Happy 2022, everyone reading this! I am excited because this year is going to be a year of a lot of new personal challenges and ambitious Ragamuffs endeavors. I wanted to write this specifically for those that have followed Ragamuffs since day 1 and hope you will still be around until day infinity.
It has taken me a while to process and bounce back from all of the sudden changes my life has faced in the past couple of months. I went from wondering if this was even necessary to address, or something I wanted to keep to myself. I felt like finally leaving some sort of explanation out there for my own peace of mind and to mark a cleaner start to what is up and coming with Ragamuffs. I guess those that really care are probably reading this now because you have somehow made your way into my pretty hidden blog. Thank you ILY btw. To the Ragamuffs supporters who have seen this project begin as a duo made up of me (Hailey) and Joseph, I am here to officially reintroduce myself.
Hi, I am Ragamuffs aka Hailey Finesse, an indie rock/bedroom pop artist from Honolulu, Hawai'i.
Photo Credit: Kristi-Ann Say
When Ragamuffs started, our supporters were made up of a mixture of my friends, Joseph’s friends, and shared friends between us two. I am forever grateful for this! Those who knew us on a personal level knew we had been friends since the 5th grade. This friendship later turned into a relationship that lasted for 8 great years which then came to an end in the summer of 2021. To split from a partner, best friend, roommate, and bandmate after nearly a decade was the toughest experience of my life. As much as the idea of staying together on a professional/business partner level sounded ideal, we realized there was just no way in this emotionally delicate situation. Also not to worry my friends, I'm in a better spot mentally nowadays which is how I am even able to write this.
Musically, 2020 started extremely strong for small time artists like us as we hit millions of music streams, opened up for Mac DeMarco and were slated to perform at SXSW and tour a bit with our live band drummer Locke and bassist, Landan. Joseph and I then moved to WA together with goals of expanding into the Seattle music scene. But as we all know, the pandemic changed the live music / entertainment industry landscape. Most also didn’t know that Joseph is a full-time nurse which became very demanding throughout this pandemic. The Ragamuffs workload began piling up on my end and a lot of times I felt very alone carrying the weight of this project. Although, I was not ready and still am not ready to give up on the potential of this project.
Making the decision to move forward as a solo artist under the same name, Ragamuffs, took a lot of thought. We had 3 options: end Ragamuffs completely, continue Ragamuffs alone, or go solo under my personal name. It was mutually decided between Joseph and I that it made the most sense for me to take complete ownership of Ragamuffs. We both agreed that behind the scenes, I was already spearheading, if not all, the majority of the creative projects of Ragamuffs that you see online, with support by Joseph. So no. No one was kicked out. Please don't spread rumors lol. Although we are no longer in each other's lives, I will forever honor and credit him for the songs he has helped write and all his wonderful contributions to Ragamuffs and my life.
Present and Future of Ragamuffs:
I look back and see a lot of cool things we accomplished as a duo, but then I look forward and see an even larger amount of potential as to where Ragamuffs could go and I’m still super hyped about it all! Pursuing music was always a personal dream of mine as an individual since I picked up my first instrument at the age of 5. Despite some life hiccups, I have no intentions of stopping now. I am excited to be writing and recording again and have the same music industry ambitions for Ragamuffs as I did from the very start.
My live sets will still consist of a full band sound. As I am currently in Hawai’i, I am so thankful to be able to jam alongside the same drummer you probably seen on social media, Locke Nishihara, for our upcoming shows. Landan has moved off island and some new faces you will notice on stage with me are Ryan Miyashiro on lead guitar and Tony Burroso on bass.
This is just the START of Ragamuffs and I look forward to releasing new music for you all soon. Thank you for your patience as this transition has been a learning experience.
Ragamuffs (Hailey Finesse)