Hailee Steinfeld credits Kelly Clarkson for encouraging her to pursue her dream of becoming a singer.
The 21-year-old star first rose to fame as an actress in movies such as the Oscar-nominated True Grit, before winning over fans with her debut EP Haiz in 2015. She's now solidified her position as a successful pop star in the music industry, and told Billboard in a new interview that it was when she watched Kelly on American Idol that she realised she wanted to forge a career as a singer.
Referring to joining Kelly's team as a guest mentor on U.S. TV talent show The Voice, Hailee told the outlet: "I was so excited when she invited me to advise her team, because what she didn’t know was that she was a huge influence on me when I was younger.
"When Kelly was on American Idol my parents surprised me and my brother with tickets to the show. I just remember looking at my dad and having him tell me that one day I would be on that stage too. It was one of those moments that reinforced my dream of pursuing music."
Hailee is now working hard to ensure her first album is up to scratch. And Kelly has been on hand to offer the actress-turned-singer some pointers on how to make the record a commercial and critical success.
"One of the main things I learned from Kelly is to determine when and where to add embellishments in a song," Hailee gushed. "She knows how to choose the right moment to give you that extra wow factor without it feeling like too much. A lot of times singing is based on feelings, but you also need to be able to make smart choices and pick the moments of greatest impact. She’s someone I truly admire."
Since starting out as a singer, Hailee has enjoyed her fair share of collaborations, heading out on tour with Katy Perry this summer before serving as Charlie Puth's special guest on his VoiceNotes Tour. And getting the chance to work with and learn from such established musicians has been invaluable for Hailee.
"With each collaboration you take away another lesson," she smiled. "It just goes to show that when you get creative people in a room together, the possibilities are endless."