Interview: Hayley Jordan on Palace Lungs, Funky Basslines, and Björk

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Today I'm interviewing the superbly wonderful Hayley Jordan, aka one of my loveliest, kindest friends who I've had the pleasure of knowing since school. She's pretty much a badass and she spoke to me about her musical venture, Palace Lungs. I really hope you enjoy what Hayley has to say, are motivated by her messages, and check out her music at the end!


Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Hayley! Would you like to introduce yourself and what you do? When did you first get into making music? Is this something you've been formally trained in, or a hobby that turned into a business?

Hayley Jordan:
No problem, I'm happy to help! My name is Hayley Jordan, I'm a trans woman, and I make music. I'm currently song-writing and producing music under the alias Palace Lungs, as well as studying Music, Technology, and Innovation at De Montfort University in Leicester. Around the age of 12-3, I started to teach myself the guitar, and this is what sparked my interest in making music, which would eventually lead to learning how to create music on my computer. For a long time it was just a hobby. I would make music with friends, or just learn new ways of writing music. I was always told or given the impression that making music was not a job, and so I never perceived it as one. During my time in college studying Music Technology, one of my assignments was to release an album or an EP on the college record label. I took this opportunity as a chance to release my own music, and it paid off really well as I'm still making music under the same alias!

Magic & Musings:
That really does sound like it was a good opportunity for you! Did you find yourself having to overcome any hurdles when it came to initially sharing your music with the world?

Hayley Jordan:
I doubted myself a lot to begin with. I wasn't musically trained at a young age, and I was always comparing my music and feeling like it was never good enough. I still feel the same way not, but instead of seeing it as a disadvantage, I'm trying to flip it and use it as determination to get better.

Magic & Musings:
I think that's the best way of dealing with those feelings when it comes to creative work. Which female creatives, if any, would you say have inspired your work the most? Do you have anyone you look to when you need some inspiration or motivation?

Hayley Jordan:
Nora En Pure was a huge influence towards my music early on, more specifically her track 'Come With Me'. I loved the way she incorporated piano and strings alongside a funky bassline and a butt-grooving drum beat. Her songs always had a positive feeling about them; they inspired me to recreate this feeling within my own music. In my recent album, Paradise, you can definitely hear Nora En Pure as a source of inspiration. Grimes is another musician who has been quite an influence on me. She's very in control of her artistic intention and her music is really unique and refreshing to listen to.


Magic & Musings:
I'm interested in knowing how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done? A specific hot drink? A relaxing album?

Hayley Jordan:
A coffee is always a must! I also try to do a bit of brainstorming before I jump into something, just a list of ideas about what I should try. I tend to forget about things when I'm working spontaneously so writing stuff down helps quite a bit.
 
Magic & Musings: 
Of all of your music, which pieces are you happiest with, and why?

Hayley Jordan:
It would either be 'Wonder' featuring Evie Kerr, or 'Paradise'. I was really proud of 'Wonder' when I made it and when I got to hear Evie's vocals alongside it, I got goosebumps. I couldn't quite believe that I had made something that sounded as well as it did. I still get quite impressed by it when I listen back. When writing 'Paradise' I felt rather depressed and hopeless; I feel like it represents that perfectly. I also taught myself how to use a vocal emulation program (Vocaloid), because I wanted the song to feature vocals but I couldn't find a vocalist in time.


Magic & Musings:
'Paradise' is probably one of my favourites too. It's got such a good chilled out summer vibe! Next question: what do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?

Hayley Jordan:
Either by taking a break, or by trying to improve on what's holding me back. Quite recently I've been working on my song writing and I've been really struggling with it. In order to help myself out I looked for articles and videos on the subject; I came across a TEDx talk with Rachel Claudio that was about translating feeling into sound, and suddenly I'm back on track.

Magic & Musings:
I love it when you suddenly find that magical piece of inspiration that gets you back in the zone! What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out working in music?

Hayley Jordan:
It's okay if somebody else's song sounds better than yours. Try to learn why it does and then find a way of implementing it into your own song.

Magic & Musings:
Can you recommend everyone reading a book you've enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song?

Hayley Jordan:
Icons of Pop Music: Björk by Nicola Dibben is a wonderful book that gives insight into Björk's uniqueness. I watched The Ides of March a couple of weeks ago, and I've not been able to get it out of my head. Voyager by Fleece is an album I came across recently. It's a beautiful album that has something nostalgic about it.


Magic & Musings:
I adore Björk, so I'll be sure to check that book out. Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? What's in store for Palace Lungs in the future?

Hayley Jordan:
I've been super busy with university work recently but I had a 4-track EP coming out sometime in May. I'm also looking to develop a live set-up for the future; I've been wanting to do it for a while now. All of my music is available on Youtube, Soundcloud, or Bandcamp.

You can follow Hayley's journey as Palace Lungs on Facebook here, or on her website here.

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