What’s your name?

Hayley McCormack

Do you play solo only, or also in a group?


How old are you?


Where were you born?


Where did you grow up?

Kildare, ireland

How did that place influence your music? (if at all!)

Kildare is situated on The Curragh Plains, a beautiful grassy nature reserve that stretches for miles! It is made famous by the folk son “The Curragh of Kildare” by irish traditional musician Christy Moore. It is a place for long periods of reflection and when the sun sets it covers as far as the eye can see. It definitely contributed to my stage name Hayley Solas. “Solas” in the Irish language means “light”.

Where are you based now, and why?

North London! London for me is so inspiring. it is a place where you can reinvent yourself as many times as you want. I’ve always pictured myself here, creating things!

What got you into making music in the first place?

Poetry, Irish storytelling.

What instruments do you play?

Singing, Guitar, Piano, Harmonica

Who are 3 of your top 10 musical influences, and why?

Christy Moore – his ability to tell a story so simply but so perfectly. No frills. He is also from the same town as me so that is very special to me!

Leonard Cohen – because Leonard Cohen.

Shane McGowan / The Pogues – They tell it how it is. They are fearless!

Do you write your own songs?


How many years have you been writing songs for?


What process, or processes, do you often find yourself using when you write songs?

I like to go on long walks until what I want to say comes to the front of my brain and I can articulate it. I never force a song. If I can’t find the right thing to say, then I wait.

How long have you been playing open mic nights?


What advice would you give new performers who are just starting out playing their first open mics?

Fear is not useful?

What’s the hardest thing, for you, about playing open mics?

Sharing songs that are truthful! It’s like reading your diary to lots of people and imagining them naked doesn’t help!

If it’s not already, are you hoping to make music your full-time career?


What do you currently find the hardest and biggest obstacles to moving your music career forward?

Meeting the right connections, getting yourself recognised in a world oversaturated with social media!!

What’s one truth about you that people often find surprising?

I am a minister and can marry people

Where should people go to find out more about you?

Instagram: @hayleysolas_music

Facebook: Hayley Solas

Twitter: @HayleySolas

UK Open Mic London performer Hayley McCormack
UK Open Mic London performer Hayley McCormack
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