Hailee Steinfeld's tour: How Justin Bieber and Britney Spears inspired her
The 'Starving' singer dishes on opening for Meghan Trainor, her wardrobe, and working on her first album
Hailee Steinfeld got her start in movies—she was nominated for an Oscar for her work in the 2010’s True Grit—but the Pitch Perfect actress began dividing her time with music last fall when she released her infectious debut EP, HAIZ.
Now, the 19-year-old is on the road opening for Meghan Trainor on her Untouchable Tour and just dropped a brand new collab, “Starving,” with new producing duo Grey, featuring Zedd. Between recent shows, Steinfeld caught up with EW about what fans can expect from her live show, adjusting to tour life, and why she loves watching Megatrons let loose.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is your first tour, how are you liking being on the road?
STEINFELD: It’s fun! I mean, it’s all so new to me—from driving through the night and waking up in another city to learning how to pack your bag or suitcase from the bus.
Did you draw inspiration from any other tours when you began to plan your show?
I saw Justin [Bieber] on the Purpose tour recently and I thought it was amazing. I remember having so many moments when I was like, “Oh my god, don’t forget this! Don’t forget this!” And I saw Britney [Spears] in Vegas—the production was unreal.
Do you have dancers with you on stage?
Taking dancers on the road seemed like the right idea for being able to go out there and hype people up for what you can expect from Meghan, so I have my four girls with me. They freestyle and do their own thing, but we have a ton of moments when we dance together. I love nothing more than when I see artists interact with whoever is with them on stage—their band or dancers or whatever.
Are you remixing any of your material for the show?
Yeah, Grey, who produced “Starving” with Zedd, worked with me on a remix-slash-breakdown to “Love Myself” that we’ve added to the live version. It’s definitely different than what people have heard, or what’s on the EP.
What’s been the most rewarding part of performing live?
Just having the opportunity to connect with someone, or a couple hundred thousand people. [Laughs] Being able to be on stage and talk about an experience that you had where in that moment you thought you were the only one and to look into the eyes of so many people who’ve felt the same thing…it’s incredible.
Between movie sets and now tour you’ve spent a lot of time away from home. What’s something you always bring with you?
Polaroids! I always have some with me—photos of me and my family—whether they’re in my wallet or taped to my bunk.
Are you taking up any pointers from Meghan’s sets?
The way she talks to her audience—she’s so personable and so accessible. I knew she was a cool person going into this tour, but I’m only seeing that more and more by seeing her and spending time with her. And it’s amazing to see people of all ages letting loose and being themselves to her music, knowing that this is a judgment-free zone and that we’re all here to have a good time.
Your EP dropped last fall. Can fans expect an album soon?
If you had asked me that before this tour, my answer would have been yes. [Laughs] But I’m on the road for the summer so when I get back I’ll be back in the studio.