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Hazel Paul: Emerging From Small-Town Roots

“When you see the guy in the back who’s just standing there, and then he starts nodding his head and starts dancing and singing along … that’s the best thing ever.”

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By Julia Brunette

The two friends giggled nervously as we walked to talk. I could see the excitement on their faces because tonight was their first live performance together. Hazel Paul reached out to Bridget Ross to record a single in April, which is how she formed the Hazel Paul Band.

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“I was frantically looking for someone to join,” Paul said. “I was glad I found her.” 

Hazel Paul is a sixteen-year-old who lives in Rexburg, Idaho. Her live musical story starts with playing at Farmers Markets, community festivals, and basement venues. Her single “catalyst” came out this past May, the same day as the first live performance she had with her full band.

“’catalyst’ is about a friend breakup,” Paul said. “It is about an experience I had with a friend when things kind of ended – like sour. The song is about wanting a new beginning and something to change.” 

Bassist Bridget Ross (left) with Singer/Songwriter Hazel Paul (right).
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When it comes to performing live, Paul said she gets her satisfaction through the crowd’s energy. Her favorite part is winning the crowd over with her music.

“I just love the challenge of having to convince a bunch of strangers to like you and like your music,” Paul said. “I know, it’s kind of silly. But when you see the guy in the back who’s just standing there, and then he starts nodding his head and starts dancing and singing along … that’s the best thing ever, to see people enjoy your music.” 

Paul has been playing music for two years. She plans to continue performing at local festivals and events. She says that if anyone has the desire to start a journey in music, just do it. 

Hazel Paul performing at The Basement in Rexburg, ID.

“I think that music shouldn’t be intimidating for people,” Paul said. “I’m still in high school. I don’t know anything. So I really think music should be accessible to everyone. If you have any desire to start music, just do it. If you want to share your music and you think you have something to share with everyone, then you should.”

The Hazel Paul Band includes Hazel Paul, Bridget Ross, Mike Thorkildsen and Justin Angell. You can follow them on Instagram here. Check out “catalyst” below.

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