The past few years have pushed many to explore their creative side whether it was through podcasting, painting, or in the case of Dawn and Waylon Hayes, music. This married duo from North Carolina otherwise known as Jubilee kicked off this journey in recent years, but Dawn Hayes notes that writing music is something she’s always done. We talked about all of that and then some with Dawn, including about Jubilee’s debut record out this May.
Kendra: The past couple of years seemed to have unlocked this creative drive in many whether it meant starting podcasts or getting into music. How long had you two been toying around with the idea of Jubilee?
Dawn Hayes: We had been contemplating the idea of forming a music act for years, with all the experience we both have in music, we have always wanted to do something together, but it wasn’t until early 2021 that we decided to take the leap and go for it. So far it has been a phenomenal experience. With doing around 200 shows since we started, we never expected this to get to this point.
Kendra: When you started, it was just you and your husband, Waylon. My guy and I each have our own podcasts and even helping one another with those can cause some marital tiffs, but it’s also allowed us to help one another grow. Has there been anything your partner has brought out in you that’s surprised you?
Dawn: My husband has definitely brought out the will to have more ambition. I teach for a living and I am constantly telling my students to strive and reach for their goals and dreams. It’s hard to do that for yourself when you’re constantly pouring out into the lives of so many children every day.
The tendency for me is to get home at the end of the day and just let the weight of the day pass me by and I settle for a nap and a hot coffee. Waylon is constantly pushing me very much like I push my students. I never knew I needed so much encouragement until it came down to going above and beyond while doing something I love so much. At the end of the day, I’ve already given so much that I can’t always give for myself. Waylon has helped me to see that I can’t stop with others, and I have to be able to push to make my dreams/goals/plans come to life. That’s what a marriage is for. And I’m glad he’s allowed our experience as a duo to help build our marriage.
Kendra: You’ve noted that since starting you’ve rounded out the group with some other members. Who are these lovely new members, and how did you all connect?
Dawn: We have been primarily a duo since we started. Now, with us recording our album, we felt we needed to perform these songs and give them justice by being able to perform them with a full group. Being I’m not from this area, I really don’t know many people, but Waylon grew up here and knows a lot of musicians. He had been in talks with some of his best friends and they agreed to form the full group and see where it goes.
We brought in drummer Robert Wagner. He’s been mainly a metal drummer but loves all music and is really excited to throw down on those skins with us! We also brought in one of Waylon’s long-time friends Nicholas Gore on rhythm guitar. Waylon and Nick have been performing together in different forms since high school. And last but not least we brought in another one of Waylon’s long-time friends Daniel Faulk on lead guitar. Daniel has his degree in music and also has been performing with Waylon in groups since high school. Daniel is also the producer for the album. They were in a local group called Pyromatic that performed in the southeast US for over 10 years.
I truly believe that with this group of amazing musicians, we can take Jubilee to heights we never dreamed of. The full band will be debuting at Jubilee’s album release party at The Hard Rock Cafe on May 20th, 2023.
Kendra: Your debut single, “Wild Canary,” is out now. How long after the band became more than an idea did this song come to fruition?
Dawn: I actually wrote “Wild Canary” over four years ago. I have always been writing music way before we decided to put together Jubilee. But “Wild Canary” really didn’t come to life until last year when we decided we wanted to try and do our own original music rather than be a straight-cover group. I never really had an audience to play the song for other than myself or Waylon. But when we formed the group and built our following we knew that the world needed to hear this song. And since then, the response for the song has been phenomenal!
Kendra: And it’ll be on your debut album that’s set for May 2023. Does the album have a name yet? Also, what overall vibe do you see it shaping up to have as you continue to work on it and make the final touches?
Dawn: We have been playing around with several ideas for the album title but nothing has been solidified just yet. The overall vibe of the album will be uplifting and positive while dealing with the depths of disappointments that come with life. The overall goal of the album is to take you on a journey from the mind of the wanderer, the romantic, the lost, and the found. Life is a struggle, and we have all found ourselves longing for something in this life. The whole album is a reflection of what we all go through on our road to being free in who we are and finding our saving grace in the end.
Kendra: Also, being that it’s a new year, have you set any sort of music resolutions for yourself?
Dawn: Our biggest resolution for us is to have a successful release of the new album. We also really want to keep pushing forward and keep performing for as many people as we can, as a duo or the full band.
Kendra: Lastly, with the debut album set for a May 2023 release, what else lies ahead for you?
Dawn: We are hoping to branch out eventually and play further off in other places other than mainly the Myrtle Beach area. Along with that, we will continue to write and record and hopefully have new music coming out even after this upcoming album’s release.