Interview: HALIENE from H to E

HALIENE is one of those rare angelic voices that can really touch your soul and for the past years her name has been associated with a lot of famous acts from the electronic music industry (from Gareth Emery, to Ferry Corsten or ATB just to name a few).

Inspired by artists like the Carpenters, Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Brightman and finding her musical roots in jazz and even classical music, HALIENE likes to point out that Frou Frou/Imogen Heap what really got her started into doing electronic music, but she also grew up on groups like Delirium and Enigma, long before she even knew dance music existed.

She strikes through an amazing honestly and openness when she speaks about her work and herself and she’s one of the few artists that I know who wrote everything she’s ever sang.

Her stage-name: HALIENE (pronounced like alien with an H) was inspired by the French word for breath “haleine”. “Breath is what unites every living being. We all have that first breath of life.” , says the artist.

In a world dominated by a repeating beat, HALIENE has the courage to write her own musical story and pours her heart and soul into doing it. So, how could we not want to know more about her and her current and future projects?!

HALIENE was kind enough to answer Radio DEEA’s questions, so let’s discover her together, shall we?

Radio DEEA: First things first: who is HALIENE and how did you evolve from Kelly Sweet to the internationally known artist HALIENE?

HALIENE: “HALIENE is me! When I first started diving into electronic music, I was changing my sound so much that I felt like it was also time to reinvent myself, as my earlier music was a completely different style. As I’ve grown I’ve defined myself more and more as an artist and I always had a huge love for electronic sounds.”

Radio DEEA: How did you and music become best friends? I think I read somewhere that your parents were both artists. Did this have a huge influence on you choosing music as a path in life?

HALIENE: “I always say that music chose me. I don’t remember a time when music wasn’t it for me. I started pursuing music as a career when I was 13 years old. My parents both being creatives (mother an artist, father a musician) was definitely a defining factor as they encouraged me going after my artistic dreams. They very much understood the calling and sacrifices one has to make as a creative.”

Radio DEEA: You’ve had a tremendous input on Ferry Corsten’s „Blueprint” album, acting not just as a singer, but also as a writer for certain songs. How did you start this collab and how was the entire experience?

HALIENE: “I write every song that I sing, there are no HALIENE songs that I did not write! So yes, I wrote all of the songs I sang, as well as did some writing on a few that I did not sing. I also did all of the voiceovers for Vee, which was really fun.

We were introduced to Ferry through his management, and the first time we met him was over Skype. We had sent over some songs that we thought might fit the project, although at those early stages we knew very little about it. Ferry really loved one of the songs we sent “Wherever You Are” and wanted to work with us more closely. We ended up working with him in the studio for many days, recording, writing and working on the album.

He is so talented, and such a wonderful a human being. It was so refreshing to work with him one on one and in person, as that is really rare in dance music! Usually I don’t get to meet the producer I have written a song for until the song is already out. Thanks to the internet, we can now do everything over Skype and email!”

Radio DEEA:  Is there a song from Blueprint that’s … let’s say, closer to your heart? Because I know that I love the entire album, but I have a special soft spot for „Pieces of You”.

HALIENE: “Piece of You” is a very special song to me, however “Wherever You Are” is my personal favorite. I think it may be one of my favorites I’ve ever written. There is something so vulnerable about that one.

 It’s actually all things that really happened to me. I had a dream about someone very important to me, that I cannot speak to. In the dream they were calling out for me, needing my help, but there was nothing I could do.

So, when I woke up, I said a prayer for them. I imagined it like a digital letter floating through the sky in zeros and ones, searching for them in another dimension. Sometimes, when we cannot actually speak to someone, but they are still in our hearts, that’s all we can do.

As it turns out, a very similar thing was in the story of Blueprint!”

Radio DEEA:  Could you tell us more about Tremble? I get that this a very distinctive and personal project of yours that you’ve developed on your free time.

HALIENE: “Tremble is a really fun project of mine that’s a bit different. I get to change my look and style. We are a downtempo electro pop trio, consisting of myself as Kelly Sweet, Ajax and Haywire. We all have other musical projects, so we all come together when we have a moment and want to just be creative in a totally unique way. There are no boundaries with Tremble, we just go how the creativity calls us. We are about to release our debut album in 2018 called What Is Anything Anyway!”

Radio DEEA: And since we are on this topic: a little bird told us that you are planning to release an album, an entire HALIENE album! (which is so exciting!) next year. Although it’s perfectly normal especially since you are not just singing, but also writing all your works, how did you decide that now is the right time for taking this step?

HALIENE: “Yes, I am working on original music for myself! We will first be starting with a single and going from there. I’ve been doing a lot of writing and am really excited to start working with producers to build out my sound! I hear it all in my head right now. “

Radio DEEA: You’ve been through a lot, both personally and professionally (losing both of your parents, ending a long-term relationship, quitting your label just to name a few). How did you manage to carry on? And not just to carry on, but also to inspire people through your work?

HALIENE: “I’ve spoken about this on social media a bit. A lot of artists make music because it heals them, because it’s their therapy, etc. That’s all true for me as well, but that is not why I do it. Songs come through me, not from me, like I channeled them. When they come through me, they heal me, inspire me, or teach me… so many things. But that’s not why I make music. I make music for you, for my fans, for other human beings. I strive to write songs that will heal them, inspire them, transport them, reach down into their heart and know and see something they never have before.”

“I believe every experience I’ve had, both joyful and heartbreaking are part of that personal calling of mine. My favorite quote is “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” by Khalil Gibran. To me this is so true. The darkest times in my life, have only made me come to know the light more. They created a resilience and gratitude in me that only could have come through those experiences. When I was walking through the darkest time in my life a few years ago, it was dance music that kept me going forward, the PLUR culture inspiring me. My heart belongs to ravers because of that time.”

Radio DEEA: You’re very active and attentive on Social Media. Is that all you, or do you get help from a team?

HALIENE: “It’s all me! I love interacting with my fans, every single one is very important to me.”

Radio DEEA: Is there a particular artist that you would like to have a collab with in the near future?

HALIENE: “I would absolutely love to have a collaboration with Armin Van Buuren. I am a huge fan. He is so incredible. It was really exhilarating that he did his own mashup of my song with Gareth Emery and Standerwick, “Saving Light”. Seeing that he played it at nearly every show for a while (and still does) including his Armin Only tour, really blew my mind! I also really love Nora En Pure. I think she is really unique.”

Radio DEEA: With so much music on the market, with tracks that are released by the minute, how on earth does one make it? How does one stand up from the crowd enough to please the audience, but also remain true to one’ beliefs? Any advices for the musicians that want to make a name for themselves?

HALIENE: “Never give up! I know everyone says that, but it is true. Sometimes it takes years to make real headway in music. But also remember, you are running a business. Sometimes you have to think like a businessman, and then other times you have to think like an artist. Now that is the tricky part, being able to switch hats like that. The most successful artists have become pro at it! As far as staying true to your beliefs, or your art, you should. It’s what makes you uniquely you. “



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