Hayley Thompson is the owner and creative director of Brooklyn Girl Music, LLC, a platform for the production of global soul music, ranging from R&B to world rhythms to deep house and electronic music. She also leads the new music project, A New Thing, an international collaboration of artists releasing the new gospel house single, “Psalm 23: Detroit to NYC,” on October 28, 2014. The new single takes the gospel house music tradition to the next level with a bass line and hooks made for the dance floor.
Born and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Thompson began studying classical piano at the age of four. However, she was just as strongly influenced by the tastes of her father, an avid jazz fan. “My first live concert was seeing [jazz pianist] Ahmad Jamal at the Village Gate when I was kindergarten,” recalls Thompson. “My father would often test me to see if I knew my jazz artists. I learned to recognize Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Bill Evans, and many others at a pretty early age. I even ended up naming my daughter Naima, after my favorite Coltrane ballad.”
Thompson served as the accompanist and musical director of various choirs throughout high school and college. Over the years, she became active in New York songwriting community, co-founding the original Brooklyn Songwriters Circle in Park Slope. She was also a songwriter for the Songs of Love Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing personalized songs for chronically and terminally ill children and young adults. In 2007, she started Brooklyn Girl Music, the same year that her song “On These City Blocks” won an honorable mention in 11th Annual Unisong International Songwriting Contest. Her songs “Keep On Going” and “Revival,” have been performed live by the acclaimed Sacred Center of New York Gospel Choir.
Thompson recently relocated with her husband and twin children from Brooklyn to Detroit, MI, where she is also a successful cancer researcher at a local medical school. “I’ve been busy building a new network of musicians and collaborators and the folks I’ve met so far are incredibly talented and open,” Thompson says. “There’s much more great music to be made.”