Dreamstate Spotlight – Haliene
When we think about some of the great trance…
…anthems and songs over the years, there is always an element that links them. It is that angelic voice that puts emotions to words and vocalizes the feelings we cherish. There has been some great ones who have paved the way for singers of today, but arguably Haliene is taking the trance vocal to a new level. Now the question is, are fans ready for not just a special guest or backup singer, but are they ready for a headlining act? It is no secret that this talented singer is ready for more. Her drive, ambition and business savvy will propel her to new territories and change the face of the electronic music world.
First of all thank you for taking the time to sit with me today. This is really one of the first live events back that is similar to pre-covid. Are you excited, nervous?
I can’t really believe it. I think I was in shock, with all the beautiful faces because I can see them singing [and smiling] back to me. It’s like a dream and yet it felt like no time has passed at all, but at the same time feels like so long ago. I’m so honored to be part of this amazing event in Vegas today.
As a singer in both the trance and EDM scene, you have really led the charge to be more than just a “backup” or “a guest” of an act, but a main attraction. Why was it so important for you to really push for your own sets? What was some of the pushback or obstacles that you had to face?
Haliene: Why is it so important to me to have my own assets? Well, I did the featured singer thing for many years. Yes, it looks amazing and honored. Especially when you’re first starting out in a genre like dance music. It’s awesome to get up there and perform your song and be with the DJ and see how many people love this music. It’s incredible. But I have so many songs.
Yes, I have actually a long career even before I started, primarily only doing dance music and my background is a live performer. [This] just led me to want to expand, but I also think it’s the perfect time in dance music history to sort of expand upon what has been previously always been. I think people are ready for more and change, I think it’s perfect timing. You don’t have to be only behind the decks, you could be out in front of them, you could be singing.
Danielle: You’re doing a lot up there.
Haliene: Yeah, it is combining the concert experience with the club experience because people love dance music and I think it’s time to let it evolve into something, fresh
Danielle: what was some of the pushback and obstacles?
Haliene: I mean at first it was really [really] hard because people didn’t know what it would look like until they saw it. [You would get] Yeah, right, she’s a singer. Okay, but does she DJ? Then they see me, and she’s a singer, she has a DJ, she performs. Like a Beyoncé kind of a thing. [It was something they] never seen before.
So it took a lot of people taking a risk with us and going, “Okay? I’ll book a singer” and then it worked actually. It’s crazy. That worked. And so just like moving our way through over the years. And here we are playing Dreamstate with the support of Insomniac.
To date we have done so many Insomniac shows and more on the horizon.
You are a very busy woman, along with your own singing career, you also write and have a company called Golden Thread Music. How do you manage your time between helping and developing new talent, writing music, and your own personal career?
Haliene: We have weekly calls with our artists that we’re developing and working with and so it’s important that, we stay on top of that as well. I really believe in both Monica Santucci and Amidy. I think they’re incredible rising talent, and just watching their trajectory of the past couple years. It’s really amazing how well they’re being received. Then writing music, is actually the most fun, and the quickest, which is why we have so much of it. We write our songs in like an hour.
Danielle: Oh wow. That is fast.
Haliene: Yeah, it’s like okay, we have to go to this meeting or we have this call and then we have that as so we need to write a song. In the next 30 minutes. [But that is what you sign up for] it’s just so much when you become an artist or producer and you’re performing live. You are running a small business. I think it’s important to say that it’s not just filming music videos, and drinking champagne.
Danielle: That is the glamour people see, not the work.
Haliene: Exactly! [We have] a lot of work…and just thinking of a thousand million things [to do]. So we just try to do our best and prioritize and micro schedule.
You have an amazing voice, and I have seen and heard you live plenty of times. What are your thoughts when it comes to auto-tune? Do you think it hinders singers like you?
I think there is a like a stigma…especially with live [performances]. I think some really do lean on it or maybe they’re going for a [certain] sounds…What is probably most [surprising] to listeners of music is that auto tune is actually used on almost every vocal when it is recorded in a studio. Which is wild. So I don’t know if it hinders people that can really sing. Tune, maybe some people comment on YouTube. I mean I’m not like super opposed if your strengths are something else. Like a Britney Spears, you ‘betcha’ she is auto-tuned [but what a performance you got].
In your own opinion, what do you think is the most important, the melody, vocal, or the lyrics?
[I love how they] come together perfectly. [Lyrics with a vocal] combined with a melody. That’s just like takes you into the stars. But I will say my favorite of any song is always going to be the lyrics. Yeah lyrics just grabbed me first. Yes, and that’s my inspiration.
During the pandemic, as many DJs, you turned to Twitch. How was that change for you to switching virtually? Will you keep it up once everything reopens?
It was a big learning experience, [but also] it was a saving grace, honestly. Because there was no other way to connect with your fans. You couldn’t really do live on Facebook, but [with Twitch], it is structured in a way that we can interact with fans and still make an income. [So it was] a Godsend, and I love it. I’ve created my little community and it’s so fun to see them. I don’t do it as often now. I used to it like every Monday. But yeah, I still love it.
Finally, if you could only live by one motto, what would it be?
It’s from a poem in the book, The Prophet Saw, it is called “On Joy and Sorrow”, and it’s just an amazing book and amazing poem which gotten me through some really hard times in my own life, you just think there’s none being hollowed out right now, but that means there’s no more to be boarded. That means I can hold more compassion, I can hold more love for other human beings that might be going through this at some point later on in life.