An incredible talent that has overcome devastating obstacles
This Woman Crush Wednesday has made me cry more times than I care to admit. HALIENE (pronounced HAY-lee-en) has one of the most recognizable female voices in EDM today. A stunning vocalist, producer, and songwriter; a triple threat with a true passion for her work has made HALIENE electronic dance music royalty.
On a lazy Sunday about two years ago, I was watching a friend’s Snapchat story while they were at a Seven Lions show the night before. The camera was facing my friend and his group as they sang along to a song I hadn’t heard, but everyone else in the crowd seemed to know. All I could make out was “I will miss you” just before the drop.
The voice on the track was so lovely my curiosity piqued so, I sent my friend a message asking for an ID. He told me it was called “Rush Over Me” by Seven Lions, Illenium, Said the Sky, and HALIENE. After listening to the track about 30 times that day, I sought out more to appease me. I knew of the first three artists but who was HALIENE? Why does her voice move me to tears? I wanted answers, so I had to take it back to where it started.
Before HALIENE, she was Kelly
Born as Kelly Sweet, her musical journey started at birth. Kelly’s parents were a pianist and a singer by profession which gave her a running start into her music career. She started performing at four years old, singing at county fairs and in community theater to help train her voice. By the time she was 18, Kelly had signed to a music label, released an album under her real name, and even toured with the legendary Paul Simon.
In 2011, Kelly attended Coachella, her first music festival, and I’m sure we all can relate to such a life-altering event. She found a comfort in EDM and realized pop music wasn’t where she wanted to be anymore and promptly left her music label. But shortly after, tragedy struck and Kelly lost both her parents to cancer in a six month span of each other.
“There were times when I was questioning what was left to be alive for after so much loss. It felt like I was in a desert of my life. It was through electronic music, going to music festivals, connecting with people and seeing what was happening in the culture and actively being a part of it, that brought me back to life in a way.”-Kelly Sweet, edmidentity.com
HALIENE emerges a phoenix
Despite the adversity of losing her parents, Kelly was able to rise from the ashes and start anew as HALIENE. Aside from her massive future bass collab “Rush Over Me” and a couple other exceptions, her angelic vocal style seems to be most fitting in trance, working with huge artists like Gareth Emery, Andrew Rayel, and Aly & Fila. Her recent release with Ferry Corsten “Wherever You Are” has been on repeat on my Spotify for months now. The emotional intensity is palpable in every song HALIENE creates, which makes for a visceral listening experience suited to the trance music style.
HALIENE has overcome enormous loss, transformed it into emotionally gripping music, and became an astounding woman well deserving of this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday. Besides her incredible talent and accomplishments, her strength and tenacity alone is to be admired. It’s no wonder now why she moves me to tears. For as long as she produces music, I will be there sharing in her joys and losses, cheering her on to even greater heights of accomplishment.
To keep up with HALIENE’s music, listen here on Spotify