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  • Writer's pictureMichael Bugeja


Still from the video for Hush Now, Hazyl's debut single

It has everything a pop song needs to connect with the listener - an organic melody that's easy on the ear, a warm build-up and a free-spirited hook that sinks in right from the very first listen. 'It' is a song by the name of Hush Now, and it's the debut single from Hazyl, one of the newest arrivals on the local music scene. But who are they, and where were they hiding all this time? speaks to Hazyl's vocalist Debbie Stivala as the single keeps receiving more and more airplay.

When and how did this band come together?

Around two years ago, Ryen, our guitarist and myself got together to work on some covers and, as often happens, we ended up jamming and writing our own songs. As the number of songs grew, we agreed to look for other musicians to work with as a band. Within the year Mauro had joined us on drums and, just a short while later the line-up was completed when (bass player) Liam came on board.

Once the band was in place, we needed a name, which actually took some brainstorming. There's no cool story behind it either, we picked it out of the dictionary, Ryen tweaked the spelling and Mauro came up with the logo. It's short, sweet, easy to pronounce and easy to remember.

You had been doing some solo work already. What made you explore a band setting? And is the solo project still a separate thing or have the two merged into one?

The solo project is a separate thing. The idea of working with a band is something I have long dreamed of. I like the idea of having different ideas come together to create something exciting, and it's more fun too I guess. At this stage I can say I'm focusing more on the band, but that doesn't mean I've shut the door to doing some solo stuff on the side. In fact, none of us is, but for the time being, we're all focused on the band.

What kind of audience are you targeting and what do you feel are the strongest characteristics that shape Hazyl's music?

The little we did try and discuss what kind of audience we should target, we always ended up with a big question mark, because you can never tell who is going to like your music or not. That's really not in our hands. We're just having fun experimenting, exploring and expressing our music, and the more souls it touches, the better. As for ourselves, our way of being and playing and tons of different thoughts on tons of different things, is what drives us all to write and play. We're keen on sharing honest feelings and emotions and stories through music. It's the best way to communicate.

This first offering has been a long time coming. Were there any challenges in bringing all of this to fruition?

Yes it has been (smiles). I must admit that I do like to take my time to do things. I suppose juggling everything and keeping everything in balance can be quite a challenge. It is a learning process though, and I think we've adapted well to it.

The local scene is rather busy with many releases coming out at a regular pace.... what do you feel Hazyl have to offer that is perhaps different to other bands?

Nothing and everything. Like any other band, we're four different individuals bringing our ideas together, creating something of our own that will hopefully connect with a lot of people.

What are the band's plans from here on? Any gigs planned ...

We're definitely going to keep writing more songs, and yes, we do want to get out and play some gigs, but we haven't got round to planning any just yet. Right now we're actually recording more songs.

Hazyl is Debbie Stivala (vocals), Ryen Refalo (guitars/vocals), Liam Spiteri (bass) and Mauro D'Amato (drums).


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