Interview | Hayley Law’s R&B Alter Ego Hayleau is ‘Lonely’

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by Patrick Green

 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 via Stem), her musical influences, and what would Valerie think of Hayleau’s music.

Photo by: Nico De Torres

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.

Photo by: Nico De Torres

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:


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