Elise Hayes,
The TVD First Date

“My love for records and record stores began as a small child in my living room.”

“My dad had this cabinet full of old records that as a pastime, I would sift through and pick out the ones with the prettiest covers. I remember the day that he showed me what an actual record was. How to carefully handle it, place it on the turntable, and delicately lift the needle to start the music. As I became more and more involved with music, I really came to appreciate his collection. The Beatles, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor—it was responsible for my personal discovery of all of these iconic artists.

As I grew older, there was a record store down the street from my house called Turn it Up in Keene, NH. I would go there, and sift through everything they had. You could play them before purchasing, so I would sit there for hours, listening. I slowly developed a total obsession with R&B and soul music. Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, anything from that era—I was completely hooked. I had never felt such a fire listening to music as I did when I was listening to those artists. The passion and energy behind what they were singing about was contagious. You could feel it on such a visceral level.

When I first moved to Nashville in 2011, my boyfriend and I went, almost immediately, to the iconic Grimey’s New and Preloved Music. If you live in Nashville, or even if you are familiar with the music scene here, there’s no way you haven’t heard of this place. Hungry for inspiration but also short on cash, we rummaged through the 99 cent bins only to come across what would be my favorite record to ever purchase.

Elton John had recorded a live show for radio in 1970. The black cover was tattered and faded but it showed just his name, the date (11-17-70, almost 49 years ago!), and a white outline of his body at the piano. We got home and played the record for the rest of the night. It was incredible. Funky, thoughtful, musical, oh my gosh—I was totally blown away. It was everything I ever could’ve wanted in a live recording. It lit me up in the same way that the old r&b/soul records had when I was younger.

It’s funny, whenever I am looking for inspiration now, I put that record on. I feel like Elton John blends all of the genres I have ever loved so effortlessly in those recordings. It’s something I try to do with my own music, especially with “Float.” I wanted to pull from all of my influences, but also create something that was and is singular and unique.

When I moved to Nashville, my dad gave me the turntable and receiver that I used to blast his records through our living room as a little girl. Every time I get a record out, place it on the turntable, and delicately lift the needle, I am reminded of all of these beautiful memories I have and the all of the music that those records put into my heart, for a lifetime.”
Elise Hayes

“Float,” the current single from Elise Hayes, is in stores now.

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