In conversation with Daniel Hayles: Upcoming projects & his time with the Privia PX-S7000 series.

To celebrate the NZ release of the new Privia upper-grade series, we hosted an exclusive event inviting local Artists, retailers & media organizations. The event was held at Ante Social in Ponsonby Auckland, in October and featured an hour-long demonstration by Wellington-based pianist Daniel Hayles.

After the event, we sat down with Daniel to find out more about his background, upcoming projects & thoughts on the new Privia flagship model, the PX-S7000.

Daniel Hayles (PGDipMus) - Musician, Composer, Producer, Educator. 

Daniel Hayles is a piano and keyboard player, performing regularly, he also writes and arranges music for local and international artists, band and shows. Classically trained, (Performers' Certificate, Trinity College London) He has a background in jazz, having completed a post-graduate diploma in jazz piano at the New Zealand School of Music, Daniel spent some time playing piano in cruise ships around New York, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and is currently based in Wellington.  


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?  Who are you working with presently? What’s coming up for you in terms of big gigs? How else are you involved in the music industry
I started as a piano player when I was 5, took lessons until I was 18, moved to Wellington to study jazz piano in 2007, and since then I've gotten stuck into playing in bands, composing, production, arranging, musical directing and teaching. In terms of 'big' gigs, My main gigs at the moment are with Hollie Smith, Cory Champion's Clear Path Ensemble, and Lord Echo. I'm currently working on a collaboration between Fun & Funner (a childrens' music project headed by actor and comedian Karen O'Leary) and Orchestra Wellington - adapting the music and writing all the orchestra parts. I'm heading overseas for the first time in AGES with Lord Echo for some shows in Australia, working on a new large ensemble project called Other Futures Big Band (who will be collaborating with Gallery Orchestra at Wellington Fringe 2023), and I'm also part of a celebration of the life and music of Bill Withers called Still Bill  for the 2023 Auckland Arts Festival. In between all those I'm an arranger for New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Rodger Fox Big Band, and a bunch of local and international shows and artists.
You’re a Uni lecturer as well,  can you tell us a bit about that?
I have a permanent part-time position as a teaching lecturer in the jazz performance programme at Te Kōkī New Zealand School Of Music (at Victoria University of Wellington). I teach in the small and large ensemble classes, vocal ensemble, as well as coordinating and guest lecturing in our Performance Workshop series. 

You’ve had a chance to spend some time with getting to know the new Casio PXS7000. What we’re your initial thoughts about the instrument? In Particular the action?

It's fun to play and feels solid like a real piano. For a compact instrument with such a short pivot (that's the length of the keys themselves), it feels very realistic. There are wooden components to the action which help mimic a real piano in feel and acoustic sound. Casio does great work with key response. The sampling is super detailed and sounds great through headphones or a PA system too (it also has nice built-in speakers). It's got a funky ipad/iphone app too with a bunch of cool features for teaching, learning, changing the sound of the patches, and music playback, and a hilarious audience simulator,

What stood out for you as a major point of difference compared to other digital pianos you’ve played.

 The style and form - it looks like something that would fit into a clean modern apartment or home. When it's switched off, all the displays and lights seem to disappear. There's a nice dust cover included. The sturdy stand adds to the realistic feel, and the angled wooden legs match my couch!

 Who do you think the Casio PXS7000 is best suited for.

 A discerning musician looking for an instrument that sounds and feels good, will serve their wide variety of at-home music needs, will last a long time and won't dominate their room, who doesn't want the hassle and stress of finding, moving, tuning and maintaining a piano.