One of eight children, Hayes was surrounded by music from an early age, both from any of her seven siblings’ bedrooms and being played by her father, a keyboardist in a local band. By the time she left for boarding school in County Limerick, Hayes was already proficient at piano and found that the music used to counter the boredom of living in a small village. Although she enrolled at University in Dublin, Hayes soon left to concentrate on music, working part-time in a laundrette during the day and playing the city’s circuit at night.
Hayes signed to the French independent record label, Source Records in 2001, and issued the 4.35am EP and the Work to a Calm EP before releasing her debut album, Night on my Side, in 2002. In 2002 she won Best Female Singer at the Hot Press Awards. The album was nominated for the 2003 Mercury Prize but lost out to Ms. Dynamite’s, A Little Deeper. After touring Night on my Side Hayes took two years out from the music industry; “All I do know is that I didn’t want to listen to music at all. I stopped listening to the radio. It was like I’d overdosed on music”.
In late 2005 Hayes returned with her second album, The Roads Don’t Love You, and picked up the Best Irish Female Artist award at the 2006 Meteor Ireland Music Awards, shortly before completing a small tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Shortly after this she left EMI-Virgin. Hayes co-wrote the song “Hazy” with Adam Duritz.
On 14 August 2006 Hayes announced, via her MySpace profile, that she had begun work on her third album in the Black Box Studios in France, to be produced by her former guitarist, David Odlum. Hayes posted demo versions of a few of the songs on MySpace during recording, including “Out of Our Hands”, “Home”, and “This Is What You Do”.
Hayes’ third album The Hollow of Morning was released on 2 May 2008 in Ireland, and debuted at number 12 in the Irish Albums Chart. Following this she signed a recording contract with the US record label, Second Motion where The Hollow of Morning was released in the US on 30 September 2008. Second Motion works with Daniel Lanois, Adam Franklin of Swervedriver, Brian Vander Ark and others.
Whilst on her 2008 UK tour, Hayes announced that she planned to release an acoustic album by the end of 2008. Hayes also confirmed that she will start recording her fourth album in August 2008.
In January 2009 it was announced that Hayes had been nominated for Best Irish Female, at the 2009 Meteor Ireland Music Awards, which took place on 17 March 2009 in Dublin. She lost out to Imelda May. On 13 February 2009 she released her new music video for the song “Home” on Myspace; the track was from her 2008 release The Hollow of Morning. On 19 February 2009 she performed at the Oscar Wilde party in Los Angeles, California. The annual event takes place days before the Oscars, and celebrates the best of Irish popular culture.
On 22 February 2009 it was stated that her new EP Oliver will be available for purchase on 9 March. However, it was subsequently announced on Myspace on 9 March that the EP’s release had been delayed. A new track called ‘Ghost’ appeared on Myspace the same day.
On 13 March 2009 Oliver was released on i-Tunes.
On 14 April 2009 it was announced on her myspace blog  that she’s writing songs for a new album.
On 3 September 2009 Gemma performed at the 2012 stage at the 2009 Århus Festival. Her set-list featured new songs Waiting for You and Shock to the System.
On 20 October 2009 Gemma confirmed through her twitter page that she is currently in France recording her new album in the Blackbox studios. 
On 19 November 2009 Gemma began a short European tour with performances in Austria, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. During these tour dates Gemma played new songs including Tokyo, Waiting for You and Shock to the System. At her gig in Cork on 3 December, Gemma performed a cover of Kate Bush’ Cloudbusting.
On 22 December 2009 Gemma released her cover of Kate Bush’ Cloudbusting available for free from her website.
In March 2010 Gemma will feature on Ceol 2010 a special album in the Irish language. Gemma previously appeared on Ceol 2007. On the Ceol 2010 album Gemma’s song Rith me go Crich will appear on the album alongside Bell X1, Kila, The Walls.
 Popular culture
‘November’ taken from her ‘Oliver’ EP featured on US drama series One Tree Hill. The song featured on episode ‘At the Bottom of Everything’. The episode was broadcast on Monday 15 February 2010 on CW.
“Sad Ol Song” a track from her The Hollow of Morning album featured on episode 6 of RTÉ drama series RAW first broadcasted on RTÉ One on Sunday 14 February 2010.
‘Under a Canopy’ a track from her The Hollow of Morning album featured on episode 5 of RTÉ drama series RAW first broadcasted on RTÉ One on Sunday 7 February 2010.
Her song Chasing Dragons was featured on Private Practice episode 301: ‘A Death in the Family’ which first aired on ABC on 6 October 2009.
Her song ‘Out of Our Hands’ was featured in ER episode “T-Minus-6” (from Season 15) which aired on 26 February 2009 on NBC and 10 May 2009 on RTÉ One.
Her song ‘Two Step’ was featured in a season 2 episode of the hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy.
She was also featured in a duet with Norwegian singer Magnet on a Bob Dylan cover, “Lay Lady Lay” in the 2005 feature film Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
Hayes was on the Ceol ‘07 album, which was released on 2 March 2007, singing “Rith Mé Go Crích”, an Irish language version of “Ran For Miles”, which originally appeared on Night on my Side. Other Irish artists who appeared included Bell X1 and Paddy Casey
The track “Rith Mé Go Crích” reappeared on Ceol 2010 which is to be released in March 2010.
She appeared on the cover of the June 2008 edition of State Magazine.
Her song “4:35am” appeared in the 2006 film, Flicka
Autore modifica: mannymanllen (data: Mag 9 2010, 9:49)
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