thumb|240px|right|Live at The Cockpit, Leeds, 28th February 2006 Gemma Hayes is a singer-songwriter born on August 11 1977 in Ballyporeen, Tipperary, Ireland.
One of eight children, Hayes was surrounded by music from an early age whether it was coming from stereos in her siblings bedrooms or being played by her father, a keyboardist in a local band.
By the time she left for boarding school in County Limerick, Hayes was already proficient at piano and found that the music she'd used to counter the boredom of living in a small town now offered her escape from the strict regime of her new home.
Although she enrolled at University in Dublin, Hayes soon left to concentrate on music, working part-time in a laundrette during the day and playing the city's circuit at night.
She signed to Source Records in 2001 and issued the folksy 4.35am EP and the more band-orientated Work to a Calm EP before releasing her debut album, Night on my Side, in 2002. The album was nominated for that years Mercury Music Prize but lost out to Ms. Dynamite's A Little Deeper.