We had the good fortune of connecting with Haley Fishberger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Haley, how do you think about risk?
A huge step in my artistic journey was realizing that all I desire and deserve is beyond my comfort zone. If I am afraid and uncertain, then I am truly living. For a while, I believed there was a certain path, or “how-to” guide for being successful in the music industry. If I wanted to “make it,” I could not stray from this path. I shrunk under self-inflicted pressure and tried to squeeze into a shiny, marketable box. Eventually, I just got tired. Sure, this is an intense business, but it’s supposed to be fun. I took the risk of breaking the box to become more of myself. After a few nerve-racking dates, I committed to risk. Here are my observations:
1. My songwriting got a major facelift
I have a wild imagination. I’ll often think of lyrics that make me go, “I cannot put that in a song, can I?!” When I began to trust this voice and put these wild lyrics into action, I discovered my bold identity. It’s almost as if the heavens opened up and poured hot sauce all over my creativity. Whether it’s a vulnerable ballad, or an edgy diss track, everything feels more honest. It’s incredibly empowering.
2. Performing became my favorite thing on the planet
Each gig is a risk in and of itself. There is no magic to be found in safely “dipping my toes” into the ocean of performance. It’s the full dive, or complete surrender to the moment, that changes lives. In the heat of the moment, I can surprise myself in the most iconic way. Perfection is overrated; I have found that audiences prefer exciting unpredictability over perfection. My next risk is combining my passion for dance with music. As the world begins to reintroduce live concerts, I look forward to spicing up my set with some choreography.
In kindergarten, I told a boy I liked him. He ran around the room screaming in terror. Though I was pretty bummed out, part of me felt a sense of pride. I have always been a risk-taker when it comes to confessing my feelings. In one of my newest songs, “Epic,” I sing, “I won’t break down; I’ll break open.” I am proud of the fact that my music is so personal. It shows my bravery and allows people listening to find bravery in their own heartbreak. I’m grateful to know my purpose: to be unapologetically myself in my music so that I can positively impact this world. When I put this at the forefront of my mind, my fears become powerless, and risk becomes inevitable. Cheers to breaking boxes and hot sauce creativity.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about.
I am a performing artist, songwriter, and producer. My style is bold pop with hints of jazz, indie and electronic. I think of myself as an unapologetically dramatic storyteller. I am so excited about my newest release, “Un Known,” a dance ballad that holds the essence of crying in a club. It was beautifully produced by my friend, Thelen. Check it out!
I am also proud of my recent adventure in London, where I spent a few months exploring the music scene. Moving somewhere new feels like starting over, which is the ultimate challenge. Because of the pandemic, I returned early, but I am inspired to travel and let my music land in new places.
Building a career in music is anything but easy. There’s a lot of rejection, and I have to constantly remind myself that my worth does not depend on the approval of others. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be frustrated; this frustration adds more fuel to the fire. I’m currently my own manager, which has taught me how to advocate for my vision. It has allowed me to figure out what I want in a team. I am excited to build this team in the near future! I believe in the power of being extra. That’s why I wear gold boots.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First, we’re having a picnic on Miami Beach with homemade piña coladas and guacamole. Since it’s my best friend, we are obviously dancing on the beach and making up our own choreography. At sunset, it’s yoga time. We’re getting zen before we go out in Wynwood. Dinner is at Suviche, where you can find the best Peruvian sushi. After talking and laughing for a couple hours, we’ll club hop! I’ll request an ABBA song, and the DJ will look at me like I’m crazy. The end of the night requires more food, so we’ll most likely get the iconic quesadillas at Coyo Taco. Depending on which best friend is visiting me, we’ll either sleep in, or go on a long morning walk. Brunch is at Icebox Cafe, where I’m ordering the huge pancake. After some more beach time, we’ll head over to the Vixen Workout Studio. I can honestly say that I am the performer I am because of this dance fitness class. The routines make me feel like I’m performing at the Super Bowl halftime show. Dinner is at Love Life Cafe right up the street, for the best vegan food in the world. After going home and getting all fancy, we’ll have a night at Lagniappe to hear some epic live jazz. Over the course of the next few nights, we’ll meet some Miami music gems at a Backroom Sessions event or a Sofar Sounds show. Shoutout to Backroom Sessions and Sofar Sounds for giving me some of my favorite gigs!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout my songwriting mentor, Justina Shandler! This past year, she encouraged me to trust my gut when it comes to creating. She is a light in this world and writes music that makes people feel more like themselves. Check out her music! “Weeping Willow” is one of my absolute favorites.
Other: New Single “Un Known”: https://open.spotify.com/track/7mQAJ0TrQcqvK7aTFNqWbI
Ariana Teran Charlotte
Tseng (Sofar Sounds)
Joe Blandon (The Sleeping Sparrow Photo)