I’m Hayden Calnin. I sing, I write and I produce. I grew up around the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and started playing music in my mid-teens when my Dad gave me a guitar. I slowly progressed to various other instruments before realising I could also carry a tune and decided to give singing a go. Producing came into the picture at uni when I was studying film during which time I found myself more and more attracted to the soundtrack production and editing side of things.

My music is often described as experimental or progressive folk and after a good 10 or so months knuckling down in my home studio writing and recording I’m excited to have just released my single ‘For My Help’ and finally be releasing my debut EP, ‘City’.

What’s your earliest memory of performing and who inspired you to start?

I’ve always been inspired by musicians since I was very little. I think everyone has. I first started playing shows at house parties in high school when I was in a band with some school mates. Naturally, once we turned 18 we started playing venues and all that.

Your EP City is released on July 20! What can we expect to hear?

The concept of the title ‘City’ comes from where I wrote all the songs for it. I moved to the city and away from my family in the Mornington Peninsula about 2 years ago and all the songs were written while living in an essentially new environment. It’s about change, and growing up I guess. In terms of its overall sound, it’s pretty much progressive folk with a hint of electronica every now and then. I’m looking forward to the response from everyone. I’m pretty excited about its release!

You’ve self-recorded your own music from home – did you do much of the recording for your upcoming EP?

Yeah I self recorded/produced and mixed pretty much the whole EP at home. I love home recording. It gives me the freedom to take time and put a bit more love into recordings. Eventually, I want to work with producers but for now, I’m loving the production side of things. Producing is something I’ve been doing and loving doing for a while.

You’ve recorded 15 tracks, and the EP consists of five. How did you make the cuts?

It was hard. I started this EP about a year ago, naturally more songs kept being written while I was recording. I ended up having about 15 songs, all of which I was super happy with but I had to make some tough cuts. I ended up picking the tracks which told a complete story of my life since leaving home. it wasn’t easy…

Will the other tracks make it onto your future records?

Absolutely. I’ve got a few that I really wanted to make this EP but didn’t. I can’t wait to release them in the future!

Paul Kelly is one of your main influences – what are your most notable memories of him?

Paul Kelly, apart from being an amazing songwriter, brings back a lot of memories for me. My parents use to play his CDs all the time in the house. They usually played his music before guests were coming for dinner or something. Actually, Counting Crows got a bit of airtime before guests came too. But yeah, Paul Kelly is a genius, and just really knows how to write brilliant music.

You’ve joined some pretty talented locals acts on tour such as Gossling, Matt Corby and Mat McHugh. What were the highlights of these gigs?

There are so many but my favourite was probably sleeping in the car in Byron Bay on my way to Brisbane ’cause we couldn’t find accommodation. Not that that had anything to do with performing but it’s the little things. Favourite stage moment was probably my first time up on stage at The Forum Theatre in Melbourne supporting Matty Corby. I was pretty overwhelmed that i was playing at my favourite venue. One to tick off the bucketlist.

Are there any other artists in particular that you’d like to play beside?

So many. But to name a few, Low, S.Carey, Glen Hansard or Death Cab For Cutie. That’d be a bit of alright.

If you could play at any venue/festival, where would it be?

Anywhere in New York. Just wanna play in New York. Gonna play in New York. Need to play in New York… And i mean, any festival is a good festival but probably a festival over new years. That’d be sick.

How do you like your music? On digital, CD, or vinyl (maybe even cassette)?

I don’t get the latest craze with cassettes. Its weird hipster nonsense. Vinyl is the dream, digital the money, CDs the art. I love em all! They all have their place. (Not the cassette)

You’re doing a July residency at The Toff In Town, and your EP launch is at The Workers Club on August 24. Where else can we catch you playing?

I’ve just locked in a Sydney show at the Kings Cross Hotel for FBi Social on Wednesday September 19th with The Falls on support. I’m really excited about the supports on these launch dates. I’ve got Lowlakes and Tom Milek playing with me for the Melbourne launch. I’ve also just been announced to play BIGSOUND Live in Brisbane in early September which is really exciting and I’ll be heading up to North QLD to play some tunes at the Townsville Cultural Fest on August 18 and 19 which is pretty cool.

You can check out some of my music on my soundcloud page http://soundcloud.com/haydencalnin or come hang out online with me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/haydencalninmusic if you want to get to know me better

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine