Kiwi born and bred, now living in London, for the past 10 years 24 year old soprano Hayley Westenra has been living a life most musicians would sell their souls for. Signed to a record label after being discovered busking at just 13 years of age (the same label she’s with still today), Hayley’s debut album Pure has been the fastest and biggest selling classical album of the 21st Century and she’s gone on to sell over 4 million albums. She’s toured the world with Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo and Jose Carreras and her latest album, her fifth, is called PARADISO and is a collaboration with the world famous film composer Ennio Morricone.
You’d know more of Morricone’s music than you think you do – Gabriel’s Oboe, Cinema Paradiso, Deborah’s Theme – they’re just some of the more well known. The 83 year old Italian has won countless awards including an Academy. I’m a big fan of Robert De Niro and I didn’t even realise that it was Morricone behind the music of most of De Niro’s movies.
While Hayley falls into the “classical” genre, this really isn’t classical music – in fact, none of her albums have been true “core classical”. PARADISO is film music – lush, sweeping, gorgeous songs orchestrated with the incredibly sweet and perfectly pure voice of Hayley.
Hayley’s here in Australia all this week promoting PARADISO so you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of her on TV and radio. She’s also chatting with all the newspapers and doing a fashion shoot with an amazing magazine that’s one of my faves. More on that when I’m allowed to mention it though! A couple of huge announcements that Hayley may be making while she’s here will also keep her front and centre for the rest of the year (and then you’ll be able to say “oh, Hayley, yeah, I’ve known about her for AGES…”)
So have a look at these three super quick clips below – watch them in order and be prepared to be impressed.