Photo by: Nico De Torres
Hayley Law doesn’t just play a musician on TV. The Riverdale star is a fan favorite on CW’s cult hit as Valerie Brown, the main songwriter in the fictionalized Josie & The Pussycats band. In the real world, the Vancouver-born actress–who also stars on Netflix’s Altered Carbon–has been making music on the down low, releasing streaming-friendly pop-alt R&B singles on her Soundcloud page under the artist moniker Hayleau.
I chatted with Hayley over email about her newest single “Lonely” (released today), her musical influences, and what would Valerie think of Hayleau’s music.
Mandatory: You’ve said that your true passion is music. When did you first fall in love with it?
Hayley: I always loved singing and playing the piano growing up. I first really fell into singing after my 9th grade talent show said “no” to letting me perform at the year-end show. I was like “Wait does that mean I can’t sing?” So, I think it really started as a revenge mission — haha. But, there’s nothing I love more than making music. So I’m glad that happened, actually.
A lot of people look at the ‘90s as being the golden age of R&B. Do you have any influences from that era?
Absolutely! SWV, Brandy, Sade, Mariah, Toni Braxton, Kelis, the list goes on…
Why did you choose a different name for your musical career?
I had a dream that I introduced myself to someone as Hayleau. I woke up and it was decided.
So is Hayleau the alter ego of Hayley?
Hayley: It almost feels like Hayley is the alter ego of Hayleau. Hayleau is how I feel in my truest form. Free to write about whatever I want, wear whatever I want, be anything I wanna be that day.
There have always been actors who sing and vice versa. Some better than others. How do you approach each role?
Hayley: I approach them the same really. I’ve been lucky enough to love all the projects I’ve been part of, so I am able to go into every acting role the same I would with a recording session. However – musically I’m able to have a ton of freedom which is sick. It’s also why I should start writing some acting roles for myself… Freedom — haha.
What would Valerie from Riverdale think of “Lonely”?
She’d definitely fuck with it for sure.
You can listen to “Lonely” now: