Next Up Now: Hailey Steele Releases "Raggedy Ann"
Life always comes with choices, and in artist-writer Hailey Steele's video for her new ballad "Raggedy Ann," she takes a look at what her life would have been like had she chosen a different path.
"The video for Raggedy Ann is basically a dreamscape of what my life would be like right now if I made the choice to give up my wandering ways and become rooted in the life of a wife and mother," she tells CMT. "It's a very literal, lived-out version of the song, and it's also a metaphor for unspoken expectations in life and the roles we are all expected to play."
This South Dakota native's journey has led her to competing on The Voice in 2012, and then moving to Nashville to focus on songwriting, and adding songwriter friends such as "Bless The Broken Road" writer Marcus Hummon to her circle. She's also co-written songs including RaeLynn's track "Boyfriend" and Kalie Shorr's "Fight Like A Girl."
Steele is the sole writer on "Raggedy Ann," while Brooke Boling directed the video for the piece.
"We got out to the house the night before like it was the night before Christmas and prepped and laid everything out," Steele recalls of creating the video. "I could not believe how quickly the shoot went by. I was trying to stay focused and play my character but there was so much fun and laughter it was hard to contain. We used the real blanket my grandma made me, as well as her Raggedy Ann doll, and I got pretty emotional when my fake baby Hatch dragged it up the stairs. You can't see it in the video, but I was sitting at the top waiting for him at the end of each take. That's his first role!"
She hopes fans will find find encouragement from the song to chase their own dreams, no matter what others might say.
"I want everybody who sees this to understand that it's okay to NOT live up to someone else's idea of you. It's okay to settle down and to want a family, but for me personally I will always be unsettled if I don't ride out all of my other dreams as well. Sometimes by being our authentic selves, we disappoint others, but ultimately that is not our responsibility and we have to choose what aligns with what we want deep down."