Hayden Calnin’s Savvy Seven

Hayden Calnin has been busy. Besides releasing ‘Of Collingwood (Reworks)’ in April and playing alongside Dustin Tebbut, LANKS, and Xavier Dunn in cinematic pop band Ok Moon, Hayden’s also found the time to produce. Didirri, Harrison Storm, N.Y.C.K. and Riley Pearce are some of the names he’s worked with –  a playlist compilation of his production work can be found here.

Born in Melbourne, Hayden Calnin has continued to gain significant attention ever since the 2012 release of his first EP ‘City’. The EP’s first track ‘For My Help’ was successful in securing multiple sync deals with shows including ‘So You Think You Can Dance USA’, ‘Suits’ and ‘The 100’. All up, tracks from ‘City’ (2012), ‘Oh, Hunter’ (2014), ‘Dirt’ (2017) and ‘Cut Love Pt. 1’ (2016) have featured on eleven different television series, and the Oscar nominated film ‘Room’ (2015).

On cue, Calnin is ready to treat us with some new music this week – a single set to be released on June 21st (tomorrow!). At MIIO, we really appreciate the time Hayden’s taken during this busy time to shed some light on his experience as an artist and producer. So pop that date into your calendar, grab a coffee and let’s settle in for this week’s Savvy Seven.

1. What inspired you to pursue music as a career?

Music has been the only steady part of my life. I can’t seem to shake the feeling it gives me when I write it, listen to it and perform it. I’ve done lots of other things and have many hobbies outside of music but if I was ever going to turn one of my passions into a career it was always going to be music. I was lucky enough to have a bunch of opportunities pop up throughout my time studying film at university and started creating pieces of music for the films I was making. People started to ask who had made it, which really pushed me to make more and finally release some. It’s really been the encouragement of others as well as my love for it that inspired me to push forward with it and make it the focus of my career.

Looking to start on your first EP? Check out our course ‘Recording Your Music’ here to get started.

2. Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?

I produce a lot of artists from around Australia, and help them create worlds of their own. It’s a great side gig, which also inspires me to continue with my own growth as an artist. If I’m not working on my own stuff, you’ll most definitely find me in the studio working with others. For about 5 years I was also teaching and recording music for children in a Youth Detention Centre and that above anything else has taught me some of the most valuable lessons I have in life and shaped me to be the kind of artist I am now.

3. How do you approach developing timelines for your career?

I never rush things. It’s something I’ve watched a lot of friends and artists do and I’ve only ever seen it backfire or cause disappointment. Art isn’t meant to be pumped out like the next smart phone, it’s meant to come from within and if you put a time limit on that, then its not ever going to be what you set out to create. I haven’t released new music in about 2 years and not because I haven’t been making it, but because I needed to live a little bit of life and get inspired again. I’m not one of those artists who can just pump out song after song and be happy with it. I’m patient and I would never think of changing that about myself.

4. What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?

Trusting my opinion. When I started I used to rely on showing my songs to friends and family a lot and would listen to their critique and unfortunately it gave me massive doubts about what I was creating. So now, I’m quite private when creating everything and don’t show many people aside from my team until it’s finished.

Another challenge that I had to overcome was saying yes to everyone. I can be a bit of a people pleaser but unfortunately people are really good at walking over you when they know you’ll say yes to anything. I think over the last little while I’ve realised those who use you because it’s easy for them are not your friends, in fact, they are the furthest thing from it. I’m now comfortable saying no to things and people if I know that they have an agenda.

5. What will musicians discover from touring and how should they prepare for it?

Touring is not the glamour that you see in the movies. It’s a hard slog, exhausting and at times very lonely. It can also really affect your relationships back home when you are away all the time. When I first started I was playing a lot of shows and I loved it but I also recognised the negative aspects of what it was doing to my life and my overall happiness. So now I only play shows when it’s right for me, and I make them as special as possible for those that come to watch.

Ready to produce and promote your own shows at home? Click here.

6. How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?

It is so important to know what is going on in your industry, the good and the bad. Surround yourself with a community that talks about it and make sure you get involved in the discussions. If you see bad things, speak up, if you see good things, encourage. It isn’t hard to be a good person.

Worried about signing the wrong contract? Have a look at our course ‘Understanding Contracts and Music Law here.

7. How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?

I’m a shopaholic. I buy all the latest tech and work it into my music. I love everything traditional as well, but the world is moving quickly and you have to keep up or you are going to find it very difficult down the line. People are often frightened of how fast everything is changing but I love it. I find new ways of doing things every day and it keeps it all really interesting and new.

For a sneak preview of his Hayden’s new single coming out tomorrow, watch below!

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