An Interview With Hailey Benedict: “Damn You July”, Performing At CMA Fest, And The Top Of The Country Finale

Hailey Benedict

Alberta-based rising country star, Hailey Benedict recently released her newest single, “Damn You July”.

She’s had a busy 2023 so far, which has included co-hosting the 2023 CMAB Awards, taking home two CMABs herself, her first nationwide tour opening for Aaron Goodvin, and taking a semi-finalist slot at the 2023 SiriusXM Top Of The Country competition. 

I caught up with Hailey to chat more about the new single, playing at CMA Fest, and more!

Releasing “Damn You July”

“Damn You July” was written back in December with fellow songwriters Rich Cloke and Elias James. 

“It’s funny enough we wrote a song called ‘Damn You July’ in December,” Hailey laughs. “I’ve written a lot of stuff I’m excited about but this one showcased a deeper maturity in my writing and musicality. It felt important to me and it felt like the right time.”

RELATED: Catch our previous coverage of Hailey’s single “Damn You July” …

Hailey first released “Damn You July” through SiriusXM’s Top Of The Country competition, where the eight semi-finalists had the opportunity to record a new song, including a video with renowned musicians and producers in either Toronto or Vancouver.

Hailey says, ““You never know when you go into those things. It came to life so beautifully, it turned out better than I’d imagined. It was cool getting to do it with those amazing musicians.”

Happy with how the track turned out, she decided to release it as a single. 

We Talked To Hailey About Being Part of Top Of The Country

Top Of The Country So Far!

Now a Top 3 finalist in SiriusXM’s Top Of The Country, along with Noah Derksen and Teigen Gayse, Hailey will play at LASSO Music Festival in Montreal, and at Top Of The Country’s Finale at CCMA Country Music Week.

“When I made it to the top three, I cried. The opportunities that come with this are so huge. As an independent artist, it really helps move the needle. It’s been amazing. Even being part of the Top 8 and recording this song has been an incredible experience. I may not be releasing ‘Damn You July’ if not for this opportunity.”

One of those incredible opportunities is playing a songwriter’s round at CMA Fest after a week of mentoring experiences.

CMA Fest: The Experience And The Opportunity To Play

“We just got back from Nashville and playing my first CMA Fest was incredible.”

The Sunday of CMA Fest in Nashville, Hailey, Teigen, and Noah took the stage at CMA Fan Fair Spotlight Stage for a writer’s round.

“Every year I get the CMA Fest fomo, and see photos and think man! Being there, seeing artists on those stages – Megan Moroney played on the same spotlight stage last year and this year she played the stadium. It was so inspiring. I had to remind myself to soak it all in. It was such a special moment.”

Not only this, but many Canadians who live in Nashville showed up to support.

“The Canadian crowd showed up! There were a bunch of Canadians and it made my heart happy. It was so good to have the Canadian family and support there. It felt like I had a little piece of home with me.”

Bonus: CMA Fest Musts!

If you find yourself in Nashville in June and have a chance to check out CMA Fest, here are Hailey Benedict’s top recommendations:

  1. The Stadium Shows – 60,000 people pack the stadium and see the “all stars” perform. 
  2. Frequent the Fan Stages and Rounds – check out as many of the stages as you can, especially the songwriter rounds. You never know who you might see at those stages who will be at the stadium in the coming years.
  3. All the fun events going around – if you love sparkles, there’s a lot! The food is great. If it’s hot, stay cool! If they say take shelter, then listen to them!

More About Hailey Benedict

Hailey Benedict is a 2022 winner for Interactive Artist of the Year, along with a nominee for Rising Star at the CCMA Awards. She also boasts multiple CMAB award wins and nominations, including three wins at the 2023 CMAB Awards. 

RELATED: Hailey was one of our Women in Canadian Country spotlight artists …

Hailey will join Tim Hicks on the Alberta dates for the Campfire Troubadour II tour, later this year, with performances leading up at the Ponoka Stampede, Lasso Music Festival, and the renowned Paris Fair. 

Hailey has over 200,000 followers on TikTok, making her one of the most followed country artists in Canada. 

Follow Hailey Benedict On Social Media

Instagram – @thatsmehaileyb
TikTok – @haileyb114
Facebook – thatsmehaileyb
Twitter – @thatsmehaileyb

Jenna Weishar from Front Porch Music

Country music lover with an unhealthy collection of concert t-shirts. Always looking for up and coming artists. Believer in music's ability to soothe the soul. Connect with me on Instagram and Twitter.

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