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  • Writer's pictureLily Wecks

Hey Hayley!


Hayley, the second single from my upcoming record, dropped on streaming platforms this morning!

Hayley, the second single from my upcoming record, dropped on streaming platforms this morning!

This song is so dear to me. It’s been in process for a long time, and its origins go way back to angsty, 18-year-old Lily.

Let me paint you a picture ———

It’s 3:30 pm, on the very last day of my senior year of high school. I’m watching the clock crawl, when the girl next to me says, “Hey, have you seen the new Hayley Kiyoko music video?”

I shrug. “No, but I’ve heard some of her music.”

She says, “You wanna?”

The next 25 minutes are a life-changing, rabbit hole of queerness.

For those of you who don’t know, Hayley Kiyoko is a pop artist and actress. She’s talented, beautiful, and queer. Did I mention that she’s beautiful?

ANYWAYS. Something about these music videos with very pretty queer women being very pretty and very queer sends me into a little meltdown. Something like, “Why do I like this so much, why is my stomach funny, why my brain no think good??”

Then I do something that shocks me. Maybe it’s a calculated risk, knowing this girl and I are about to permanently go our separate ways. Maybe it’s the bravest moment of my life.

I turn to her and say, “Hey um, I think I might be into girls.”

She blinks at me, and then, “Cool dude.”

That’s it. That’s all. It’s the mildest, calmest, best response in the world. Up until this point I have been in desperate, white-knuckled control of these feelings, for fear of familial rejection, eternal damnation, and all that fun jazz. But this is just a Tuesday for her. I doubt she has any recollection of this conversation now, but it is a moment that has meant the world to me over the last 6 years.

So, I have a moment of bravery and then promptly move on. I graduate. I move into my freshman dorm. I go about my deeply repressed business.

Then my university choir teacher changes our seating arrangement, and the prettiest girl I’ve seen in my LIFE gets moved right next to me. And for the next month, I spend rehearsals feeling like I’m going to lose my lunch every time she looks at me. It’s incredible. Around this time the first draft of Hayley writes itself.

Now, I’m not stupid but I am stubborn. I have spent 19 years at this point denying this thing, in fear for my life. That kind of anxiety runs deep and visceral. It’s not an easy grip to release. It takes several more months, many late-night conversations with my best friends, and a lot of deep breathing to finally get past my survival instincts and acknowledge reality—I’m bisexual.

Even this many years later, even just putting it in an email, makes my stomach all twisty. Years of religious conditioning and learned self-hatred take their toll. My body is still calculating the risk, the pain of anticipated rejection.

THAT is why Hayley is so important to me.

I’m no longer interested in shrinking myself to be the most inoffensive offering possible. Releasing Hayley is like throwing the door open and inviting all my anxiety out into the sunshine. And god, it’s SUCH a fun song.

It’s sparkly, girl crush, pop. It’s honesty that makes me feel wiggly. It’s a gift for folks who spent years in deep self-loathing because pretty girls make them shy. Hayley is a celebration.

I’m not ashamed, I’m proud—of myself, of this song, and of you. <3

Hayley found its final form in the studio in 2022. It was co-written and produced by one of the most talented people I know, and a very dear friend of mine, Cameron Lavi Jones. Alix Bautista played drums and really breathed life into the song. Josh Walker shot the photo for the cover.

You can stream Hayley using the button below. (Or wherever you listen to music.)


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