Hayden James on Katy Perry, becoming a dad and going from punter to performer

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Hayden James chatted with Build Series Sydney host, Danny Clayton. Photo: Build Series Sydney.

Fresh off the back on an epic performance at Byron Bay music festival Splendour In The Grass, Aussie Hayden James swung by Build Series Sydney to chat with host - and good pal - Danny Clayton.

These days, Melbourne-born Hayden is dominating the worldwide electro music scene, with his Splendour gig marking the biggest he’s played to date.

“It feels amazing,” Hayden told Danny of the show which took “months” to create and featured a 16-piece gospel choir.

“I can’t believe I got to play the Amphitheatre,” he added, referring to the festival’s massive main stage that can pack in about 30,000 punters.

“It’s crazy that it’s done and dusted,” he said.

But it wasn’t that long ago that the songwriter/producer made the leap from punter to performer.

Hayden kicked off his career less than a decade ago by DJing at Kings Cross nightclub Candy’s Apartment - where he met his now-wife, artist Jennifer Lia.

Since then, he’s released his debut EP - 2013’s Hayden James - toured extensively and been nominated twice for an ARIA award for Best Dance Release.

Hayden told Danny about a career highlight when pop superstar Katy Perry flew him to California in 2017 where they spent two weeks co-writing a number of tracks for her album, Witness.

“She’s an incredible writer, I learnt so much from her,” he told Danny of the experience, adding that he hopes to team up with the “Teenage Dream” singer again in the future.

His dream collaboration would have to be with “Happy” hitmaker Pharrell Williams, admitting, “He seems like such a cool guy.”

Despite releasing his first full-length album, Between Us, in June this year after six years of work, Hayden is most proud of another little project that’s been in development for about nine months.

That’s the couple’s first child, a baby boy called James Romeo. “He’s the best thing to happen to us and has changed our lives for the better,” Hayden told Danny.

Even though the bub had a “tough beginning” - “he was born a little bit early and spent 87 days in hospital,” Hayden explained - James is now happy and healthy and is set to join his dad (and mum) on an upcoming international tour.

The Between Us tour kicks off in New Zealand on August 2 before coming to Australia for several dates then over to the US, UK and Europe. It’s safe to say that James Romeo will be a well-travelled tot by the end of it.

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