Haley Klinkhammer wows crowd at WQRI Coffee House

Roger Williams University’s radio station, WQRI 88.3, hosted their first Coffee House event of the semester, featuring 24-year-old singer/songwriter Haley Klinkhammer.

Klinkhammer has been making YouTube videos since she was 14 years old. Her following grew immensely over time, and she now has over 270,000 subscribers. She has released two EPs, and her first full length album of original songs, “From Where I Stand,” debuted in 2014.

With about 50 audience members waiting for the first note, Klinkhammer started the evening with a cover of “Cheap Thrills” by Sia. The audience was very engaged throughout this song. She began talking about how she was excited to be at RWU and how far she came from her home state of Wisconsin. After her introduction, she continued her set.

The singer covered popular songs such as “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, which thrilled the audience.

“I thought that she was amazing,” said junior Ryan Hermann. “The song I loved the most was her cover of ‘Jolene.’ Her voice is beautiful and she added so much emotion into that song.”

Within her set, Klinkhammer sang popular tunes to get the audience singing along, such as “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz; a mash-up of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper; “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston; “Ride” by Twenty One Pilots; and “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis.

Klinkhammer used a loop pedal to add effects to her performance. A loop pedal can record instrumental and vocal parts and play them back so the performer can play along with them. She used this tool to add tone color and make her sounds broader. In “Ride,” for example, she imitated a drum sound by tapping her guitar in the looper. She then used a separate microphone to sing backup vocals into. She added harmonies, which gave the performance a bigger sound.

The singer comprised her performance of natural sounds and perspectives while giving the audience an excellent show. The evening was relaxing, with refreshments including hot chocolate.

“I thought she was an amazing performer who blended classic songs with her own music,” said Carol Sacchetti, director of Student Programs and Leadership and advisor for WQRI. “I feel those that attended really enjoyed her performance.”

Members of the audience were big fans of Klinkhammer and have been following her music for years.

“Haley has always been a huge music idol of mine,” said junior Colby Masse. “She is actually more inspirational in person than her videos, which is crazy because she is a huge reason why I play the songs that I do. When I met her at the show she made me want to do it even more.”

WQRI brings great musicians to campus throughout the year and Haley Klinkhammer brought another wonderful evening to RWU students. With unique, artistic techniques, the GHH atrium’s natural acoustics supported Klinkhammer‘s excellent show.