A 10-year-old Airdrie singer/songwriter recently recorded her first song and accompanying music video with the help of her music mentor Lori Kole – an independent Nashville recording artist with more than 20 years' experience performing for audiences.
Hayley Isabel said with the assistance of Kole and the music producer’s husband Barry Driedger (of Nashville Licks) she was able to produce a demo recording and music video for her song “Camouflage.”
Currently in Grade 6 at Atlas Learning Academy, Isabel is far from your average 10-year-old. In her downtime, she belts out country tunes and dreams of one day hearing her own songs on the radio.
“I [began] belting out Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood songs in the back of the car and I play mostly guitar, but I also play piano and ukulele,” she said.
The precocious young musician said she has been singing for as long as she can remember and began playing the piano when she was still just six years old.
A few years ago, she picked up a guitar and has since written four songs, including “Camouflage,” and has performed at cafés, festivals, and markets around Airdrie.
“It’s all for the fun of it. I just love music. It’s my passion and I just love it so much,” Isabel said of her inspiration.
With the help of Kole and Driedger, Isabel recorded and filmed a music video earlier this year for her favourite song she had written.
“[They said] they would record my song … and make a music video for it, and I thought that was amazing,” she said. “As soon as [they] said that I had a lot of visions in my mind, because [Camouflage] is a real ‘story’ song, so I had a lot of ideas.”
According to Isabel, her mom Shayna Mackoney-Skauge recorded the music video with her iPhone 13, which she said has an “amazing camera.”
“We started with a bunch of small clips of me doing cartwheels and spinning down hills and playing ukulele at home and just free spirit clips,” Isabel said of the recording process.
“My good friend’s sister [Emily Leary, 16] has been in drama club in her high school and did some acting in it – she was amazing.”
Isabel said the lyrics in the song tell a story of a girl who doesn’t feel she fits in with everybody else, and in order to make friends, attempts to walk, talk, and dress like everybody around her.
“[She’s] not being herself, but that’s how she can make friends, that’s the easiest way,” Isabel said. “I follow that story line into the music video, and then there’s me being all free spirit and just being myself.
“And then there’s [Emily] who’s just trying to fit in dressing like everybody else, but she really just wants to put on sweats and a T-shirt.”
According to Isabel, most of her songs are based on her own personal experiences, but this particular one she dreamt up one day while daydreaming in math class.
“I heard the word camouflage and [thought] that would be a great name for a song, and I just started spinning around in my head,” she said.
Looking toward the future, Isabel said she hopes to one day make a career as a country singer and to eventually hear her songs on the radio.
“I think that’d be absolutely amazing. I’m not too sure I want to get crazy famous because that sounds kind of scary, but even if I could, I probably wouldn’t want it to be that big,” she said of her aspirations.
In the more immediate future, the local musician has a gig lined up at Brewsters Brewing Company and Restaurant in Airdrie on Nov. 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. Isabel said the show is open for anyone who would like to attend.
She will be singing and playing her guitar with a little bit of ukulele and piano. Attendees can expect newer country music with a blues influence and pop with a little country twang, according to Isabel’s mom.
Those interested in Isabel’s music journey can visit her social media pages on Facebook and Instagram @hayleyisabelmusic