Haley Johnsen About
In early 2019, a few months before the release of her breakthrough album Golden Days, Haley Johnsen had just about wrapped her first solo tour of Europe when she arrived in London for her final concert and learned the unsettling news that the artist she was supposed to open for had scrapped the show. The multitalented singer songwriter thought she would have a three day UK vacation, but her manager, Warren Wyatt, had what she calls a “trick up his sleeve” – a serendipitous single evening recording session at the historic Abbey Road Studios which is now being released as Haley’s first guitar and vocal only album London Sessions. Its lead single, “Feel the Water,” was released March 13.
In a whirlwind of pure artistry, Haley knocked out eight songs, most of which she was confident in after performing them on so many tour dates. The eight track set on London Sessions features vocal and guitar only (with some foot percussion) takes of previously released singles and tunes from her earlier EPs.
Growing up in Beaverton, Oregon, Haley realized she could sing and following along with melodies by age three but kept her talent largely to herself, obsessively trying to teach herself how to sing from any music she could get her hands on. She cites her greatest influences as Brandi Carlile, Grace Potter, Eva Cassidy, Bonnie Raitt and other powerhouse Americana singers.
After launching her solo career with the release of the EP Through the Blue, she followed up with a few more singles and EPs, then began writing for her critically acclaimed album Golden Days, released in 2019. One of the project’s key tracks, “Weekend,” features Allen Stone on vocals. Last year, Haley toured with Portland based sister power trio band Joseph and currently works with EDM/Indie pop artist Big Wild, as his bassist and backup singer. One of the stops on the Big Wild tour was a sold-out show at Red Rocks in Colorado last September.
“I want my music to encourage people to push through their challenges and continue to have hope and belief in themselves and their authenticity,” Haley says. “London Sessions allows people to see me at my most raw and authentic. The opportunity to record there as an unsigned artist is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. Topping my tour of Europe with that evening was a surreal time capsule of a moment I will never forget.”