Her Current Dance Hit, "I'm Free"

Multi-cultural singer/songwriter Hayla had her first number one hit at seventeen. Her current dance hit, "I'm Free," was written in support of an ex-boyfriend she found in bed with another man. She was raised by two lesbian moms and is the daughter of a gay hairstylist. After experiencing prejudice during her youth, Hayla's message is a simple one: "Love and Compassion."

It's time for the one and only Hayla!

MS: How are you this morning?

Hayla: Amazing!

MS: I was giving a listen to "I'm Free" just before you called. I love the multi-cultural influence in your music.

Hayla: Really? Oh, that's awesome! I bet you have some musical talent.

MS: Actually I do have a background in music.

Hayla: Your comment made me think you did. I really hope you are going to come to my show at Los Angeles Gay Pride on Saturday, June 9th.

MS: I'm planning on being there.

Hayla: Yay! It's going to be amazing! I'm headlining and will be on at 8:30. I'm going to have four hot male dancers, you are going to love them! (laughs) They are absolutely amazing, and Marco Marco is designing our clothes. I will also be performing with a live band. Amazing people, really. I couldn't ask for more.

MS: Speaking of Gay Pride, the background story for your song "I'm Free" is certainly interesting.

Hayla: Can you believe that? The funny story is, with the background I came from, that I didn't figure it out. (laughs) That my boyfriend was...

MS: Gay? (laughs)

Hayla: No, no, he's bi, he's bi! (laughs)

MS: Well, Pride is a great place for you to perform given your parental background.

Hayla: Oh yeah, and Mom's going to be at the concert. She's flying in from Israel. This will be the first time she is really coming out of the closet, for real.

MS: Really?

Hayla: It's really difficult to come out in Israel. It has gotten a little better for this generation, but for my moms it was different. I have a few gay cousins as well. It's what I grew up with.

MS: It's great that you are open and talk about it.

Hayla: A few bloggers online were saying how the stories I told were fake and stuff. I called Jim Strzalkowski [Hayla's PR Guy] and said, 'Can you believe these people?!' They say I am making up things to bond with the gay community. It's ridiculous.

MS: It really is. No one would make this kind of stuff up.

Hayla: Exactly! Thank you! (laughs) I was so hurt by that idiot, but whatever. (laughs)

MS: You being open and honest about this right now is a positive thing in light of current affairs.

Hayla: It took my mom years to speak the truth. Finally, she agreed. She is looking for someone, too, so I told her to come to America and do it! (laughs)

MS: Do you keep in contact with your father?

Hayla: Yes, but not like I do with my mother. I did not grow up with him, but I love him. He is a musician as well as a hairstylist.

MS: How cool!

Hayla: Yes, I came from a very musical family. Both my mom and my father were musicians, they are amazing creatures. For a long time I was so mad at them for so many years. When I came to America I finally forgave them and was complete with myself and was so happy, finally! (laughs)

MS: The overall message of your music, is a good one: love and compassion. Explain what that message means to you.

Hayla: For me, it means we are all moving on to the next life and we should try to be good people while we are here. Be true to ourselves. I wrote this song, first song I ever wrote in English actually, "Fly". It's amazing, it's about Mother Earth. The message came through this song naturally to me when I was writing it, listen to the lyrics. In Israel everybody loves it. It's very ethnic. (laughs)

MS: I'll have to give it a listen then.

Hayla: What songs did you listen to?

MS: Your current hit, "I'm Free".

Hayla: Oh, you should go and listen to some more of my music and give me your input.

MS: Ok, deal! I have to ask you about one last thing. You play a Middle Eastern drum called the Doumbek.

Hayla: Yes, I love it!

MS: Percussion is not something females usually play.

Hayla: I know. I'm a tomboy, that's why. (laughs)

MS: Well, you look like anything but one. You look very feminine.

Hayla: That's why my friends call me "Draggie," because in real life I am a tomboy, but onstage I am theatrical and like to go over the top. (laughs)

Get "Draggie" with Hayla at:



Michael Shinafelt

Michael Shinafelt has covered pop & dance music since he first burst on to the writing scene, interviewing everyone from pop icon Olivia Newton-John to pop artist E.G. Daily. Not to mention the many dance divas (male and female) who he has crossed paths with. Other interviews of note are Pamela Anderson, Heidi Fleiss, as well as cover stories on Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin. Peace.