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Haley Blais, from YouTuber to Indie Darling


Haley Blais has a long list of touring dates coming up (including three in Alberta!) Coming off a European tour in November, she says she has been catching her breath since. “I took a long winter break, I really feel like I hibernated,” she says. “I’m slowly coming out of that now, with the tour coming up.”

Blais started her career as a teenager, 10 years ago, making Youtube videos with vlogs and ukulele covers. Now she just released her sophomore album, Wisecrack, in fall 2023, and signed with the indie label Arts & Crafts around the same time.

She’s toured extensively through Europe and North America. Wisecrack has received a lot of positive press attention for its dark, atmospheric indie pop. It’s an exciting moment for the young Vancouver artist, who began as a classically-trained opera singer.

Does life now resemble her teenage imaginings of success? “As a younger musician, I really had no visualizations of what it would be, because I was so new,” Blais says. The level of touring required was unexpected, she says. “I had a pretty naïve outlook, I just thought ‘oh, I’m going to have a hit record and then I’m going to buy a house!’” she laughs. “But you have to tour pretty heavily, you gotta work hard, you gotta grind.”

Getting signed to Arts & Crafts last year was a milestone moment. “Being on a label is really validating for me as an artist, it’s kind of a bucket list thing. And to find a label that really values you and wants you to succeed, it’s great. I think my label is very maternal, I feel cherished,” she says.

Her early 2024 tour has 21 dates in Canada and the US. ‘I’m hoping this is the one big tour that happens this year,” Blais says. “Then the rest of the year I’ll either be writing or doing some festival runs in the summertime. Festivals are my favourite thing to do over anything. They’re so fun.”

Blais says she’s looking forward to her Alberta dates. “I played a show in Calgary on one of my first tours ever, it was one of my favourite tours. I think I spent a total of $20 on the whole thing. We played this place called Tubby Dog, this hot dog restaurant, and it was just so much fun, it’s just a really precious memory.”

She’s excited to get back to Alberta, she says, as it’s been a while since she’s headlined there. “I’m hoping it’s the same energy as that show in Calgary,” she says and laughs. “Hot dog energy.”.

Catch Haley live, Feb. 10 in Calgary, Feb. 11 in Edmonton, and Feb. 12 in Red Deer.

“Body” from Haley Blais’ new sophomore album, Wisecrack.