Norwegian DJ/Producer HAYES Reveals His Secret To Making The Successful Crossover From TV To Music

HAYES (aka Thomas Hayes) first made a name for himself in the drama series and international phenomenon “Skam.” Since then, he made a successful crossover into electronic music, with his debut song Where I Belong that was streamed more than two million times on Spotify alone.

We caught up recently with the Norwegian DJ/producer to find out how he made the successful shift from TV to music and which production he is most proud of.

When did you first discover your love for electronic music?

I’ve always had a passion for music and can’t remember a time when it wasn’t a massive part of my life. With electronic music specifically, I think it must be when I heard and fell in love with ‘Seek Bromance’ back in 2010. That song really made an impression on me.

You first developed a dedicated fanbase of 1.2M followers after your breakthrough performance in the drama series and international phenomenon “Skam.” Tell us about your journey into music and what made you decide to make the shift.

Music was always part of my life, my first love if you will. Any ambitions I may have had were put on hold after I auditioned and got the part in “Skam.” Being part of such a massive success eats up all your time and energy. But it also opens a lot of doors, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to focus 100 percent on music for the time being. It felt like a healthy diversion as well as a natural progression, and the journey so far has been amazing. I’ve learned so much, and even if it’s harder work than I expected, I’m loving every minute of it. The journey has only started, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings. I’ve not turned my back on acting though, I’m just the kind of person who prefers to go all in on any project and right now my full-time job is studio sessions, writing new music, and working with other producers and alone.

Which production would you say you are most proud of?

I’m continually working on new stuff, learning so much in the process that almost every production has something that makes me proud. “Now or Never” will always have a special place in my heart, as I feel it was a huge part of me discovering my own sound as a producer.

Your first release “Where I Belong” received more than two million streams on Spotify alone. Did you ever think it would be that big of a hit when you were producing?

I honestly didn’t know what to expect. But I’m very, very happy about how it turned out and how well it was received considering all the preconceived notions people have about what I should and shouldn’t do with my life, and how any music associated with me should or shouldn’t sound.

What was the inspiration behind “Now or Never?”

The first time I heard it, it was a rough demo, and it’s difficult to define what attracted me to it. I can only say that I was instantly inspired to work on it, and that it was very much a part of my growth as a producer, both with regards to skills and confidence. The lyrics are about the power that love can have over you, and how it pushes you to take risks. I like how that can be translated into my personal journey with that track; how it pushed me to be braver in the studio. I took a chance, and it paid off. Also, part of what attracted me was Mugisho‘s voice on the rough demo. He only sang on it because he was part of the songwriting team, but I love his sound and wanted to keep him on the track from the very start. He is as nice as he is talented, so working with him was an absolute treat.

Photo Credit: Listen Up Music Promotion