Isaac Hayden moved to Nashville in the spring of 2009 to begin work on his latest project, which released in September of 2014. Produced by Sam Brooker, member of critically acclaimed folk duo ‘Sam & Ruby’ and proprietor of Artist Revolution Records, the album debuted on iTunes New & Noteworthy Chart. The eponymous album features Nashville and national talent like The Mccrary Sisters, Jeremy Lister, Jimmy Wallace, Daniel Ellsworth, Jared Kneale, Jerry Navarro, Tyler Cain, and many more.
Raised in The San Juan Islands of Washington state, and Jackson, Wyoming, Isaac started writing songs while at college in Spokane. 10 years later, those songs and his captivating live performance garnered him opening spots for artists like Martin Sexton, Keb Mo’, Tony Joe White, Fitz & The Tantrums, Rickie Lee Jones, Chuck Prophet, Shelly Fairchild, and Sam & Ruby. In 2013, Isaac signed an artist development and publishing deal with Artist Revolution Records. Artist Revolution is also the publisher of country duo Florida Georgia Lines' record setting song "Cruise."
After his album release, Nashville’s WRLT Lightning 100 radio station selected Isaac to headline one of their weekly "Sunday Night Live" shows, which is broadcast Live throughout Music City. Lightning 100 also featured Isaac as the local spotlight artist of the week, landing his songs ‘Cruel World’ and ‘Emily’ in the popular stations’ rotation.
Currently booking a 2015 tour of the US & Canada, Isaac will be performing songs from his new album, as well as selections from his upcoming, and untitled, next project. Generally performing as a solo act, keep an ear out for the occasional trio performance with renowned bassist Jerry Navarro and Australian percussion slickster Jared Kneale.
Being raised in two distinct places like the San Juan Islands in Washington State, and in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, must've made for an interesting childhood. What was it like?
“Growing up on an island was incredible. Me and my buds would hang on the docks and catch shrimp, build tunnels and forts through the vines in the forest, or help my Mom pick blackberries for her famous jam. It was a magical place. When my family moved to Wyoming, it was a whole new kind of magic... wide open, and big.”
You began learning guitar while attending a small liberal arts college in Spokane where you also played for the basketball team. How did your transition to being a full time musician come about?
“A good friend in Wyoming heard me playing guitar and singing a couple of my songs. I was crashing at his place and playing quietly behind a closed door, as I was pretty shy about the music. He offered to record a demo for me, and after some convincing I went and recorded six songs. He turned the bathroom into a vocal booth, and I was hooked! That was my start in music. I started writing songs more proactively from that point on, and I started playing shows. It was an exciting time for me because no one I knew really thought of me as a musician, so there was a lot of 'What!? I didn’t know you could sing!'"
You took some time to travel landing in several different cities including San Diego, before calling Nashville home in 2009. What was your first impression of Music City?
“When I moved here, I went the Bluebird Cafe one night to see what the deal was. I listened to four songs by four different songwriters, the last of whom was Eric Paslay. He was awesome. I went home immediately after his song and started writing. It was going to take a lot of work for me to succeed. The level of artistry in Nashville is truly remarkable, and the commitment to the craft of songwriting is inspiring.”
That hard work eventually started to pay off, landing you opening spots for some great artists like Keb Mo and Fits & The Tantrums. What is your live show like?
“I usually play as a solo act, although I was fortunate to cross paths with a great Australian drummer, Jared Kneale, a few years back. Jared has an incredible style to his playing which takes the music to a whole different place. Occasionally, my awesome afro wearing flying hawaiian buddy Jerry Navarro joins us on Bass. Whatever the setup, I love to perform this music."
When asked what he loves most about playing live, Isaac says, "getting to the place where I'm able to perform with the same energy and emotion that I feel exists in the song." It's a testament to the value he puts on human emotion. And that's just what fans will hear in Isaac's music.