She’s a screen kween and the voice behind some seriously catchy tunes. DOLLY’S Josie Rozenberg-clarke chatted to Hailz to find out if there’s anything this gal CAN’T do.
Talk about #goals. Hailee Steinfeld kicked off her Hollywood career with an Oscar nomination (for her role in True Grit) and has been killing the game ever since – especially when she shocked us all with ~that voice~ in Pitch Perfect 2! Yep, Hailee’s one of those people who can sing, act AND own the red carpet with her gorj style. And with a debut album in the works and epic new movie The Edge of Seventeen coming out in 2017, this girl is set to keep on slaying.
YOU CAME INTO THE SPOTLIGHT AS AN ACTOR. WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE BOTH ACTING AND SINGING?
Acting just happened first and the music became more of a side project. It was Pitch Perfect 2 that gave me the opportunity to show the world I can sing. It was never really a matter of “Here I am as an actor and I’m also dropping an album”, you know? I always secretly hoped it would happen through a movie, because I felt that it would make the most sense. I was able to show people that singing is something I can do, and that it’s something I love to do. Then I signed to a record label and everything’s been going crazy ever since!
YOU’D BEEN DOING THE MOVIE THING FOR A WHILE, THOUGH. WAS IT WEIRD TO SUDDENLY FIND YOURSELF IN A RECORDING STUDIO?
It’s been a crash course because it happened so quickly; I sort of jumped
right into it. I’ve had amazing writers and producers and a great label that’s been really supportive – all of them have helped me execute what I had in mind.
WE ARE SO OBSESSED WITH THE HAIZ EP, AND ‘STARVING’ IS YOUR FIRST TOP 10 HIT IN AUSTRALIA! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO KNOW YOUR MUSIC IS REACHING ALL THE CORNERS OF THE GLOBE?
It really is so incredible to think that somewhere so far away my music is being heard and responded to – it is quite an honour. I’m working on the follow-up to ‘Starving’ and my album is in the works. I’m really excited to be putting more music out.
‘LOVE MYSELF’ AND ‘HELL NOS AND HEADPHONES’ HAVE REALLY POSITIVE MESSAGES. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO CONTINUE IN YOUR MUSIC?
Absolutely! Putting a message out there that means something to me and means something to other people is important. When I recorded ‘Love Myself’, there was really no question of whether or not it should be my first single, because it had a message and it had a meaning and that, to me, is special when it comes to making music.
YOU’VE DONE SOME GREAT COLLABS WITH DNCE AND ZEDD. WHO’S NEXT ON YOUR LIST?
I would love to collaborate with Meghan [Trainor]. I love everything she’s done. Self-appreciation and self-love are messages we both love spreading, so to collaborate with that in mind would be super fun and could result in something really cool!
YOU RECENTLY TOURED AMERICA WITH MEGHAN, TOO. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO ADJUST TO LIFE ON THE ROAD?
I kind of got the hang of it and learnt the basic routine, but I don’t know if it’s something you could ever get used to! Like, it’s so crazy – you’re in a different city every other day, you’re travelling through the night and you never have the same day twice. It sounds glamorous but then you watch documentaries, like the 1D movie, and you see that musicians don’t really get to spend much time in the cities we visit. It’s funny. Like, the other day somebody was like “Oh my god, you’re in New York, that’s so amazing!” and meanwhile I’m really actually only inside this hotel room in New York. I’ll go out a couple of times for work and then I’ll be on a plane to the next city.
DID YOU TAKE ANYTHING ON TOUR WITH YOU TO REMIND YOU OF HOME?
Two main things I love to take with me, no matter where I go, are a candle from home – the scent of being in my own room is comforting – and photos – I love having Polaroid pictures around. Anything tangible that reminds me of family and friends – they’re my favourite things to carry around.
DID SEEING MEGHAN ON STAGE MAKE YOU WANT TO HEADLINE YOUR OWN TOUR?
“LEARNING TO LOVE OURSELVES IS NOT EASY, BUT LIFE CAN BE SO MUCH HAPPIER ONCE WE DO.”
Meghan is so talented and genuine and she just has the best sense of humour. The way she handles herself is really great to watch, and seeing her on stage every night was a super inspiring and motivating experience. I would love to headline my own tour soon – that would be so amazing!
WHILE YOU’VE BEEN TOURING YOU’VE ALSO BEEN PROMOTING YOUR NEW MOVIE, THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE FILM?
I read the script and I felt so incredibly intrigued by the character Nadine, who I play in the film. It really felt like an opportunity to express experiences I’ve gone through as a teenager. I’ve never been able to really express myself in that way before. I had an amazing time working on the movie, and I really can’t wait for people to see it.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER THAT YOU THINK YOUR FANS ARE GOING TO RELATE TO?
Well, I‘ve gone through so much of what she goes through. You know, going from thinking you have everything under control and that life is great and that you have the answer to everything to realising you have nothing under control and you don’t have the answers and that life is messy! That’s something I’ve learnt myself, and in The Edge Of Seventeen my character goes through all of that.
WE LOVE YOUR STYLE! HOW DO YOU THINK IT HAS EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
Thank you! It’s matured with me. I see fashion as a form of self-expression. It’s fun to get dressed up and walk a red carpet and go to dinner and feel sophisticated… and then the next day I’m off-duty, very casual and comfortable and sporty. It’s fun to play around with it.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVE ITEM FROM YOUR WARDROBE?
Bomber jackets are my thing at the moment. I have one with my name on the back and I wear it all the time – I can throw it on with anything and it completes whatever I’m wearing.
YOU’RE CLEARLY CONFIDENT IN YOUR OWN SKIN, WHICH IS OBVS WHAT HELPS YOU SLAY ON THE RED CARPET. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR US GIRLS TO EMBRACE THE WAY WE LOOK?
I think everybody struggles with their body image, and with social media being so prominent within our world, [we feel like we need] validation through a like or a comment. We only see what we see in the mirror, and what we pick up on are not necessarily the good things. We don’t look the way we think we do sometimes! It’s important to realise we are who we are for a reason and that we have to embrace it and love ourselves. And learning to love ourselves is not easy, but life can be so much happier once we do.
That whole effortless thing? Hailz has it down in this jumpsuit/ faux-fur sitch. This intricately patterned gown is like an actual work of art. Seriously ~amaze~. Gurl has head-to-toe styling on point – especially with those incred boots! Red lip plus red gown equals redcarpet ready. Hailz is So. Damn. Glam. The little monochrome jumpsuit is the new little monochrome dress. YAS!
Hailz looks hands-down fiyah in this black lace beauty. That leg split!
The Oscars asks for elegance, and Hailz answers in this divine black sparkly number. Bottle-green and a berry lip is a genius combo. Gurl looks so sophisticated!
We are OBSESSED with this woven rainbow dress. It’s fashion at its most fun.