Haleluya Hailu liberate eternally, yours.

On her debut EP with 604 Records, BC singer Haleluya Hailu finds her own style.

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Haleluya Hailu eternally, your EP release

When: March 31, 8 p.m.

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Where: Red Gate Arts Society, 1965 Main St.

Tickets/information: redgate.tv/tickets/


It is not surprising that Hallelujah HailuEternally’s debut EP, yours sounds remarkably accomplished. He The Vancouver-based Ethiopian-Canadian artist had a number one independent release on college radio before she even graduated from Burnaby North High School.

That release, titled Greetings and Greetings, was a DIY project built entirely by talented teens who navigated the challenges the pandemic posed to creative projects. This time around, the singer signed to Canadian indie powerhouse 604 Records, which has pushed songs like leadoff single Manic Pixie Pacifist.

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With its quirky video and slow-building arrangement, the tune features a languid beat and pointed lyrics that turn the “manic pixie dream girl” persona on its head. The catchy track follows the slightly lo-fi vibey Pinball and the album’s first single and opener, Useless. The only thing all these songs have in common is that they don’t sound the same.

Hailu recently spoke about the journey writing the material for the album, which was released this week.

Q: Songs like Useless with its chorus of Oh my God/ I think I’ve done it again/ I met another useless friend suggest that you’re writing from a very personal perspective rather than inhabiting a character.

TO: In the middle of the pandemic, at the age of 17, I made the decision to go to Selkirk College in Nelson to obtain my degree in music performance. Upon landing there, I realized that I was alone and friendless. A couple of relationships from bad to interesting, partial and exams from average to better and I found my group and began the path of adulation. But I certainly had to go through some useless friends to get there.

Q: So the songs will go on forever, yours, are you finding your sound just like you found yourself?

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TO: I think that’s the most important thing I learned, because music school opens your ears a lot and gives you a lot of opportunities to hear things you may have never heard before. It sucked that there weren’t places for all ages, so for the first few years I sat at home while my roommates went out. But that was more time to write. Also, as great and active as the arts scene is in the Kootenays, the pandemic really shut it down for a while.

Q: And from those experiences, did you arrive at what you have called ‘sleazy pop’?

TO: As a member of Generation Z, I have a deep devotion to bands and artists from the early 2000s to the 2010s because I grew up on it. I was a big emo kid, totally obsessed with Lady Gaga, and I feel like that haunts me. Me and my songs at all times until today. So far, I’ve gotten away from those ridiculously long Fall Out Boy song titles, but I’m sure they’re coming.

Q: Manic Pixie Pacifist is a song title that almost seems unfair not to have kept as an album name as well, doesn’t it?

TO: Honestly, I had the title for that song before the actual song was written and I told my co-writer/producer/de facto engineer Quinn Pickering that that wasn’t going to change. He had the hook and the verse, but nothing more and we worked it out. Of course, explaining to someone else that this is a song about someone who really hurt me and was a complete jerk isn’t always easy. But collaborating is great.

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Q: Well, you have an album, a record label and I assume you’ll be taking it on tour as soon as possible.

TO: Of course, stop in Vancouver first, maybe Kelowna, and then the world. I’ve actually been playing live a lot and the new EP sounds really great. I have Fake Friends (bassist Nika Manuel, guitarist Ian Piri and drummer Kavin Bazogh) going on tour with me playing. the real in Nelson this weekend and in Vancouver on March 31 with Post Modern Connection and Eva Lucia.

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