Meet the Co-Writer of Rhianna’s “What’s My Name?”: Traci Hale of Hale Yeah! Music

guest post by Madam CJ

Traci Hale is an Atlanta-based American pop and R&B songwriter and vocalist. She began her career as a back up singer for R&B superstars Keith Sweat and Aaliyah before becoming a songwriter for artists including RihannaBlu CantrellMýa and Brandy. Her best-known compositions include “Case of the Ex“, as recorded by Mýa, and Rihanna’s “What’s My Name?“, which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.


You have had the pleasure to work with artists in two very different music industry climates. How has that been for you?

I’ve been fortunate to have had success on both Pop and R&B charts.. I like to write timeless songs. Songs that don’t lyrically date themselves. I try to challenge myself in whatever genre of music that I’m writing to not mention any specific product or fad. It’s hard. Because sometimes that’s exactly what the artists wants..a “quick” hit. Something you have to put out immediately or it loses its validity.. I don’t like writing songs that have an expiration date or short shelf life.

 Do you play any musical instruments?

I never learned how to play an instrument. But, I wish I had. I need to stop wishing and just’s never too late.

Have you ever worked any other job?

I’ve done a little bit of everything.. From a hostess at Olive Garden a salesperson at The Gap.. And my last 9-5 was at Georgia Pacific.. Super corporate!.. And I worked as a Temporary Employee for 3 years because I always knew this writing thing was gonna jump off so I didn’t want to be tied down.. Haha..

 They say country music is the cousin to R&B music. I agree totally. Don’t you write country music as well? If so how has it been for you lyrically?

I think some country music is VERY soulful.. Yes.. I love country music.. It takes up more than half of my musical heart.. Because it allows me to write from a place of pure tells a story.. I think the only story tellers left are in country and rap music.. Lol!!

 I’m so happy to see you making healthy food choices. Is this a lifestyle change for you?

Madam Cj.. I’m sincerely looking for food to replace the crap I’ve been putting into my body for years.. I feel like if I LOVE it.. I’ll eat it everyday.. I promise. Because I just want to enjoy my food..
 I want to be healthy no more processed “ish”.. I can’t do it. I shoulda started this lifestyle a long time ago.. But I thought the sexy was gonna preserve itself.. Lol.. Nope!.. It takes a conscious effort.. Just like everything else.

 The Aaliyah Lifetime movie. You worked with her. What did you think of the TV movie?

I toured with Aaliyah as a background vocalist..she was the sweetest spirit. That movie was a disgrace. It shouldn’t have been even attempted without the consent of her family and the rights to her music.. Utter disrespect.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a lot of new music for 2015. And that’s all I can say.. 😉 because I’m one of those weird creative people that don’t like to talk about their eggs before they’re hatched..3


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