Up-and-Coming Country Musician Talks About Music, New Video, and Her Dog
Hayley Wilson is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who was raised in Australian Outback and now resides in Brisbane. Incredibly talented, Hayley sings and plays guitar on her debut album, Further Than Forever. The album features songs written by Hayley herself, and includes several earworms you won’t mind having stuck in your head!
Hayley recently released her third music video for “On and On,” an upbeat song about moving forward in life. Her dog, Cody, a handsome Border Collie, played a big role in the video as Hayley’s companion on her journey. iHeartDogs fell head over heels for Cody and Hayley’s heartfelt music, and wanted to learn more about both.
iHD: Whose idea was the concept for the music video?
HW: A friend and I came up with the concept of the music video one morning driving along the highway. I knew I wanted the video to show a journey throughout the song and I was influenced by Instagrammer Andrew Knapp who travels around the world in a van with his border collie Momo. I related to the bond that he shares with Momo between Cody and I and I’m so grateful to have these wonderful memories with Cody captured on camera forever.
iHD: Where does your love of Country music come from?
HW: I chose to pursue country music as I grew up in a very small town in the outback of Australia. When I was 7, my family moved to Brisbane which is where we still reside. I missed the country and so through country music I was able to go back to my roots.
I grew up listening to country music thanks to my mother and my grandfather who are country music fans. Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to release my debut album and I have been playing many gigs and festivals throughout 2017. My musical influences include artists such as Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and The Wreckers.
iHD: Were there any challenges to having a canine co-star for your video?
HW: This was the second music video of mine that Cody has starred in and to be honest there were hardly any challenges. I can’t imagine anything better than spending all day working with my dog and he was so happy to be spending so much time with me.
Cody trusts me and listens really well and I wouldn’t ever force him to do anything he didn’t want to do. He was very well pampered on set and had plenty of breaks with food and water in between. He made the whole experience that much better and if I could, I would have him with me everywhere I go. People always want to stop and say hello to Cody so he was made for this kind of attention.
iHD: How did Cody come to join your family?
HW: I received Cody when he was 12 weeks old for my 16th birthday in 2009. He was terrified of people, covered in fleas, ticks and full of worms. [His previous owner] was clearly not taking care of him, she was very sketchy and Cody was afraid of her. I couldn’t just leave him there in that environment. We took him home and from there it was a journey to gain Cody’s trust and give him a better life.
Cody can be a very timid dog but he is so loving and gentle. He loves going for a walk every morning and evening with my parents, long car trips and he absolutely LOVES his food. He is a very sensitive and intelligent dog.
He enjoys exploring new places but is also quite happy to nap on the floor beside me whenever I am working. Sometimes new things can scare Cody so I always try my best to introduce them to him slowly and show him that there is nothing to be afraid of however, he is not a fan of loud noises or bicycles!
iHD: Cody seems so happy and very well trained! Did you train him yourself? (You can see him responding in Hayley’s Behind The Scenes video HERE.)
HW: From the beginning, I started to teach Cody basic commands as soon as I brought him home. I knew border collies were highly intelligent and so I wanted to keep him happy and stimulated. He went on to puppy pre-school and had 3 years of regular dog obedience classes with me.
I found different books and videos online and taught him as many tricks as I possibly could. He is very food motivated so it was easy to get his attention. As well as other basic commands, Cody knows how to speak, wave, high 5, high 10, spin around, weave through your legs, roll over and he will also touch objects on command by simply saying “touch”.
iHD: What goals do you have for your future and your music?
HW: In the future, my goal for myself and my music is to travel the world and keep writing and creating. My plan is to go to Nashville next year to do some song writing and the following year release some new music. For now, I am enjoying promoting my current album, playing as many gigs as I possibly can and enjoying any time off I have with Cody.
Featured Photo Source: Hayley Wilson