With the Covid-19 pandemic happening worldwide, a lot of movies and album releases have been postponed. Production of new music and movies have also slowed down due to travel restrictions and lockdowns.

Despite this, singer-actress Hailee Steinfeld recently dropped new music, with a total of five songs on Half Written Story—“I Love You’s”, “Wrong Direction”, “Your Name Hurts”, “Man Up”, and “End This (L.O.V.E)”. 

Why only five? These make up for the first half of her debut album, and the other half will be released later in the year.

The 5 songs that have been released are now available everywhere, for your listening pleasure. And in case you’re upset that only 5 songs that have been released, do note that these songs are the first half of Hailee Steinfeld’s debut album, and the full album is set to be released later in 2020. 

Half Written Story is filled with pop songs that explore different emotions and dimensions of heartache—each song has a different mood that encapsulates these emotions. The songs also demonstrate Hailee’s musicality and songwriting abilities, as each song conveys her vulnerability and confidence at the same time. 

She says in a roundtable Zoom interview with the Singapore media earlier this week, “I am incredibly proud of this project and this collection of songs. It’s some of my most personal and favourite music I’ve released and I’m so excited it’s finally out for everyone to hear.”

Read on for the rest of the interview, including her divulging how she deals with working from home and more.

It’s very easy for artists to feel purposeless during this period, to look at their skillset and wonder how they can contribute, how they can help. What do you believe is the role of an artist in this strange time that we’re in right now? 

I don’t know if there’s necessarily any right or wrong answer, but I think to be able to have the opportunity and a platform, and a voice, to say what I think and what I feel, and have people listen is a privilege. And if I can encourage my fans or anybody that happens to come across my page to just do whatever it is they can to help… and a lot of things that we’ve been able to do to help in this situation hasn’t had to go much further than what we’re doing in our everyday lives at home. It doesn’t require large amounts of money or time, even. It’s been the simplest [actions such as], wear a mask, protect yourself and those around you, don’t go outside. I’ve been hearing people say it’s more about physically distancing rather than socially distancing, I think that term kind of freaked a lot of people out in the beginning. … A walk outside is highly encouraged but protect yourself, don’t put others at harm, I think we’re all hopefully educated enough at this point [to know] what we can do, the smallest things to help.

Hailee Steinfeld Tells Us How She’s Coping With Working From Home & ‘Half Written Story’

How do you feel about releasing new music during this Covid-19 period when it’s especially harder to do promotions? 

As a fan of music, I’m always looking for new tunes, new music to turn to, I don’t know if there’s ever necessarily a wrong time.

…I think it has such an amazing and unique ability of connecting people. Obviously, it feels very strange—it’s been different. I wish I could be in-person with you right now, as opposed to in my room on my computer, so it’s definitely affected the promotions and kinds of things. 

[But] I just think it’s been amazing to have the connection with my fans and be able to sort of … stay in touch with them, and talk to them about these records that represent a time in my life that I wasn’t necessarily the only one going through what I was feeling.

Do you have any productivity issues when working from home?

It’s definitely been a struggle, I have days where I feel far less creative and inspired than others, but I will say, I feel like I’ve managed to stay pretty busy. I put together a little home studio, which used to be my guest room, and now I’m calling it my little studio, so I’ve actually been trying my best to stay busy, and I’ve been having a good time just figuring out how things work with certain softwares. I’ve been recording, learning how to cut my own vocals, so there’s definitely a lot to learn and a lot to do.

If you had to choose three artists from before your time to have a Zoom call with, who would they be? 

Whoa! Oh man, three artists to have a Zoom call with. I have to say, I would love to have a conversation with Annie Lennox—I think that would be pretty amazing. [I’m a] huge fan, she’s such an icon, [“No More I Love You’s” song hits a different level and I feel so honoured to be able to have that as part of my song (“I Love You’s”). So, Annie Lennox, Stevie Nicks, and maybe, Madonna!

Do you have any plans to visit Asia or do any tours in Asia after the pandemic is over?

Yes! Not officially, but if it were up to me, it would be the first place that I’d go. I always feel so welcomed and I just feel all the love and support from you guys on that end of the world. So, yes, I would absolutely love to.

Do you have any words of encouragement for your Singaporean fans as we all stay at home, fighting this pandemic together? 

I think … do your absolute best to stay positive and maybe just, take this time to slow down and reflect and learn to appreciate what we do have in the space that we are in, and the people that we do have around us, and closest to us. 

There are so many things I will never take for granted again, going forward, coming out of this, and I think that a lot of people, hopefully, will feel that same way. 

Images: Universal Music Group