Hayley Kiyoko talks her creative process, tour essentials and first musical inspirations!

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This weekend, Boston royalty Bad Rabbits is playing a much anticipated hometown show at famous rock club Middle East and handpicked by the band to open is Hayley Kiyoko! We were lucky enough to grab a few minutes with the talented songstress a few months back and to preview her upcoming Boston show, we wanted to highlight our interview with her! She can be seen on your screens this past spring with her recurring role on “CSI: Cyber” and with the first season wrapped, hopefully this means she’ll be making some more touring moves around the US. Read on for our new interview and catch Hayley Kiyoko this Saturday in Cambridge!

This is the last night of this run and you’re getting started with your solo touring.

Definitely!

So maybe the three things you must have with you while on the road to survive?

Honey. Trying to think, I need my cellphone then my pillow! My TempurPedic pillow.

Then how has this tour been going? Obviously you’re something a little bit different for this tour but obviously you have a lot of fans here. How have the shows been going?

Shows have been going great. The audiences have been super. Incredible in receiving the music. It’s been really cool to just see each city and see the differences as far as people are concerned. Just like what songs they like. What they vibe with so it’s been a social experiment.

His A social experiment? So the shows are going well, how do you think it’s been going like with online reactions!

Yeah, I love when fans tag me in their photos so it’s been really cool. There’s been a lot of photos from tour and stuff so it’s a nice little photo album online. For all to see.

Then how do you normally go about the songwriting process? Do you do all the music yourself, do you write a little bit with other people?

I always start with the drum beat so we’ll go in and just figure out the kick and snare. Then I scat the whole melody of the song and then we feed in the synths and the extra layers. Then the lyrics are last.

Perfect and then I know this tour comes to an end today but do you have a lot of touring coming up?

Yeah I’m up for a couple tours right now. We’re just trying to jump right back on another tour. Just do more and more and it’s all about just connecting with the fans now that the music is out. Just spreading the word and meeting people face to face.

Then I know you have a little bit of history in the entertainment industry but when did you first know you wanted to focus on singing?

Music’s always been number one. I’ve always focused on it. Music takes a long time to develop and really find your sound. Find the right people and the right platform. It’s not so much an audition and book it kind of a thing. It’s really a lifetime journey. So now at twenty three, I’m really happy with where my music is at and I’m finally being able to put it on a platform for people to listen to it. That’s been such a gratifying experience and I’ve been waiting to tour. It’s not like I just started working on my music yesterday. I’ve been working on this since I was ten and was just like when am I going to go on the road? But if I had done it when I was sixteen, it would have been a totally different thing. So I’m really happy with just the timing of everything. It all works out for a reason.

Is this your first like big tour?

Solo tour, yeah. This is the first solo music tour. We broke down the set. It’s just me and one guy. Normally I perform with a full band so that was a struggle. I’m trying to figure out what sonically represents my music the best with two people. So that was a challenge.

So you mostly play shows with a full band then?

Yeah but now we know that we can do it kind of broken down and see that it’s easier with traveling and stuff like that but I prefer to perform with my whole band. I just love the energy.

Yeah and this is kind of a more broken down, acoustic tour anyways.

Yeah. My version of acoustic tour is like drum pads and synths (laughs).

It worked out though. Then for you the first CD or first cassette you ever remember buying as a kid and the first concert you ever went to?

NYSNC was the first CD and I believe concert too. It was the No Strings Attached tour and I just fell in love with just the energy of performing. Of course I was on the side dancing the whole time like I was on the stage. That was definitely a turning point where I was like I don’t want to play small venues. I want to play big venues with explosions and fog. It’s all about the experience. It’s not just about the music. That’s what I’m trying to do with these small tours. Not small but on like a lower scale. Not just making it about the music but a full experience as much as I can.

So are you going to be trying to do that coming up? I know you said you’re going to try and jump on a few tours?

Yeah we’re up for a couple tours. We’ll figure out what we’re going to jump on next in the next couple weeks.

And what is the plan for 2015? Are you just going to be trying to get more music out?

Yeah I’ll just be pushing the music. Just spreading the word. I have a music video for “Given It All” coming out next month and lots of content with that online. Just touring from now until I have to go back to acting.

You’re going to try and balance it still?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love both but when you write an album, you can shoot a show. I can make both work.

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