In your own words, tell us who Haynza is.
Haynza is a Christian artist who loves singing, writing and producing music. My birth name is Haynes, but I release music under my artist name Haynza because I wanted something that was a little more unique and that wasn’t already taken by anyone. I make music that directs the listener to the deeper things in life, to the unseen realities of the world we live in, and ultimately, to God.
Describe your creative process a bit. Do you produce/record your own music, and if so what’s your gear setup?
My creative process is never exactly the same. It’s a bit random actually. Sometimes the melody comes first, then the lyrics, and then the production, but at other times it’s the complete opposite. I record and produce all of my own music from my bedroom studio setup that includes an iMac, two monitors, a MIDI keyboard, a condenser microphone, a little mobile audio interface, and of course, Logic Pro X.
What is your local music scene like in Australia? Are there any specific circles you belong to, or any specific artists you’d consider your musical peers?
The local music scene for my niche (Christian music) here in Brisbane Australia is quite unsaturated, if not completely non-existent. Unfortunately I don’t belong to any specific circles and there aren’t any specific artists I’d consider my musical peers here where I live. This is one of the reasons I decided to make an independent record label called Salvage Records. I release all my music through that label name, and although I’m technically the only artist at the moment, I plan to actually get it started properly in the future with the help of like-minded and talented individuals who also see this gap in the music scene where I live. That being said, I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to connect with many artists over the internet who have the same niche as me. However, most of them live in the US.
How far do you want to take your music? Is this a hobby or a career for you?
As far as possible! Yes. I definitely want to make a career out of this passion of mine. I’ll admit that sometimes it does feel like a hobby (especially when things don’t seem to be going as far as you’d hoped), but all I know is that God hasn’t given me these gifts and abilities for me not to use them in amazing ways.
Have the events around COVID-19 affected your journey as an artist at all?
Honestly, this whole COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected my journey as an artist that much at all. All of my music is exclusively online and I make it all from home, so if anything, being in quarantine has given me more time to focus on my craft. Well, that’s a silver lining anyway.
Your composition style seems to involve a lot of dense vocal layering. Is there any specific reason or inspiration behind this?
I love that you noticed that! Yes, there is a reason, and it’s because I just love vocals. I’m a singer first before anything else, and so singing has always been my first love when it comes to music. My parents managed a singing group when I was growing up in the Solomon Islands, and so I think that’s where it all started. I’ve always enjoyed listening to songs that have dense vocal layering and so that’s why I do it in my songs. After all, I make songs that I’d enjoy listening to.
Tell us about the process of making your recent album, The Fall To Grace.
The process behind making my debut album The Fall To Grace was quite effortless if I’m honest. The whole project is a result of my decision to fully surrender my life to Christ, and so these songs just poured out of me. The content is very testimonial too, and so I didn’t necessarily have a theme or anything in mind. As I intentionally started walking with the Lord every day, I couldn’t help but sing about what I was experiencing. In regards to the technical process, I was blessed to be in a place as a producer where my stuff was able to sound somewhat professional. These songs were definitely not the first songs I’d fully produced by myself. It took me years of trial and error, as well as collaborating with those who were way ahead of me in terms of production skills to be able to produce something like this body of work.
What’s the best feedback you’ve gotten yet on this album?
The best feedback I’ve received from someone who listened to this album is that it sounded legit. I’ve had people say that they were pleasantly surprised by the quality and how professional it sounded despite being made purely by me in the comfort of my own bedroom. It’s rewarding to hear that kind of feedback because I put so much emphasis on the quality of my work. God deserves nothing but the best. And that’s not to say that I’m just absolutely the best, because I definitely have a lot of room to grow as an artist. That being said, I always strive for nothing but the best and so getting that type of feedback is super encouraging.
You released an EP in 2018 called The Fall which you subsequently took down for reasons related to your personal convictions. Can you explain what that decision process was like and why you ultimately made that choice? Did any of that music that was taken down end up being re-used or re-purposed for your album?
Yeah so I released an EP at the beginning of 2018 that I’d worked on the year before (in my senior year of High School) and ended up taking it down a few months later due to my own personal convictions. While a lot of hard work and money went into making those five songs (the whole project was funded and I worked with a professional producer), the decision to take it down was really easy to make. After fully surrendering my life to Christ, I knew that I had to because I didn’t make the EP from a place of ignorance. I mean, the title itself is ‘The Fall’ and I wrote these songs as a progression, subtly comparing Lucifer’s fall to my own fall (I would’ve never said it out loud, but lowkey that’s what I thought lol). I had my eyes set on a worldly music career and everything that comes with that, and so the EP had kind of like a coming of age theme that marked my ‘fall’ into the things that were to come - to the depravity that I was about to jump right into. I knew that keeping it up would be a stumbling block for me, and so at the time there was no other option. I did, however, use a few of the songs in the album trailer for The Fall To Grace, and so I was happy that they were still useful to represent the journey from The Fall to The Fall To Grace.
Thematically, TFTG has a lot of inspirational content focused on God’s love. But it sits right alongside songs about loyalty to God and spiritual warfare. Can you talk about that contrast and what inspired that for you?
That’s a great observation - I think there is going to inevitably be spiritual warfare when we realise God’s love and accept it. And I’m just keeping it real. Sometimes I feel like the church doesn’t acknowledge the spiritual warfare that comes with seeking the Lord, when it’s like bro we really out here. It’s good to focus on heavenly realities, but it’s so important to acknowledge that the struggle is real. The Bible certainly doesn’t shy away from talking about the reality of spiritual warfare, and so I don’t think we should either. So yeah, I feel like my music comes from a place of acknowledging the struggle is real, but also acknowledging that God is too! And at the end of the day, it’s all about the hope God provides us in Christ Jesus despite anything the enemy throws at us.
How much live performance have you done? Can you share any special memories or stories from live performances? Any plans for future shows?
I wish I could say that I’ve done more, but I’ve only really done a handful. In terms of any special memories or stories, I think back to when I first performed the first single from The Fall To Grace called Lost In Your Light at my church, and also when I performed Your Love at the concert evening at the end of the South Queensland Big Camp. Those were pretty cool.
Last question: What one thing would you like to say to anyone who is reading this?
One thing I would like to say to anyone reading this is that God is good. Whether you’ve grown up hearing that every weekend or not, really get to know what that means because once you understand its implications, you’ll never turn back, trust me.
More about Haynza
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Genre: Alternative-Indie / Hip-Hop / Pop-R&B
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