New York City native Hayes Warner is bringing a new, edgy energy to the pop scene and making waves as one of PEOPLE's Emerging Artists to Watch in 2023. With hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, songwriting credits on some of the biggest TV networks, and more, Hayes has certainly proven her star power. And with her newest holiday track, "Worst Time of Year", officially released, the songstress isn't planning to slow down any time soon.
Distractify chatted with Hayes to learn about her dream collaboration, her most-used emoji, and more.
If you had to get a tattoo right now, what would it be?
HW: I'm always forgetting to drink water. I know I’d regret it afterwards, but I’ve definitely thought about getting "H20" tattooed on my arm or forehead or something, just to give me a little nudge every time I look at it and remind myself to get hydrated.
What’s your most-used emoji?
HW: I definitely use the girl in the red dress dancing a lot. It's my go-to move to soften the blow of bad news, or add a bit of spice when I admit to messing something up. You know, like, "Oops, running late, sorry! 💃🏻"
Talk about the best fan interaction you’ve ever had.
HW: I’ll never forget the first person who DM’d me when I dropped my first song and told me that she related to the lyrics. It was wild to have a total stranger connect with my music. She’s from Washington D.C., and a few weeks ago I was playing a show in Washington D.C. opening for Flo Rida, and she came.
It was so fun to see her — we’ve been chatting, and she’s been so supportive with all of the songs I’ve been releasing these past few years. So, my best fan interaction was definitely getting to finally meet my first fan in person a few weeks ago!
Tell us about the first concert you ever attended.
HW: When I was six years old, I went to a Black Eyed Peas concert with my kindergarten friend and her parents. It was their “Boom Boom Pow” era and they played at Madison Square Garden. It was definitely a key memory. Ludacris opened for them, and in the middle of his set, he told the whole crowd to give the world a “middle-finger salute.” I obviously joined in, and that was my first-ever time flipping someone off, haha.
If you could start any rumor about yourself, what would it be?
HW: That I was slimed at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Or, that I won the 2008 Zach and Cody Danimals Yogurt sweepstakes contest.
Who or what is your biggest musical inspiration?
HW: One of my biggest inspirations is definitely Hayley Williams/Paramore. I’m also obsessed with Gwen Stefani, Joan Jett, and Blondie.
Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
HW: Cody Simpson (the "All Day" music video broke my heart) and Justin Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place.
Shout out one of your favorite fellow creators!
HW: Loren Gray is the best — she’s hilarious and a boss businesswoman! We just released a song together: “Breadcrumbs!”
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
HW: "Life Is a Highway" by Rascal Flatts, "Club Can’t Handle Me" by Flo Rida, and "Promiscuous Girl" by Nelly Furtado.
Tell us about your dream musical collaboration.
HW: I have been obsessed with Chappell Roan’s newest album, "The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess." I would LOVE to collaborate with her.
If you couldn’t be a musician, what would your dream job be?
HW: Growing up, I was dead set on becoming a veterinarian. But turns out I kind of confused my love for cute animals with the whole vet thing. I think I would pass out if I saw a sick animal. So maybe the right answer to that is just getting a cat or lizard.
Share your top three desert-island necessities.
- Pre-popped popcorn
- 40 buckets of Dunkin' iced coffee
- Wheat Thins
What’s your No. 1 distraction?
HW: I know this is probably an obvious one, but I just spent the last 3 hours aimlessly scrolling on TikTok. Also I get sucked into scrolling through Netflix without actually choosing something to watch.