After suffering a major injury while part of the national cycling team, Gavin Haley was forced to spend some time in Europe and became inspired and captivated by the energetic live performances of the underground music scene, which inspired him to produce his genre transcending tracks. Drawing on raw emotion, faith and optimism, Gavin weaves personal life into a timeless narrative, making his music feel universally relatable.
Now five projects deep, his latest release ‘Sad Season’ is an enjoyable pop tune and features a relatable storyline, his soft vocals and easy-going instrumentals. We’re looking forward to seeing where this singer-songwriter is heading, we chat his cycling career, forthcoming tour and his future plans!
Tell us a bit about you and your route into the music world…
Hey wassup I’m Gavin. When I’m not writing songs, I’m usually riding bikes or hanging with my friends. It’s funny you think you know yourself super well until you start talking about it. I’m all about positivity – you attract what you feel. I got into music when I was in my mid-teens, I just loved the way it made me feel. I was racing bikes at the time, living overseas half the year, and made the session to stop and pursue music. I moved to LA when I was 19. So yeah, I guess that’s kind of how it started for me.
You were part of the national cycling team until you suffered from a collapse lung, how do you think this injury affected your outlook and your music?
It’s actually kind of funny, somehow the story sounds like I stopped racing when I had this accident. I actually raced two more years after this and had my best year following the accident. The injury just kept me in Europe longer than expected because I wasn’t able to fly home because pressure could cause issues with my lung. During this extra time in Europe I got to really learn more about the culture and also grow close with my host family. It was a blessing in disguise. It gave me different inspirations and lots of stories to tell.
I know you care little about conforming to a specific sound and your music transcends genres, but how would you describe your sound?
Writing music is really cool, you get to constantly create a feeling of emotion in your life with frequencies, which is crazy. As far as the sound, I just know I make music you can feel. For the majority of songs, we have called it left of pop and even RnB sounding at times. Give it a listen and let me know haha!
You concentrate on storytelling and crafting novels in your songs, how do you go about doing this?
Thinking you have your life together until everything switches at 18 and putting all that emotional energy into music! After writing my first couple of songs it almost became addictive. Creating is one of the best feelings. You can let go of almost anything through a tune. I like telling stories. Everything in this world is some type of story.
And where do you find inspiration to write your songs?
Through lots of things! I don’t always draw inspiration from one place. More often than not I get inspiration from the universe and just the fact we are here for such a blip. Life is weird. Traveling and experiencing nature and other cultures. Other people. There’s lots to observe.
You’ve recently released ‘Sad Season’, can you tell me about this track?
I like this song a lot. There’s something about the simplicity of it that makes you feel good. It was one of those that just came together, and we rolled with it.
What was the creative process you go through?
It’s not always the same. A lot of times me, or whoever I’m writing with, will make the chords or what not and then hop in the booth and freestyle. I like melodies that feel natural. A lot of times you get gold! My good friend August 08 is probably the best artist I know at this. I’d buy a CD of this man singing freestyles haha!
What do you want people to take away from your music?
Good energy. Healing energy. I want the feeling of my music to take people to another place. Dream and be conscious in the moments. Breathe.
You’re currently on tour, how were you feeling about it before you started? And do you have any pre-gig rituals?
Felt good! I was stoked to find out about it. Corey Harper is an amazing artist and somebody I’ve musically looked up to for the last few years. He puts on an amazing show and it will be cool to support him and XYLO. This is also my first tour, before this year thinking about going on tour was just a dream. I’m excited to play for new people and make some memories. It’s not necessarily a ritual, but I do love some good fruit before a show!
What sort of crowd were you expecting?
Anyone coming is a blessing bro! It’s going to be a wide range of music between us all, so I expect it to be a good night. Bring some friends.
What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about your line of work?
Being a musician is incredible! The fact that on any level you can write a melody or have the ability to create is something special. It has introduced me to some amazing people and spiritually changed my life. You know, recently I’ve stopped talking negative about this work space. I realised it wasn’t helping me in anyway. So, for that part of question, I’m just going to say more blessings, my friends, keep your circle tight and be there for yourself and close friends. Use your energy for smart things.
And finally, what have you got coming up in the next year?
On this side of the year I’ve got another single and a couple of videos coming out. As well as the Fall tour we just mentioned. Next year is going to be an adventure. Hoping to see a lot more people on the road. And I’ve got my debut album coming. Excited to share it.