Hailey Wild to release first single since 2020

Hailey Wild, singer-songwriter and sophomore majoring in popular performance, worked with students in the School of Cinematic Arts to produce the music video for her upcoming single. (Photo courtesy of Hailey Wild)

Everyone has a “favorite” thing to do — a hobby or activity which may just as well be their passion in life. 

For Hailey Wild, she has followed the path of her favorite thing to do, releasing and performing her music as a singer-songwriter for as long as she can remember. Now, Wild’s passion led to her most recent project, single and music video “My Favorite Part.”

Growing up, Wild, a sophomore majoring in popular performance with a songwriting emphasis, was inspired vocally by the sound of favorite artists such as Adele, Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse and production-wise by artists such as The Weeknd. Although initially coming from a nonmusical background, Wild found music from someone who came to define Hailey’s musical interest for the rest of her life.

“My grandma played the piano,” Wild said. “She had a grand piano at her house that’s been in our family since the early 1900s, so I remember playing that. My grandma was driving me one day in the car, and she heard me singing along to an opera that she was playing.” 

From there, Wild’s grandparents enrolled her in classical lessons, where Wild first got her start at singing. But it was not until high school where she honed in on the seeds of her talent.

While in high school, Wild performed in the choir, participated in talent shows playing the piano while singing and collaborated on music with whoever she could find. During her senior year, at only 17 years old, Wild released her first single, “Long Time.” It was also in high school, like for most teenagers her age, when she decided what she wanted to do in life. 

“I was having three or four gigs over the summer and then one or two, every weekend during the school year,” Wild said. “I always knew I wanted to do something with music, but that’s when I was kind of like, ‘OK, this is … the one thing.’”

Recently transferring to the Thornton School of Music, Wild is continually engaged with her studies and inspired by her peers.

“From this semester, I feel like I’ve gotten way more confident just performing on stage,” Wild said. “I wanted to go somewhere that was gonna give me the tools to help me more with my writing and write with meaning. Every day [that] I’m here, I’m loving music even more because I’m learning something new.” 

Wild planned to release a full album in 2020. However, plans changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the time, we all thought, it’ll probably be like a few months,” Wild said. “I was … gonna use all this extra time to be super productive, and I just burnt myself out. It was not sustainable, especially when I had been performing so much before. And I realized that’s where a lot of my joy comes from with music.” 

However, Wild did not let the pandemic stop her from doing what she loved, and her newest single was born by the end of spring 2020. Drawing from personal experience for “My Favorite Part,” Wild was inspired by the feelings one experiences when engaged in the typical romance.

“When you’re falling in love with somebody, and [you] get to that point where you’re falling in love and you don’t feel like you’re ready for that emotional, like, intensity. You can’t help having human emotions. That’s where the sentiment of the song came from,” Wild said.

On this project, Wild collaborated on various occasions with her peers — production aspects with California based music producer Pharaoh 101 and her music video with Film and Television Production majors in the School of Cinematic Arts, namely Melanie An, Mirjam Maier and Eric Yeich.

“We were all in the same production class last semester and had done a documentary with Hailey as one of the subjects,” An said. “So afterward, she approached us about wanting to do a music video, and we were all super interested.”

With An in charge of cinematography, Maier headed production design and Yeich co-directed with Wild. Per their positions for the documentary that brought them all together, Wild’s vision for the video quickly became reality.

“The music video is definitely more polished than other things I did before,” Wild said. “Not that those weren’t valuable experiences or good videos … I just know more now what I’m doing [and] how to do better. The rest of the team helped me with the actual cuts, shots and locations. And because I had just a very basic idea, they really brought it together.”

The collaboration went smoothly between the four, largely due to their past experience working with Wild.

“We saw things similarly a lot,” Yeich said. “She seemed like a person who I could get along with. [And] she’s passionate about her career, which I respect.”

During the actual shoot, Wild came in with a creative drive, as well as unmistakable empathy for her fellow students that her team took note of.

“[Hailey] had a very clear vision of the set as well,” Maier said. “We’re all students busy with our majors, so she was very patient and we always just work things out with the flow. It was never any sort of intense pressure.”

Following the release of “My Favorite Part,” along with its video, Wild is more than ready to return to performing live, especially if coronavirus restrictions continue to die down. 

“​​I honestly haven’t gotten to perform a lot yet in L.A. I’m hoping this semester to do that,” Wild said. “I performed all the time in San Diego. But it’s definitely a different scene … so I know it’ll just take some time to start getting up here.”

In the meantime, Wild finds time apart from her music to enjoy her favorite parts of college life.

“Honestly. I like to be pretty physically active, especially in school,” Wild said. “I like to work out … just to not be super stressed. I love food… It doesn’t all revolve around music, you know? I like watching YouTube.”

Wild’s newest single, “My Favorite Part,” releases on Spotify Feb. 21, its music video will drop March 4.

Editor’s note: Eric Yeich currently serves on the Daily Trojan masthead as video editor.

Correction: In a previous version of this article, we incorrectly described the writing process of “My Favorite Part” as taking place at USC Thornton School of Music. Wild wrote the song in 2020, before transferring to Thornton. The Daily Trojan regrets this error.