With hit songs such as “Starving” and “Stitches,” it’s hard to believe that pop singer Hailee Steinfeld hasn’t been recording music for most of her career. However, the actress and model is certainly proving that you don’t necessarily have to start as a chart-topper to make a name for yourself in music.
Here’s how actress Hailee Steinfeld broke into the music industry.
1. She got exposure as an actress and model.
Though she began acting when she was eight, Hailee first made a name for herself as Mattie Ross in 2010’s True Grit. She was even nominated for an Acadamy Award and a BAFTA because of the role. She also became the face of Italian designer Mui Mui.
Hailee used her acting and modeling experience to build a fanbase for her music. Those who enjoyed her work wanted to see what else she was capable of. Many others also listened to her music because they recognized her name.
Last week, Hailee walked the red carpet at the Golden Globes as a nominee.
2. She recorded a song for a musical’s soundtrack.
Hailee first debuted her musical talents as Emily Junk in the hit musical Pitch Perfect 2. In the film, she sang “Flashlight,” and Hailee later released a cover of the song as a single. She played the song for a label representative in New York, and she was signed to Republic Records soon after.
Musicals combine the recognition of your face with the recognition of your musical capabilities. Community theater is an ideal place to start building up your acting skills if you’re not quite ready to move to Hollywood.
Watch one of Hailee’s onscreen musical scenes below.
3. She collaborated with other up-and-coming musicians.
Two of Hailee’s most popular songs were collaborations. In 2015, she was featured on Shawn Mendes’s hit single “Stitches.” More recently, Hailee recorded her own single “Starving” with popular DJ Zedd.
Collaborations prove that two musicians are more powerful than one. Combine your talents with another singer, DJ, or instrumentalist to create something that will appeal to a wider audience.
Listen to “Starving” here.
Hailee Steinfeld used the Hollywood exposure that acting gave her to break into music. Follow these tips to start making a name for yourself in the music industry.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.