William de Bruin of Son Records. It also features two English duets with an acoustic rock vibe, with Dehan von Solms and Lee Scott.” The CD consists of twelve tracks, specially formulated to compliment her soothing voice. The production team wanted to select music that fans could relate to and Hailey believes that Deurmekaar, Stop die Tyd, Myne Maar Hy’s Mal, As die Merkies Blou Gaan, Stay and Tien uit Tien will be very popular.
Besides the amazing writers and artists she worked with on her album, Hailey also did a lot of opening acts during the past two years for the some of the biggest artists in the country like Steve Hofmeyr, ADAM, Joe Foster, Jan Rhaap, Anton Botha and many more. She also met a lot of people while travelling the whole of South-Africa. When asked who inspires her most in the industry, she says: “I enjoy a wide variety of music – country, gospel and blues, pop, rock, classical music and a big variety of Afrikaans music, include Juanita du Plessis, Andriëtte, Anna Davel, Jan Blohm, Spoegwolf, Bouwer Bosch and Elvis Blue.” She also has a lot of respect for international music producers such as Max Martin and Zedd, because they have worked with some of the most influential pop artists in the world and her album can identify with this. She would love to record a song with Brendan Peyper, with whom she performed while they were still in school.
When she’s not busy conquering hearts on stage, she studies drama at Kovsies in Bloemfontein. She admits that if she wasn’t a singer she would still have liked to be in the entertainment business one way or another – either by being an actor or a make-up artist. “My dream is to keep on doing what I love, to grow in my career and to make my debut on the silver screen in an Afrikaans film. I would also like to master another instrument and keep on writing songs. I am inspired by the beauty and the pain of love. Through writing I share my feelings and experiences. If it can help or inspire someone else, it will all be worth it,” she says.
Hailey Clark’s new CD is a collection of rhythmic feel-good music that is soft on the ear, and makes you look forward to social gatherings and dance parties. Her unique approach and sugar-sweet voice is like a fresh breeze in a genre that can be very ordinary. A bright future awaits this goal-driven artist… onstage and maybe even on the big screen.