CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - For someone who started playing music when they were six years old, hearing a packed house chanting your name before you take your stage must feel like a dream come true.
It certainly did for local musician Haley Mae Campbell.
"You guys made this possible, this is more than I ever dreamed," she said, looking over the crowd with her hands over her heart and her guitar over her shoulder as the chants died down after she took the stage at Charleston Music Hall.
Campbell and her band played an energetic set that kept the crowd up and moving from the beginning to the end. Everyone from local fans, out of state supporters, music industry professionals, and politicians turned out to support the release of "EP Phone Home".
Mark Sanford has been a longtime fan of Campbell and her music and was sure to grab a seat near the front of the Hall before the show began. Although he may not be a big name in the music industry, the former South Carolina governor and current U.S. Representative had a surprisingly knowledgeable analysis of her performance.
"I was really impressed with her music, the way she performed, and how she captured the audience. You put those three things together and I feel like it's a formula for musical success," Sanford said
Vlado Meller has mastered records for George Michael, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, and Kanye West just to name a few notable musicians. He's worked with Campbell on a few of her songs and has nothing but positive things to say about her music.
"I enjoyed Haley's performance very much. She's an extremely talented singer with a very bright future and I'm happy to have worked with her," Meller said while waiting to speak with Campbell after her show.
Campbell describes her music as "acoustic driven indie-rock" and that sound fits well with the big names she has played with in the past including Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, and Josh Turner.
She debuted her first album, "Hugs & Disses," at the Charleston Music Farm in February of last year. Since then, she has had many memorable gigs including writing and performing a Monday night promotional music video with the Charleston RiverDogs, performing at the 9th Annual First Flush Festival, and she opening for country stars Dan + Shay, Easton Corbin, Chris Janson, and the Brothers Osborne. Campbell was also featured at the first ever New Music Confab and headlined Awendaw Green's Barn Jam under the stars in front of more than 500 fans.
Awendaw Green has played a key role in Campbell's music, along with many other Lowcountry musicians.
"The core of Charleston's music scene is definitely Awendaw Green. Eddie White does wonders for local musicians here, and I am so thankful to have his support. With different local, regional, and national acts performing at the Barn Jams every Wednesday night, the place drums up quite the crowd! It's one of the first venues I ever played, and will always be my favorite," Campbell said when asked about the state of Lowcountry music.
Richard Box from 105.5 The Bridge also plays a key role in Charleston's music scene and he has been a big supporter of Campbell and her music from the beginning. He feels like the future is bright for this Lowcountry songbird.
"I encourage her to keep writing and performing. The rest will take care of itself. She's seriously talented and has the whole package. Now, it's all about continuing to hone her natural gifts," Box said.
Campbell is quickly building a fan base beyond the Lowcountry and the Palmetto State. Her songs can be found on iTunes and she was recently a featured artist on ReverbNation and Spotify, two popular music apps.
With a sweet, unique sound and undeniable musical talent, there's no telling how far Campbell can go. One just hopes she remembers to "Phone Home" when she gets there.