Born and raised in Austin, Texas, with a Baptist Military Boarding School education, 23 year-old Hailey Tuck is a jazz singer from the most unlikely of backgrounds. On her 18th birthday, her parents presented Hailey with a college fund to further her education and she did what any teenager with a love of 30s jazz, vintage dresses and Edith Piaf would do: She bought a one-way ticket to Paris and boarded the plane.
Arriving in Paris in the early hours of the morning, Hailey took a taxi across town to Voltaire, an area of town in the lively 11th arrondissement. During the course of the journey, a lengthy chat (in English) with the driver led to him setting Hailey a challenge; sing the whole of Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie En Rose’ in French and the cab is free. One perfect rendition later, a stunned Parisian taxi driver departed out of pocket. With nowhere to stay, Hailey dropped into the nearest bar, got talking to a young American couple, and after explaining her situation, was offered a place to stay whilst she found her feet in Paris. Hailey was there six months, joining a long tradition of musicians who sang for their supper.
Spending her days in vintage clothing markets and record stalls, and her nights singing in the plethora of jazz bars, Hailey quickly established herself as a firm favourite on the underground scene. Dressed straight out of a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, with a uniquely captivating voice that sits somewhere between Billie Holiday, Regina Spektor and Ella Fitzgerald, Hailey captivated her audience with classics such as ‘My Funny Valentine’, but also surprised with her unique take on tracks like The Zombies’ ‘Tell Him No’, Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ and ‘Sunday Morning’ by Maroon 5 – the latter a nod to her sister’s long-time rock-star boyfriend James Valentine.
With her money running low, Hailey returned to Austin with one thing on her mind – become a singer, whatever it takes. With a new-found confidence from her Parisian experience, Hailey became an ever present at Austin’s open mic and jazz jam nights and, 18 months later, had raised enough money to record her first EP at Austin recording studio EAR. With that in the can, she boarded the plane back to Paris for the next exciting step on her journey...