Hayley McKay

Hayley McKay

Country

UK Entertainer of the year-Hot Country TV Awards 2022

“The up and coming apple of the British music industry’s eye”

Elmore Magazine, USA

NE magazine Artist of the year 2021

BCMA Awards UK Song of the year finalist

International Single of the Year (Wild West) ISSA Awards USA 2022

Displaying an incredible vocal range with a distinctive all-round style, which can effortlessly leap from earthy and soulful raw emotion to soaring and ethereal angelic tones, Hayley has been likened to Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchel, LeAnn Rimes and Kate Bush.    An accomplished and insightful songwriter, who effortlessly captures deep emotional sentiment with moving sincerity, she has co-written with twice Grammy-nominated songwriter Jan Buckingham (Whitney Houston) in Nashville, performed in Bob Harris’s home studio for his Under the Apple Tree sessions, and has supported Tom Jones, Albert Lee, Scouting for Girls, Martha Reeves and Hazel O’Connor.

Hayley has performed at many festivals on numerous occasions including Glastonbury, C2C Festival 02 Arena London, Latitude, West Coast Music Festival, Musicport, Lindisfarne, Northumberland Live and Hardwick Live, where her band headlined the Introducing stage ahead of Stereophonics. She is set to play the main stage this year.  

In 2022, her song Wild West won Gold for International Single of the Year at The International Singer Songwriter Awards in Atlanta, USA. 22 countries were involved and Hayley was amongst 15,000 members. Hayley also won UK Entertainer of the Year at The Hot Country TV Awards in Ireland where she wowed the crowds in the Sleive Russel Hotel in Cavan.

Hayley’s songs have been getting some great support on radio stations around the world. Some of these include Absolute Radio, BBC Country Show, BBC Introducing and RTE Radio 1 Ireland.   She has also performed twice on RTE The Today Show (Ireland’s biggest daytime TV show), STV Scotland and London Live.

Her songs have been championed by Paul Sexton (BBC Radio 2 presenter & journalist) with airplays on Emirate’s flights, and her song Breathe, is played in 600 Cafe Nero stores in the UK.

2020 Hayley released her single Thinking About Last Night which reached no 1 in the Ignition Country Charts. The song was also voted as one of the top three best new singles in Ireland, reached the top ten in the Valley FM Indie Charts in Australia, garnered BBC Introducing support, and won Hayley the Artist of the Week spot on Radio New Wheels in the USA.

One of her singles born out of lockdown, Breathe, features on the short film “Floppy toast with Drippy butter” by Lone Pine Pictures which has picked up various awards from international festivals.

Beginnings

Hayley’s first performance onstage was when she was 9yrs old, performing a young Marylin Monroe at Her Majesty’s Theatre West End London. She has been performing ever since.

When Hayley was 17, she was awarded a grant from Sunday for Sammy Foundation. This enabled her to make her first EP with Jamie Squires (who you may have seen performing with the 1975) and producer Fred Purser.  From this Hayley was invited to perform at Newcastle City Hall Sunday for Sammy in front of a full house alongside North East legends including Mark Knopkler, members from Lindisfarne, Matt Healy (1975) and the cast from Auf Weidersehn Pet. A few years later Ray Laidlaw asked Hayley if she would like to sing on the soundtrack for Harrigan starring Steven Tomkinson.

In 2011 Hayley won a National Talent Competition and the funds enabled her to study at Brighton Institute of Modern Music and Access to Music in London amongst her peer Jess Glynne. Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora also attended.

Fast forward. 

Hayley has gone onto winning international awards, and has been performing up and down the UK as well as performances in the USA, Ireland, Spain and Germany. She is a big supporter of grassroots music venues but has also played at some of the biggest venues in the UK including the 02 Arena, London, Blackpool Winter Gardens, Hammersmith Apollo London, The Sage Gateshead and Durham Gala Theatre. During the pandemic she did a virtual tour alongside fellow guitarist singer songwriter David Neil Crabtree raising money for grassroots venues.

Hayley is currently recording new material set to release in 2024.

Hayley can perform with her band, solo acoustic or duo/trio dependant on the type of gig.

She is also a Prince’s Trust ambassador and performs at numerous charity events.