Hayley Marsten Celebrates Girlhood

Jacqui James

WHAT A MASSIVE week for Australian singer/songwriter Hayley Marsten. As well as celebrating her birthday yesterday (June 15th), Hayley is excited to be releasing her second album Girlhood on TODAY, June 16th.

Girlhood is Hayley’s follow-up to her 2019 debut album Spectacular Heartbreak, which put her on the alternative-country-artist map. Also, Spectacular Heartbreak earned Hayley half a million streams and was nominated for the Alt-Country Album of the Year at the Golden Guitars.

Hayley soon found herself performing in front of 23,000 people holding signs up with her lyrics staring back at her at Australia’s biggest country music festival, CMC Rocks.

I Am A Rich Man, Hayley’s fourth single from Girlhood is a power punch anthem revealing Hayley’s brevity to write lyrics that might offend some people, but with her team behind Hayley, she felt confident to tell her stories.

I was lucky to chat with Hayley before her birthday week and Girlhood’s release. Thanks, Hayley for squeezing me in.

Firstly, Happy birthday Hayley! Not only it is your birthday week, but also your album Girllhood drops the following day! This must be like all your Christmases coming at once?

Thank you! It certainly feels like the most jam-packed week of my life with the album and the tour all kicking off! But I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday week.

After your 2019 debut album Spectacular Heartbreak, your brand new Girlhood is a very much reflective album understanding and accepting you were a little naïve as a teenager (like everyone else). As a teenager did you keep a journal and if you did, did it help to look back on inspiring you to write about your experiences past and present as a mature 29-year-old woman?

I did! I didn’t exactly pull from the diary but reading it definitely made me feel more connected with the past version of myself. And really feel for her and all the sadness I seemed to write about, I guess just like now I didn’t feel that inspired to write about when things were great! Girlhood is about accepting that I did the best with what I had but the songs on this album are the lessons I wish I could have learned sooner.

Your that album was nominated for Alternative Country Album at the 2020 Golden Awards! That’s huge… Congratulations!! Can you remember what you were doing when you found out?

Thank you! Yes, I actually went to the nominations announcement that day and I remember this was the last category I was eligible for and thinking there is no way I am getting a nomination here. I turned to my partner to say how excited I was for the person whose name was read out before mine and then turned back to the screen they were announcing to see my face! It took a minute to register that that’s my album! It was such a fun day to celebrate with the industry.

Your single I Am A Rich Man is gutsy and a great insight into your personality. No doubt, you felt some weight lifted off your shoulders from your past writing about specific issues.

Totally! I feel like the main theme of I Am A Rich Man, being constantly asked if you’re a woman if you are in a relationship or if you are when are you getting married is something that I have experienced for most of my adult life. It’s always been so bizarre to me that we hold that as the gold standard to know if someone is happy. Cher really did nail when she told her mum ‘I don’t need to marry a rich man, I am a rich man’, we can be happy, whole and well looked after all on our own if we want!

Was performing in front of 23,000 people at the CMC Rocks festival the moment you felt and believed you’d become a big artist?

I don’t know if I’ll ever feel I’m a ‘big artist’ but that was a very special gig, especially when people in the crowd held up posters with my lyrics on it. I was not expecting that at all, I expected to maybe be the artist people leave discovering but not knowing before! So that definitely made me a bit emotional!

Just saying, we need more strong female artists for the future generation. What would be the one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

I agree! And more representation of those women on festival bills! I think right now the crop of female songwriters in Australia is so strong and so inspiring. I think to any young women wanting to become artists I would say to just focus on finding your people and writing what is true to you and don’t let the bastards grind to down.

Thank you so very much for your time Hayley! I hope your birthday week will be topped off with Girlhood charting very well.

You can follow Hayley on her following sites and socials:





Jacqui James

I'm an Australian author and music journalist from Melbourne. I've had articles and poetry published in several magazines and newspapers since finishing my Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing in 2001. In 2010 Gigs 'n Interviews was born. I launched it with my first big named interview and that was Vanessa Amorosi and then in 2012 I felt unbelievably privileged to interview Ronan Keating. I'm extremely proud of what Gigs 'n Interviews has become as it's seen as a platform for emerging artists and entertainers to be heard.

Looking forward to writing more children's books, I hope to change the wrong perception of children and adults with disabilities as I was born with Severe Cerebral Palsy (like Christy Brown who wrote My Left Foot). People can view my books at

If you would like to know more about myself, please visit

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