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An Interview With Hayden James: Debut Album, GRLSWIRL, and World Tour

Six years. That’s how long Hayden James has been writing, recording, and perfecting his debut album, Between Us. During that time, James acquired 250 million streams globally and earned platinum and gold status on multiple tracks. Most recently, the Australian electro-pop artist collaborated with the Venice-based, all-female skateboard collective, GRLSWIRL. Together, the two acts filmed the music video for James’ song, “Nowhere To Go”.

“Nowhere To Go” is a perfect appetizer to the main course that is Between Us, and comes just in time for his extensive tour. From LA to NYC, the singer/songwriter is gearing up for a busy 2019. I asked Hayden James six rapid-fire questions regarding “Nowhere To Go”, GRLSWIRL, and his debut album.

Courtesy of Hayden James

 

Ariel Zedric: If you could take a trip to anywhere in the world, right now, free of charge, where would you go?

Iceland. I’ve had a few friends go recently and it looks incredible.

 

On the other hand, where do you go when you feel like you have nowhere else to go?

The beach down the road from my place. Such a great spot to chill.

 

Tell me about the inspiration behind “Nowhere To Go”

This song has always had a big summer vibe for me, I feel a sense of freedom and hope and the notion of ‘you only live once’ so make the most of it… “we ain’t got no better place to go, doesn’t matter cause I know you”.

You first saw GRLSWIRL in Venice last year, what was it about them that made you want to pursue a collab?

The girls have such a great vibe about them. I really love the message of support and community they send to their followers. When we first started thinking about the film clip, I thought GRLSWIRL captured the perfect vibe of the song.

 

Your debut album, Between Us, releases today! What sorts of messages can fans expect to hear? How is the album different from your previous work, like “Something About You”

My album is about human connection and a look at different stages of relationships – love, loss and everything in between… it’s ultimately a journey about hope. I wanted to make a record you could press play on track 1 and just leave on without skipping a song. It’s about the collection of songs together as a whole.

You’re also heading on tour! What aspect are you most excited about? Is there anywhere, in particular, you are looking forward to going?

Yeah, I’m touring around Australia, USA and EU this year. I really enjoy creating a new live show and working with my team to make it the best show possible. It’s all brand new production and I’m bringing a few of the featured artists from the album along for the ride!

Courtesy of Hayden James

 

I also had the amazing opportunity to talk with Lucy Osinski, the creator and co-founder of GRLSWIRL.

Ariel Zedric: When and how was the idea for GRLSWIRL born?

Lucy Osinski: I am a fairly new skater who definitely doesn’t fit the typical skateboarder mold. I was a pro ballerina terrified to get on a board, but was taught correctly and fell in love with how liberating and empowering skating felt. I fell in love so much so that I was skating every day. Very quickly I realized the unwanted attention I had attracted from being a feminine woman skating alone. I am a serial community builder and my passion for skating started slowly to overtake all my thoughts to the point where I started recruiting other women to skate with me. I made a text chain from Venice chicks I met at events, parties, mutual friends or even chasing ladies on boards down on the street to start meeting up and skate. One meet up late February a group of women came together and we all felt some sort of buzzing energy, the group of us felt electric. We had so much fun skating due to the fact that we ALL shared the same passion for skating and empowering others through skate. That night GRLSWIRL was born from 9 women, pure passion and a lot of serendipity.

 

View this post on Instagram

THE ENERGY, LOVE, OPENNESS AND GRLPOWER was seriously infectious this past Tuesday skate. We started with new moon/new friend circles and reminded everyone HEY THIS IS ALL OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES, WERE ALL VULNERABLE HERE .. LETS DO THIS TOGETHER ! Just like little kids having fun , skating , making up dances, laughing , falling , laughing again, cheering eachother on , COMPLIMENTING one another and seriously just being ourselves .. how LIBERATING is that !!!!!! Having a space to feel vulnerable, childish , energized AND experiencing authentic sisterhood is something that wasn’t curated or created by GRLSWIRL , it was cultivated grassroots from our community of seriously inspiring, diverse and brave women. VIVA LA VULVA !!!!!!!!!! . . . If you are feeling nervous coming plz get that we are ALL nervous .. we are all here feeling out of our comfort zones – we can guarantee this is a safe space to learn, make friends and feel a part of your community. Hit us up for any questions and feel free to come to any of our events or group skates !!! . . . . . . #california #cali #caligirl #calilife #girlpower #girlgang #womensrights #womens #womenempowerment #babes #venicebeach #la #surf #skater #skatergirl #skateboard #surfer #grlswirl

A post shared by GRLSWIRL (@grlswirl) on

Why skateboards?

There is something powerful about getting on a skateboard. It’s so freeing in an indescribable and addicting way. I went from feeling very small and fragile as a woman ex-ballerina, to badass and liberated JUST by getting on a skateboard.

 

Can you describe the feeling you get when you’re skating?

Free, powerful, badass, liberated, adventurous, patient, joyous.

 

What were your first impressions of the song, “Nowhere To Go”?

It made me want to skate, hah!

 

In the music video, which scene was the most fun to film?

The van scenes.. the VW van was literal vintage van porn and getting to hang, laugh and clown stuff in there was magic.

What does the future have in store for GRLSWIRL? How do you hope to expand and grow the collective?

We have SO many things in store. We are expanding to 10 cities in the next year, we are working on a TV show, podcast, clothing line, intensive philanthropic initiatives and our very own Carver skateboard!

 

Learn more about GRLSWIRL on their website and Instagram

Follow Hayden James on Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and see him live on tour, buy tickets here

Courtesy of Hayden James

 

Feature image courtesy of Hayden James

 

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Ariel Zedric is a student at Tufts University. When she's not studying, you can find her wandering around on her blog at arielzedric.wordpress.com. Contact via email at ariel.zedric@gmail.com or on Twitter or Instagram @arielzedric

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