Photo: Ashley Osborn

Hayes Warner

This International Women’s Day, congratulations are in order for Hayes Warner. Not only can the singer celebrate the release of her latest single “Just A Girl” featuring Kevin Rudolf alongside fellow New York native Billy B, but she also gets to commemorate simply being herself: a badass female powerhouse. For Warner, though, she’s likely toasting to that part of her identity every day. 

Since her breakout on the scene in 2022, the future for music’s rising pop-rock princess has never been brighter. Ignited by the fires of witty lyricism and a no-nonsense attitude, Warner is extensively prepped to set the industry ablaze with edgy (and very fashionable) finesse. Creating a safe space for those of us carrying a bit of glamour and nerve at our core, new Hayes Warner listeners are flocking in by the thousands. With nearly 140,000 followers on TikTok and streaming numbers pushing 8 digits, the budding star is quickly becoming our chic leader channeling all the best parts of Joan Jett, Ke$ha, Olivia Rodrigo, and Debbie Harry.

After a prodigious 2023 following the release of hitmakers including “Dead To Me” and “Breadcrumbs,” Warner has affirmed her position as music’s foremost sincere, spunky songsmith. Then again, are we surprised? Having graduated from Northwestern University’s musical theater program and scoring a deal with Glassnote Records shortly thereafter, there’s no question as to why she’s able to coyly combine tongue-in-cheek theatrics with the world’s trendiest sounds and visuals. Undeniably stylish and vastly qualified to take the stage, Warner makes it cool to be candid.

Lucky for us, today marks an all-new era for the starlet, and what better way to declare oneself as the Internet’s ultimate girl’s girl than by reworking one of femininity’s most iconic anthems into a hymn for International Women’s Day? A 2024 take on No Doubt’s track of the same name, “Just A Girl” is everything you’d expect from a tune touched by the man behind 2008’s smash “Let It Rock.” Bold, spirited, and wholly fun, Warner offers a particular fierceness further polished by hip-hop artist Billy B’s flair. All wrapped up in a 3-minute package, the tune is the gift that keeps on giving beyond your speakers. In honor of International Women’s Day, a portion of the proceeds from “Just A Girl (feat. Kevin Rudolf)” will be donated to Supermajority to help empower and uplift female leadership.

With Warner on the brink of a major breakthrough, EUPHORIA. is fortunate enough to catch her ahead of the curve. Internet, meet Hayes Warner and prepare to never forget the name.

Photo: Ashley Osborn

You made your first major mark on the scene in 2022 with tracks like “Messy” and “SHUT UP,” both very quickly claiming your spot as a pop-rock princess. That vibe is still very much present today, but how would you say your sound has evolved in 2024?

First of all, I love the pop-rock princess label you gave me! Very honored by that. I’ve been inspired by pop-rock my entire life. It’s what I listen to, it’s just what inspires me. My sound has definitely altered as I’ve been in the studio and started playing around with different things, but it’s at the root, at the heart, pop rock. It’s just where I’ve always lived. Why [“Just A Girl (feat. Kevin Rudolf)”] is so fun is because it’s my ultimate inspo. Everything about No Doubt–they’re just who I’ve always looked up to. So it’s an exciting new little chapter.

This single is obviously dropping today, on International Women’s Day, which is an amazing idea considering the original “Just A Girl” is such an iconic female anthem. You’ve sampled it so well in this modern take – what made you want to take this on? Why is it important for you to drop it today?

No Doubt is such an iconic band, and that is such an iconic song of theirs. I have always wanted to pull inspiration from them, but the idea of taking a portion of what they said [in the original “Just A Girl”] and making a 2024 edition, one that speaks to how I view the song and what it means to me is really exciting. 

The song has references from that 1995 version, but there are some new elements of it that I add in. I definitely put a big cap down to Gwen in my verse and my lyrics. I’m also super excited about collaborating with this amazing rapper, Billy B. She just has such amazing energy and I was a fan of her before we even did this collab. She brings her own perspective on what that song means to her. It being International Women’s Day, we thought it was a relevant day to release this one.  

I love that, and even with the original dropping in 1995, it’s still totally relevant today.

Exactly.

You just mentioned working with Billy B on this track who absolutely adds in an amazingly fun energy. Did you always want to bring a rap and hip-hop element into the mix? She does an awesome job at adding in that modernized vibe you were referencing.

If I was going to reference “Just A Girl,” I definitely wanted another girl and another perspective on the track because it’s relevant for everyone in terms of energy. The second I met her, not even in relation to this, I just was like, ‘I want to work with her one day.’ She’s so fun and she’s so bubbly, but she also has a lot of depth and understanding of the world. She’s just a really amazing person. I think in terms of this song and in terms of the energy, I was like, ‘she’s going to make this and you’re going to want to dance to whatever she says. You’re just going to have fun.’ At the same time though, she brings a different representation to the song and what her experience is like as a woman. She’s a woman of color, she’s a mother, and if I could have it my way, I’d be like, ‘Let’s have 40 women on this song!’

Photo: Ashley Osborn

We can re-up it again in another 10 years! On that same note, you’ve had such amazing benchmark moments so far as a female artist. In the spirit of uplifting women on this day in particular, what have you learned along your journey?

