Hayley's Still an nzgirl


ED: You'll find a few factual errors in this "article". I guess it doesn't pay to believe all you read in the press.

She may be performing at prestigious music events around the world and hanging out with the likes of Sting and Andrea Bocelli, but Hayley Westenra is still a typical Kiwi girl.

A room at the Hilton isnít typical accommodation for a 16 year-old, but one look at the unmade bed and clothes spilling out from a suitcase onto the floor show sheís turned it into a home away from home...

Looking very different from her latest round of press shots (she now has light brown permed hair) Hayley spoke to nzgirl about touring, shopping and her new album ďPureĒÖ

Youíre living the high lifeÖare you comfortable in these sorts of surroundings yet?
I still havenít gotten used to it. I had this other room that had this massive balcony and I was like, ďI donít need this balconyĒ. I donít even really need this big a room! Itís a bit weird because Iím just 16 and Iíd be quite happy with just a pokey little room.

Whatís a typical day for you?
Recently Iíve been having to get up really early like 6.30am, and go to do some breakfast interviews for radio or TV. Then Iíll have about half an hour for lunchÖitís not too bad. I have little breaks and itís not too hectic. Iíll probably finish around 5 or 6. But each day is different.

Iím going to try and go to the gym as often as possible. I think its good to have some sort of exercise and Iím sure it will be beneficial to my singing. It goes along with eating well and getting enough sleep, so Iím going to try to do that every dayÖmaybe. I try to get to bed as early as possible, but I usually get to bed about 10.30am.

Pure is a mix of classical, modern and cover songs, what artists do you listen to the most?
Usually Iíll listen to pop music. I like a mixture really, and the record company sends me compilations of 50 Cent, Daniel Bedingfield, Delta Goodrem and a few others. I really like Vanessa Carlton, Counting Crowes, EnriqueÖ

Have you met many of the people you listen to?
I was able to meet Sting at the Classical Brit Awards, but up until now Iíve been meeting the classical musicians. I was able to meet Andrea Bocelli at the Classical Brit Awards. I donít know why, but his album was the first one I ever bought when I was 11. Heís really nice Ė he said, ďWhere are you from?Ē and said, ďOh, youíve got the voice of an angelĒ. I got a photo with them and I met a few other famous opera singersÖand Vanessa Mae, the violinist.

If you could do a collaboration, who would you choose?
Iíd probably choose Enrique! Donít know how likely that would be, but it would be pretty cool.

Youíre 16 now; do you get sick of still being referred to as an angel or delicate?
Not really. I should be quite grateful that it isnít anything bad. Iím lucky theyíre not saying terrible voice, and horrible personalityÖ

What are your expectations for the album, considering itís your first international release?
Itís hard because everyone else has expectations that itís going to do really well, so Iím a little bit nervous as to how it will go. I havenít though, ďOkay, Iíll be happy if I sell this many recordsĒ. Iím just going to see how it goes and do my best at promoting it. Iím releasing overseas as well this time so it will be quite interesting to see how it goes in different countries.

*Hayleyís first album, ďVoice of an AngelĒ was only released in New Zealand. [ED: YOU CAN'T MISS THIS ERROR!!]

What do you miss about being a normal teenager?
I guess I just miss being away from my friends and not having as much time to do things like going to the movies and parties. Ideally Iíd like to have some more time to do those things butÖcanít really complain! Iím lucky to be able to do what Iím doing.

Iíve been in London for about 4 months this year. I actually went to school for about 3 weeks when I came back here, just to see my friends again. I was really weird actually. I got back and I was expecting everyone to be going to parties and hanging out every night and it was actually quite boring. I thought, ďThereís nothing much happening hereÖĒ It hit me then that what Iím doing is actually quite exciting. Iím going to be away until February next year now, possibly even later than that. Next Iím going to Australia to release my album, then to Asia, then the UK.

Youíre still only just starting out, but whatís the most memorable moment of your career been so far?
My performances around New Zealand have been really great and the people Iíve worked with have been truly friendly and nice, and overseas itís been all these prestigious places and events like the Classical Brit Awards. They had this red carpet that you walked up on your way into the venue and I arrived in a limousine and they had organised a big Maori welcome. There was this welcome as I walked up the carpet and there were all these photographers lined up taking pictures and say[ing], ďHayley, look over hereĒ. That was memorable because Iíd never done anything like that before.

Whatís the best thing about guys?
Theyíre just really easygoing and really relaxedÖwell most guys are anyway. I didnít get to mix with many UK guys while I was over there, but I think NZ guys are pretty good.

Whatís the most annoying thing?
I think possibly they just donít understand how girls want time to get ready Ė just the girly things. They probably allow 15 minutes to get ready and they expect that from us too. I donít spend a lot of time getting ready and Iíll leave things to the last minute so Iím usually late.

Whatís the biggest rebound no-no?
She should start afresh and although itís hard getting on with it, she should just spend some time with her girlfriends rather than getting too hung up on it.

Whatís the most extravagant thing youíve ever bought yourself?
I bought a pair of jeans in LondonÖIím not a big label person, but thereís a shop called Miss Sixty (http://www.misssixty.com) thatís got lots of cool, funky stuff.

*Gets up and pulls jeans out of her suitcase*

Itís hard because youíre expected to have all these different outfits, but then youíre expected to travel round with a suitcase. When I go overseas I have two because of the different seasons.

Do you do a lot of shopping?
We do a little bit but itís hard because youíve only got a little bit of room in your suitcase. When we first went to London we thought it was too expensive and didnít buy anything, but then we started to see lots of cheap stuff. We were just buying lots of cheap things and then we figured that we were better off saving and buying some really nice items.

How do you think success has changed you?
It can be hard when youíre mixing with adults all the time. Iíve probably grown in confidence a lot and Iím more comfortable talking to adults than perhaps some of my peers would be. It hasnít really changed me Ė I can still relate to people my own age, but I can also talk freely to adults.

Whatís the most common questions you get asked?
Do you have a boyfriend? Thatís second down from anything related to Charlotte Church. They always ask me about school too. I go when Iím in Christchurch, but Iíve got a tutor whoís based in London. Itís hard because I know I should have a back-up. In some ways I know I should be spending a bit more time on it, but in others I donít want it to get in the way of what Iím doing. You canít spread yourself out too thinly. When youíve got a spare half hour sometimes its nice to be able to lie down for half an hour and do some recharging as opposed to wearing yourself out worrying about school work.

What would you do if you had to stop?
To be honest I havenít given it that much thought, but Iíd probably have to do something involving music. I donít know if Iíd teachÖ Iím learning French and German at school and thatís quite cool, so I might find a job that includes those two skills. I hope I donít need to!

Hayleyís second album, ďPureĒ is in stores now. [ED: "SECOND ALBUM" ... REALLY?]


Thanks to Keith S for locating this article, and to Gareth K and Belinda H for Hayley's first album picture below.

To set the record straight...

Jacket of Hayley's very first album
"Walking in the Air"


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