The soundtrack for your weekend (and all future weekends) arrived on Friday. Hailey Kilgore, the Grammy- and Tony-nominated singer who has wowed audiences in movies like RESPECT and series like Power Book III: Raising Kanan, has dropped Desire And Devotion, her first major musical release. “Desire and Devotion is the story of falling in love, knowing your worth, and feeling safe and seen in even your darkest moments,” Hailey says with the release of this EP.
Overseen by world-renowned producer Adam Blackstone (who has worked with Nicki Minaj and Janet Jackson, just to name a few), Desire And Devotion sees Hailey step into her own as a singer. Having honed her talents on the stage with productions of Once on This Island and Into The Woods, this Texas native’s star has continued to rise, and with Desire And Devotion, she invites listeners in for an intimate introduction to her as an artist.
The first track is just that. The opener, “Introduction,” went from “being a warm-up to a welcome, so I knew that that was how I wanted to start the EP,” Hailey tells HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE track-by-track review. “It was just one of those magical studio moments where everything fell into place so beautifully.”
There’s magic woven throughout the entire project. Read on to get a taste as to how the EP came together, while enjoying some Desire and Devotion for yourof
“This is a really exciting track and, honestly, one of my favorites because of how it came together. We were in the studio, and I started doing warm-ups to get ready to record we just got a bunch of different riffs, but they all kind of went together! So then, I decided to add a ton of stacks (so many that we actually maxed out the system), and then Adam Blackstone, my executive producer, came in and added these beautiful strings. It really went from being a warm-up to a welcome, so I knew that that was how I wanted to start the EP. It was just one of those magical studio moments where everything fell into place so beautifully. It felt effortless, and it really introduced me musically in such an angelic way!”
“‘Twice’ was a really fun song that I co-wrote with one of my favorite songwriters Kristal “Tytewriter” Oliver. Falling in love really starts with loving yourself. At the time, I was going through a really nasty breakup, and I just wanted to write a feel-good song. This was when we were still super deep into the pandemic, so Kristal and I had to work remotely which was a really interesting experience. We would spend our days in the studio and just send different voice memos back and forth until we really figured out what we wanted to say. I knew what the verses were going to be, but I had a really hard time figuring out what the chorus was, and then when it finally clicked, we were so excited! It was also really fun to just talk my ish a little bit!”
“Ooh, this is another one of my favorites! I wrote this when I finally started dating again, and I was really experiencing what it felt like to be desired by someone again. There’s something really fun and mysterious about the beginning of a romantic relationship when you both are just really feeling each other! As a woman, it’s so exciting to get dressed up and feel good about yourself and feel beautiful, wanted, and admired. It’s especially powerful once you’ve started to find your self-worth and you know what your boundaries are and what you bring to the table. This song took the longest out of everything on the project. There were so many different versions of it, and there were so many different changes, but it was a really fun song to put together!”
“Some Love Song (SLS)”
“This is one of the first songs that I ever wrote and produced by myself. I honestly didn’t even like it that much. It was just something really fun and cute. When I sent the original demo to Adam and my other producer, Jay Townsend, they both really loved it. The three of us went into the studio for a weekend and really honed in on the details and the vocal arrangements, and it turned out to be a really pretty song! it’s a lot different than what I thought would be on the project but I kind of love that. I’m SO SO GLAD we decided to keep working on it. The lesson with that song was to absolutely believe in yourself and in the story that you want to tell when it comes to your art because it will definitely relate to someone!”
“‘Miss U’ is giving throwback R&B pop vibes. I absolutely love it! This was another song that came so easily to us. I’m in my early twenties, and I want to be aware of how open I am when it comes to my sexuality and growth as a woman. This felt like the perfect way to express that without doing too much. This was a song that we finished super early in the process, and every time we listened to it, everything felt so right!
I absolutely adore interludes. The original cut of Miss U was over five minutes long! One day I was on the phone with one of my best friends, and the song was playing in the background. We were totally messing around talking about a spoken outro, and that’s when I got the idea.
“‘Hold Me’ is the first song I ever released. So special to me because it pays homage to the people who got me to where I am today. I am also a sucker for ballads. This was a song that I wrote in 15 minutes at my piano in my tiny Harlem apartment when I was 20 years old. I remember being super nervous when I sent it to Adam, but he absolutely loved it and encouraged me to get in the studio and record it as soon as possible. I’m so glad we did! Hold me as a song that has impacted a lot of people in ways that I could only dream of. In fact, the other day, someone told me that they were using it as their first dance song at their wedding, and I cried!”
“I grew up listening to all of the soul divas as a child. Aretha Franklin is one of my favorite singers in the whole, whole world (in fact, I played Carolyn Franklin in the Respect movie with Jennifer Hudson)! I knew that I wanted to record a song that had soul and felt good to sing. This is also a song where I was able to showcase my vocals in a really fun way. The second we finished it, I knew that this was how I wanted to finish off the project.”Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.