What this single did for me, and what I’ve found for myself as an artist coming into while releasing my own music–women’s voices a lot of times are silenced. It’s hard to speak up in a room, especially when it’s filled with men. I struggled a lot with releasing my music because I cared so much about what people thought of me, and I think there’s just a general concern across every woman. Every woman artist, every career, how do you get your voice heard and how do put opinions away? 

A lot of my music is about this older version of me and gaining the confidence to speak up, say what I want to say, and push aside opinions about who I am and what I want to do, and what I should do.

It’s such a relevant conversation whether you’re listening to No Doubt’s version from 30 years back or yours today. What do you picture when people hear this song for the first time?

If you have the windows down and you’re blasting it, you know? Obviously, there’s a deeper meaning that I want people to come across, but if you feel good after listening to it, the goal is done. I think also though, there’s an element of nostalgia that I really love with music that is resampled, made modern, and changed up a little bit. So I hope that the nostalgia is fun for people. Cap off to Gwen if she ever hears it! She’s just important to me, and that’s also why I really love the song.

Plus getting Kevin Rudolf on this track was the perfect match-up. There’s no one better to get that pop-rock infusion going. How did that come about?

It was such an honor. His music, his production, and his sound are huge inspirations for me. How it came across is we were playing around with this guitar riff that’s so iconic from 1995 and [wanted to] make it new. We were playing around with different things and someone mentioned ‘Kevin Rudolf is so amazing let’s see what he thinks.’ I was like, ‘Oh, he won’t respond.’ Like, yeah, sure. But he was like, “I love this. Let me play around with it. I’d love to be a part of this song.’ It was crazy. It really affirmed that this was a good song. I loved it, but just to hear him say that meant a lot to me. Then for him to do what he does; he added his magic touch to it. He improved it a lot, and I’m I’m honored. Love Kevin.

100% a dream pairing–the song feels so authentic to you as an artist having listened to your discography. So with this track out in the world and more music on the horizon, can we expect a similar vibe? How would a song like “Messy” from 2022 compare to the tracks you’re working on today?

“Messy” was really what I was going through at the moment. Whether that was friend issues or relationship problems. I think that my upcoming music really talks about my identity. What it’s like growing into a woman, especially a woman in music. It’s how I feel and how I feel I’ve grown. I’m really proud of it because I think it’s a deeper psychological analysis of who I am. I still love relationship songs. I love songs about love, and there’s definitely that in there. And then there are things that “SHUT UP” has where I just want people to have fun. I want people to just blast the music. So there’s there’s a lot of similarities [to older music], but there’s some differences in there too.  

And just from 2022 to 2024 alone your career trajectory has been insane You’ve already opened for a ton of iconic artists from Flo Rida to Fetty Wap and the iHeartRadio Music Festival. I know there are some really exciting live shows for you in the future, so what can we expect from that side of you in this next chapter?

I just can’t help it when I’m performing my music and how I am as a performance performer. I bring as much energy as I can. I want to give it all on stage for people who come out but also for myself. That’s just how I react to the songs that I make. I’m really passionate, I have the energy, and my number one priority for me is having fun. I want the show to be fun. I love going to shows where it’s piano and a vocal and you can really hear the lyrics and storytelling, but for my shows, I want people to leave being like, ‘That was really fun.’ Sweating in people’s faces, running around in the audience, crowd participation–I just love rock shows.  

That’s perfect. Not a hard goal to achieve when you have the music you do! One thing I love isn’t just the fun nature of your music, but your style. Looking at your social media you’re obviously super trendy and rocker chic, so I’m wondering what’s something you wear on stage that makes you feel most confident?

Oh, those boots. Those boots. I get the platforms on and I’m taller than everyone and coming into myself. Saying what I want to say and caring less about what people think. I put the platform boots on and I’m taller, maybe taller than the men in the room, and I just feel insanely powerful. So that’s definitely a big part of what I wear.  

Photo: Ashley Osborn

You do such an awesome job at curating your style to match your music and visuals, and one place I think that really thrives is on your social media channels. You’re quickly gaining an audience all over the Internet, so how has social media played a part in your artistry? 

It almost sounds so cheesy to say but authenticity. I was so stressed about curating–like ‘Who do I want to be? What do I want to say? What’s the funniest caption I can write?’ I feel like even if it gets less engagement, I’m word-vomiting how I feel, or posting more chaotic videos that I find funny. I have just gotten a lot more comfortable with social media and doing less for views and more for me. As soon as I started doing that, I saw a reaction and am connecting better with the people listening to my music. That’s for sure what I’m trying to do on social media now.

Social media is such a huge part of creating a brand nowadays, and you never know when someone could fall in love with your music just by scrolling on TikTok. If a listener-to-be is reading this and about to look you up for the first time, which tracks of yours do you think are absolutely essential for listening to understanding you as an artist?

I’m really proud of “SHUT UP”. I think it was the first song I honed in on with what I wanted my sound to be. And it’s just fun, you know? It makes me want to roll the windows down and scream. Then I also really love “Breadcrumbs” – I think that lyrically in terms of how it tells a story in this sort of sarcastic tone and chaotic humor. Sort of what “Just A Girl” has too, I think that came across in “Breadcrumbs”. Those two songs really show what my future music is going to be like.

“Just A Girl (feat. Kevin Rudolf)” is out now on all platforms.