By Brian Ives
Hailee Steinfeld has fans from all over the demographic map. She recently recorded a duet with superstar Shawn Mendes (an acoustic version of his hit “Stitches”), which put her in front of a very young fan base. Slightly older fans may know her through her role in Pitch Perfect 2 or via her appearance in Taylor Swift‘s “Bad Blood” music video. An even older fan base still know her through her Oscar-nominated role in the 2010 Coen Brothers film True Grit, where she starred opposite Jeff Bridges.
Now she’s planning the launch of her music career, which she expects to exist alongside her acting career. Our first glimpse into her debut album is “Love Myself.” We spoke to her about the song, the progress of the full-length, and about her collaborations with Mendes, Swift and the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges.
“Love Myself” is your introduction as a solo singer to the world; talk about choosing that song as the one to introduce yourself as a singer.
“Love Myself” was written by Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter, and they’re not only two of my favorite writers, but two of my favorite people that I’ve had the pleasure of working with on the whole album. There was no question, to me, that that should be the first single. There was something so powerful about the lyrics that made me feel so good about life, and about myself, and the idea of putting something so powerful and empowering into the world meant a lot to me.
In this era of bullying and body shaming, it seems like a pretty resonant idea.
It’s been really amazing to see… when we released the title of the song, it was amazing to see what people were saying under the hashtgag #lovemyself. So much positivity and love was being spread. Just from the title! And then after the song came out, it’s been so amazing to see how it has affected people and how it has helped people, it feels really special.
Obviously committing yourself to music means a lot of time in the studio, on the road and promoting, and at some point you’ll probably have to choose between doing a film or spending more time on music.
I guess that’s true, but I’m not leaving one behind for the other. I do commit myself 110% to whatever it is I’m doing at the moment. But I love them both so much that I know I couldn’t do just one, and not the other. I’m going to do a movie at the end of October that I’m really excited about. It’ll be interesting to see how these two worlds will collide. I’m blessed to be able to do what I love and I’m going to take advantage of any opportunity I can to do it.
You looked like you had a great time shooting the “Love Myself” video.
I shot it in L.A. After a lot of back and forth and where to shoot it and what to wear and who to have in it, it came down to me really wanting to have fun and have a good time with it. It makes me feel good when I sing it, and I wanted the video to represent the idea that you can be yourself, you don’t have to look a certain way or act a certain way. And you can listen to your favorite song and dance as if no one is watching.