You hear music performers talk about going to work in the studio. Spokane’s Haley Young goes to work in a salon. By day, Young is a hairstylist at Be Loved, and at night and on weekends she’s fronting the band Haley Young and the Bossame as the lead vocalist.
Young, 34, grew up singing hymns in church where her parents were worship leaders. She moved to Spokane at 21, following a career path of doing hair—a surprising situation for a big break as an entertainer, but when the feature act for a First Friday event dropped out, Young jumped in.
That impromptu performance led to more gigs, and Young eventually caught the attention of producer Jay Condiotti, who hired her to sing on a commercial he was recording. Young had been a back up singer and dabbled around with various bits in the studio, and even writing her own songs, her real desire was to perform her own songs live on stage with the best musicians in town. That turned out to be Condiotti (guitar and vocals), Eddie Ramirez (bass) and Juan Paris (drums).
The band’s sound is what Young describes as soul fusion. Think Lauryn Hill meets Amy Winehouse meets Adele. The songs are what Young calls “felt music,” and her rich, distinctive tone, conveys a palpable connection to whatever she’s singing.
The emotions that make their way into Young’s music come from her own experiences, good, bad, happy or sad. Her first album with the Bossame (a play on Boss of Me) was written at a time when she was going through a breakup, and so much of it deals with vulnerability and heartbreak. The new album being released this month represents a new happy time in her life.
“I write my thoughts and feelings in my journal. Later I’ll go back and look at the words and somehow they become songs,” Young says. “It’s my way of coping, and dealing with my hurts, losses and triumphs.
“There’s nothing cooler than sharing your heart and your journey.”
Not only can fans download Young’s music online, listen closely and you’ll hear songs she’s written with bandmate Condiotti on the soundtracks of popular television shows including Claws (TNT), Orphan Black (BBC) and web series Hand of God (Amazon) and Daredevil (Netflix). Around town, you can catch Young and her group live at festivals and street fairs, and headlining big events like Pig Out in the Park and Epicurean Delight.
Young has been offered gigs on cruise ships, vacation resorts and even to played rooms in Las Vegas. People often ask, with things going so well, why she doesn’t move on to bigger things. For Young, whether in her music, her voice or her life, it’s all about keeping it real.
“The thing I love most about music is the intimacy of it, telling my story and having people respond,” she says. “I feel a kindred spirit with the people in Spokane—I write my songs, I love on my city and I get to go out on stage and sing to the people and have that hometown connection.”