We had the good fortune of connecting with Hayley Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hayley, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a singer. From the wee age of five or so, I had a lot of grand plans and theories about how I would achieve such a thing. I brought my lyrics to school and rehearsed dance routines with my friends at recess (mind you, girl bands were HUGE at this time). It wasn’t until college, however, when I was trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do with the rest of my life, that I thought more seriously about pursuing music as a career. My goals have shifted since then, but if there’s one thing that has remained true, it’s that I plan to make music and share that music for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t be able to shake it if I tried (and, oh, how I’ve tried).

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Above all, my art has been a place of refuge and self-expression for me. It’s a part of myself that I can go to in order to feel empowered, motivated and understood. I think that I always told myself that I wanted to create and share my art so that other people would feel less alone in their experiences and feelings. And this is absolutely true. I believe SO MUCH in the healing and connecting power of music and art. However, I’ve come to realize that much of my desire to express myself through art has come from wanting to feel seen, heard and loved. It’s been rather transformative to realize this about myself, because it has changed my orientation towards both my music and healing. Instead of hoping for recognition and appreciation by way of my accomplishments or talents, more recently, I’ve been in the practice of trying to tell myself that I’m worthy of connection, love and relationships regardless of my external achievements, skills, etc. I want to make music knowing that I’m already good enough and lovable enough as I am instead of using it to try to prove those things. I’m proud of this realization because I came to LA with the expectation that “making it” would solve my problems – financially, emotionally, interpersonally, etc. And it’s been empowering to realize that I don’t need a certain set of circumstances to transpire in order to feel good about my life. Rather, I can work to make my life better – I can put my wellbeing first – and the music can come out of that place instead. At the end of the day, as cheesy as it sounds, I want to spread love the best I can, and I think that comes from learning to love myself first.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, man. Let’s pretend that the pandemic isn’t a thing for a minute. I would absolutely recommend (of course) checking out local music and comedy venues such as The Bootleg, The Echo, UCB, and Stories Books & Cafe. You could so easily see awesome local music, comedy or storytelling every night of your stay (and for free or cheap!). Heck, you could literally just go to the same venue each night and walk away feeling as though you’ve had a well-rounded experience. And THE FOOD! Oh my gosh. There’s so much good food. I would recommend a trip to Grand Central Market if you want variety, Masa of Echo Park for deep dish pizza and coziness, Sage or Kitchen Mouse for vegan/vegetarian grub, Bacari West Adams for tasty small plates and cheap drinks, and The Griddle Cafe or Millie’s Cafe for an incredibly bomb breakfast experience. Bar-wise, I recommend The Ace for downtown views, Clifton’s because it is nothing like anything I’ve ever seen before and Tiki Ti because it’s historic and tiki drinks are awesome. In terms of museums, The Broad is fun (hey, tie it in with your trip to GCM!), LACMA because of course, and both The Getty and Getty Villa are worth the trek. The Getty Villa is amazing just for the drive out to the coast and the views. In fact, you may as well just keep on driving and get some fish & chips at Malibu Seafood while you’re at it (pro-tip: the patio is BYOB!). Lastly, no trip is complete without a jaunt up to the Observatory. Do yourself a favor and get a fancy dinner at Little Dom’s and then go up to the observatory at night for views. It’s the loveliest.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my band, and to all iterations of The Little Miss, really. I’ve played with so many wonderful and talented humans, and playing alongside other people is truly what brought The Little Miss to life for me. It has made everything so much more fun. Shout out to Daniel Grimsland, Omar Leyva, Tyler Grinham, Dave Anderson, Brandon Hardy, Ryan Ly, Talayeh Nasirzadeh and Kevin Perez. I love you guys. If I’m allowed a second shoutout, I would like to dedicate it to the filmmakers and photographers I’ve worked with over the years. Again, they’ve brought the project to life for me, in that, collaborating with these folks has brought so much more play, levity and creativity into my life. I’d be nothin’ without their talents and willingness to dive in. Specifically, I want to shoutout Paige Nelson, Jayden Becker, Anna Azarov, Jordy Rader, Shannon Godly, Isobella Antelis, Lauren Kay Waldvogel and Luis Adrian Lara.

Website: https://www.thelittlemiss.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelittlemiss_

Twitter: www.twitter.com/itsthelilmiss

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelittlemissmusic

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/thelittlemisshayley

Image Credits
Anna Azarov

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