Saisha Hayes, currently a student in the final year of university, is an upcoming singer-songwriter who was recently starred in a Pakistani music video. Showcasing her talent in a wide array of artistic mediums, Saisha has lived in seven different countries and has been to thirteen different schools. Her most recent single “One Way Ticket” was featured in Rolling Stone India, and BBC Leeds. Previously she had also released an album called “Infinity is an Illusion” which is an eleven-track album which contemplates the impermanence of life and the human condition, as a reaction to this impermanence. 

 

How did you get into music? 
I have always been into music and dancing. Probably because of my exposure to Bollywood films at a young age, which combined the two, and of course MTV, or 2000’s pop videos. I have been making songs since the age of three, my cousins would ask me quizzically as they pushed me on this rusty swing in Delhi “what song are you singing?” I would gleefully reply, “My own song!” This enthusiasm continued; I was making songs but they were acapella. Then when I was around 12 years old, I started writing poetry. I would later stay after school using the music room playing random chords on the piano and I would turn those poems into songs. 

Having studied in different parts of the world, how has your overall experience been  and what differences and similarities have you seen in these nations? 
Oh, the differences are so drastic I was living in countries like Cambodia and Tanzania before I came to London. I think moving to London was one of the most difficult things I have had to do. The warmth of the previous countries in temperature and people’s personalities were so different to the cold of London. 

You seem to be a multi-talented person who makes music, dances, raps, etc. How do you manage to give equal time to all of these? 
Ha ha ha! That is very kind of you to say! I make time for these things by just constantly creating. It is a habit that I do not even intentionally mean to do, but ideas seem to just pop into my head quite often. For example, when I’m in a boring lecture if you look at the back of my notebook, there will be lyrics and rap bars scrawled across the pages. 
If I’m walking down the tube station I might be humming into my phone because I got a random idea for a melody. It’s this constant quick daily flow, that enables me to create so many different things. My education also aids this kind of skill because it is broad-based and nurtures divergent thinking. (Liberal Arts degree and prior international baccalaureate diploma in high school)

You were recently seen starring in one of the Pakistani music videos? How did it come about? Can you take us through the journey? 
Yes! I was recently in the video for “Chal Hut Mamoo”. The process was challenging, because of Covid, we had put off shooting for a year and then when it came to shooting, I got covid, so it was a bit hectic. I had to learn the dance steps online, through video tutorials. I was so lucky to have my friend Favour teach them to me, otherwise I would have not gotten them at all!! As a dancer I would say I have an innate ability to pick up rhythm and to freestyle making my own moves which are useful in parties or the club, but not in a Lollywood video, which requires choreography! 
When we finally got to going to Dubai, I was so nervous about the shoot, as I wanted to do my very best, I was even practising on the airplane, to which the flight attendants would raise a quizzical eyebrow and little children would giggle impishly. The night before the shoot I could barely sleep from the nerves, I had to wake up at four thirty and we finished shooting at 12! In the end I think it was all worth it though. I remember right before the camera started rolling on the yatch scene I had to excuse myself to just shed some emotional tears in the toilet. I had been waiting for this moment since I was five when I would be glued to the tv screen watching Bollywood dance numbers and MTV music videos. Then it finally happened!

You are never afraid of trying your hand in different areas, be it modelling or any creative activity. How do you get the confidence to dive into everything? 
I would say I get my confidence to try things from my parents. My parents are the most confident people on this planet. My mother and my father both exude this insane level of self-confidence that they could be with the queen of England but they would still do what they wanted to do. They never cared what other people thought of them. If we were going grocery shopping and there were free trolleys lying around in the street my father would get my mother to jump in and he would push her down the high street. As a teenager I found this mortifying!!! But as I got older, I too would jump in the trolley and I realised it was really fun. My parents tell me however, that I have always been a confident child performing a solo dance piece at the Indian Embassy in Dhaka when I was five years old in front of a crowd of 1000 people. 

Who’s your inspiration from the musical fraternity?
Lana del Rey is my biggest inspiration. My father showed me Lana Del Rey, and when I listened to her song video games, I was transfixed. not just by her beauty but by her voice and the composition of the music. It was so different to anything that was available to me in the 2010’s, I became obsessed. Her sound reminded me of a bygone era that I never had the pleasure of experiencing and I suppose that is why it had mass appeal. Not only was her sonic imagery distinctive but so was the nomadic life style of danger and excitement she crooned about in her songs. I fell in love, to this day she is the only artist I have listened to from the age of 12 to 21!! I would say inspiration is an understatement. 

What are you working on right now? 
I am super excited to announce my second album, “Prozac’s Poster child”. It will be coming out this summer. It is an album that is very close to my heart as it delves into an array of social issues ranging from Hedonism to hook up culture to dealing with grief and the loss of a loved one. I think this album is a perfect balance between emotive ballads and fun upbeat club songs. So, there’s definitely something in for everyone. Moreover, I have songs that are in Hindi in this album such as “the city is in passing”. The music video for that was shot in Nepal near Trishuli River.
I also have an upcoming single called “Dreaming”, coming out before the album which is a sensual ballad. I had written it years before I got the opportunity to be in a movie. The chorus whispers “Are you dreaming of me ….? On the silver screen”. 

What type of genre do you usually stick to for your songs? Your past albums/ singles and their genres? 
My past album Infinity is an Illusion had songs that were alternative pop, or bedroom pop, influences from Clairo and Lana Del Rey can be seen. Recently I released a single “One Way Ticket” which was featured in Rolling Stone India, and BBC Leeds.