American superstar singer-songwriter Kelly Sweet, also known as HALIENE is one of biggest names in dance music at the moment. Collaborating with A-list producers, touring the world and singing at the best festival stages, the name HALIENE has become synonymous with incredible emotional vocal music.
Kelly was born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and had her first public performance at only 4 years old! As HALIENE, she released her first feature on March 3, 2015, called The End with Seven Lions, which was out on Casablanca Records. She later worked with Seven Lions again on Rush Over Me, a collaboration with Illenium and Said The Sky that peaked at #2 on the Electronic iTunes Singles chart and reaching well over 18 million on Spotify.
If you’re a dance music fan, you’ve definitely heard her on many songs recently, and most probably on her song ‘Saving Light’ which ended up winning the ‘Tune of the Year’ on A State Of Trance in 2017.
We’d like to thank HALIENE for taking the time to chat with us! Keep reading to discover more about her background, her story, and what she’s been up to during the pandemic these past few months!
1. We know your parents were a pianist and a singer by profession. How was it like at home? singing with them and learning from them?
Music was a constant in my home growing up. If my father wasn’t playing piano, my mom had some records on from the Carpenters to Whitney Houston. I think being immersed in a completely creative house was essential to my development. My mother was a painter (artist) so both the visual and the audio arts were a huge part. Neither of my parents were singers though, so I think I naturally filled that role. They were both very supportive and helpful in me growing my gift.
2. Do you have a fond memory of your childhood life that is at the core of what you’ve grown to be? The incredible talent that you are?
I have a lot of fond memories, but what stands out to me at this moment is being an only child, I had a lot of time and space to develop my own imagination. My mom used to put on artists like Enigma and Secret Garden and to those beautiful instrumental and electronic influenced albums I used to create stories in my head. The music transported me. There used to be a field near my house that would fill with purple flowers during the spring and I used play out there with the stories in my mind and this music in my headphones and felt those stories were real, somewhere in time.
3. What was your first ever music festival experience like? How did that affect you?
My first music festival was Coachella in 2012. I had been to concerts at that point but never a multi stage festival. I felt so drawn to the Sahara tent stage, which I believe it was the first year they had it, and that’s when electronic dance music stole my heart. I even got to see Avicii at the Sahara tent that year, while the everyone else went to see the Tupac hologram. I realized there was a huge opportunity there for a singer/songwriter like me, and the sounds and rhythms made me like I had found home.
4. Why did you choose EDM over pop? Pop eventually became a form of EDM as it really blew up in mainstream media.
I’ve had a long career and before I fell in love with dance music, I had pursued pop music fully however I never fit in. Many record labels didn’t know what to do with a voice like mine. I didn’t fit into any of their molds. When I found dance music I was looking for direction, with no idea where to go in this career of mine, but I knew I was given something special for a purpose. It’s been interesting to watch since that moment how the entire industry then fell in love with dance music too. I guess it’s just that wonderful. But keep in mind, “pop” music is just the abbreviated word for “popular” music. So dance music has just grown that much in popularity!
5. When it comes to producers you’ve worked with, you’ve hit the jackpot: Gareth Emery, Andrew Rayel, Aly & Fila, Ferry Corsten, Seven Lions, Armin Van Buuren…What insights can you give up and coming vocalists who aim to work with A-list names like these?
The best advice I can give you is write great songs and have excellent vocal production for their presentation. These producers care more about a great song than they do about a big name, which is why dance music is a more open minded industry to try to break into. It’s not necessarily easier, but the door is wider. If they are moved by a song, they want to work on it with you. The rest is having the right team, having a good strategy, and staying humble and grateful to everyone you work with. Gratitude will get you ten thousand times further than arrogance.
6. Going back to music festivals, what was your favorite festival moment so far as a singer?
My favorite performance at a festival I’ve done was EZOO in New York last year. Performing with Tritonal for one of the first live debuts of Long Way Home was a life changing moment for me. EZOO took incredible care of me and the sound for me was incredible, which is everything for a singer. And the crowd was so united WITH US, I’ve rarely experienced anything like it. To watch 25k people jumping in unison with you, well, it’s an experience very few of us get to have.
7. We know the pandemic made shows impossible to have, how was transitioning into the online world for you? Do you feel your connection with the fans became stronger now?
I am so grateful for platforms like Twitch now, when before I literally knew nothing about it. It’s done more for the dance music industry in this time than anything else I can think of. It’s been so beautiful to connect weekly with my fans on my Twitch stream (Melody Mondays at 8PM PST, twitch.tv/hailenetv
) and get to know them, their favorite of my songs, and sing all the new songs coming out for them LIVE. People find a way to each other even in times like these.
8. Every artist is busy in their studios right now putting in more time to bring is some incredible musical gems. What sneak peak can you give us? We’d love to know what’s coming from HALIENE!
I’ve worked on so many new collaborations this year, and of course my solo single Walk Through Walls came out as well. There is a FULL HALIENE EP on it’s way, as most of it is already done, so keep an eye out in 2021! So much more new music to come.
9. We know from your socials that you love healthy cooking, nature and taking care of yourself in every way, even when it means staying off the grid for a while just to recharge. Can you give our readers your best quick tips to stay in shape and in control during these uncertain times?
I love taking good care of my body, mind, spirit and home because that’s when I feel my best, and that’s when I do my best work too. I work out at home 3 times a week usually and then try to get out for a hike when the weather is nice on the weekend. Getting time outside in the fresh air is ESSENTIAL for me. Being out in nature is the most inspiring and clearing thing I know. It reminds me how small I am when I look at these mountains, or soak in the oxygen from the trees. It is scientifically recognized that being near trees, mountains, rivers, etc will calm anxiety, and send positive signals to relax to your brain. I also take a day to rest every week, and not think about work (at least I try to), but to be present with my family and friends, reminding myself all the time that I am not what I do (or don’t do), and my personal worth is not connected to it at all, but who I am is so much bigger than that. <3
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