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Artist Biography "Gemma Hayes" (born 11 August 1977) is an Irish musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, she is also proficient with a wide range of instruments, including the piano and the harmonica.
Hayes grew up in Ballyporeen, Tipperary with her parents and seven other siblings. She was surrounded by music from an early age heavily influenced by her siblings and her father who was a keyboardist in a local band. Hayes would later move to County Limerick to attend boarding school. By this time, Hayes was proficient at piano and found that the music used to counter the boredom of living in a small village. She would later move to Dublin City to attend UCD to study Sociology, Psychology and History, Hayes soon dropped out of university to concentrate on her music and to gig at music venues across the city. This was subsidised by working part-time in a laundrette.
Hayes' music career catapulted upon signing a recording contract with French independent record label, Source Records in 2001. Under this label she would release her first EP 4.35am and its follow up Work to a Calm. By 2002 her debut album Night on my Side was released.This release received critical acclaim resulting in her wining Best Female Artist at the Hot Press Awards 2002 and later the album was nominated for Best Album at the 2003 Mercury Prize.Hayes toured Europe and the US extensively upon the album's release performing at high profiled festivals such as Ireland's Witnness festival and Montreux Jazz Festival 2002 in Switzerland. Following a stint living in Los Angeles, Hayes currently resides in Dublin.