talent is indefinable. A voice like Hayley Westenra's
can be nurtured and guided through maturity, but its
source belongs to nature. It is this remarkable voice
that caught the attention of Costa Pilavachi, President
of Decca Records International. His verdict was simple,
“Hayley Westenra is a star!”
her remarkable early success in New Zealand, Hayley
signed with Decca Records International in London, who
in September 2003 will introduce New Zealand’s brightest
young star to the world. Decca are the world’s largest
classical label and home to greats such as Andrea Bocelli,
Pavarotti and Russell Watson.
debut international album “Pure” is released first in
New Zealand on July 17th, closely followed by its Australian
release on July 21st. The UK, the US and Asia release
in September and October of 2003 and other territories
will be releasing the album in early 2004.
Hayley has broken new artistic ground in her choice
of songs for “Pure”. "Before, I was singing show tunes
and light classical music. It was all one genre, whereas
now I've got a lot more variety. I'm going to more extremes
with proper classical pieces and poppier songs. Making
this album has broadened the way I sing; I've developed
different singing styles."
sees herself as primarily a classical performer, but
she does not wish to put herself into a stylistic corner,
and on “Pure” she explores the worlds of pop, traditional
Maori choral singing, and gives a new freshness to well-known
classical repertoire. The album's producer Giles Martin
enrolled a number of people to help Hayley achieve this,
including his father, legendary Beatles producer Sir
George Martin, all of whom contributed in achieving
the album's unique appeal.
was discovered busking with her younger sister Sophie
in her hometown of Christchurch in 2000. The young buskers’
fan was a journalist with a local television station
and Hayley soon appeared on air. The appearance captured
the attention of concert promoter Gray Bartlett, and
a deal with Universal Music New Zealand soon followed.
self-titled debut recording for Universal featured an
eclectic mix of show music and classical pieces; it
went straight in at No.1 in the pop charts (where it
remained for four weeks), turned triple platinum and
made Hayley the fastest-selling local artist in New
Zealand's history. This was soon followed by the Christmas
album "My Gift To You".
has already been an amazing year for Hayley, recording
her album in London with Giles and Sir George Martin
as well as performing at the Classical Brit Awards in
May with Aled Jones. The months ahead look even more
remarkable for Hayley. "If I could be anyone in the
world, I'd actually choose to be me, where I am right
now, because I'm so excited about what I'm doing and
I'm loving it totally. It's incredible; the opportunities
I've been given. I really didn't expect this to happen",
she says with wide-eyed wonder. "It is amazing how one
thing leads to another."
is released July 17th in New Zealand.
News Menu 2003