Take Sharon Stone’s talents for storytelling and add Hayley Sales’ enchanting vocals, and the results are a sensual ballad that ‘pulses with a plush intimacy.’
Like the first sip of strong wine or the feel of welcomed fingertips on the back of your neck, “Never Before” – the first single and collaboration between singer/songwriter Hayley Sales and Hollywood icon Sharon Stone – creates a ripple of sensation from the opening notes. It’s a slow and sweet seduction, like an alluring lover who always leaves you wanting for more. The elegant, jazzy ballad is smooth, and it implores repeat listening, preferably with a glass of your favorite drink (and next to your favorite person.)
“Never Before” marks the first time that Hayley – a talent who invokes the vintage spirit of the 1950s and 60s but adds her unique, modern touch – co-wrote a song with anyone. It turns out that this track practically wrote itself. “Sometimes when you’re writing a song,” Hayley tells HollywoodLife, “it will take off and start to write itself. All you can do is watch in amazement, hang on and see where it goes. It’s one of the most exhilarating feelings, and it doesn’t happen often. But when it does, you know something special is happening. It happened with Sharon Stone. It happened with ‘Never Before.’ I can’t quite describe it, but there was an ease about the entire writing experience. A gracefulness in the way the words and melody came together…a kind of reverberation of bold romance and intimacy.”
“ ‘Never Before’ is an ode to romance,” adds Hayley. “A snapshot of that very precious moment in life when you’re so in love time stops. Every breath brushes the insides like velvet. Every second pulses with a plush intimacy. Romance has always been an extremely important and inspirational part of who I am and how I express myself. And not just that fall in love type of romance, but romance as a way of life, a way of seeing the world.”
Sharon and Hayley bonded over “shared experiences of love, loss and vintage music,” and the actress, in a statement accompanying the song, extolled her collaborator as “the real deal,” a “gorgeous, pure, [and] true” songstress. “What a pleasure it has been to work with Hayley, she is a true artist. She cares more about getting the truth of her art right than anything else,” said Sharon.
For Hayley, “Never Before” is the latest chapter in an extraordinary story. Born in Washington D.C. to an artistic family – her mother was a writer and activist, her father an acclaimed musician/producer — Hayley developed a love of music early on in her life, and it’s a romance that’s still going strong to this very day. At an early age, she and her family relocated to Portland, Oregon, before moving to a blueberry farm on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. No farm was going to hold her voice, and at age seventeen, she moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of her dream.
Triumphs and tragedies followed. She lost her voice due to an eating disorder, forcing her to move back home. When she recovered, she returned to the grind, recording a fifteen-song debut album that caught the major labels’ attention. This resulted in two full-lengths – 2007’s Sunseed and 2010’s When the Bird Became a Book – and she’s about to release her third on WORLD SOUND/ INGROOVES/ UMG. Dubbed Ricochet, the album summarizes the ups and downs that Hayley has experienced to get to this level in her career. “After decades of being told to find my voice, to change this or that about myself,” she says, “I finally realized that I didn’t have to change anything.”
“Never Before” is out now.