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Hayley Orrantia on Music, The Goldbergs, and the Future

After playing Erica Goldberg in the acclaimed NBC series, Hayley Orrantia is focused on her music, beginning with her latest single "Open Your Mouth."

From being a part of the X Factor girl group organized by Paula Abdul (Lakoda Rayne), to playing Erica Goldberg in the acclaimed NBC series "The Goldbergs," Hayle Orrantia is now focusing on her music. She speaks to MUD about her new single, "Open Your Mouth."
Photo: Brett Erickson

What has been your favorite memory while being on the set of “The Goldbergs” for 9 consecutive seasons and why?

It’s hard to pin point one memory after working together for almost a decade, but one that I continually go back to is filming in the William Penn gymnasium during the Dirty Dancing episode. It was the entire main cast, as well as the JTP and other friends of Erica’s from school at the dance. Not only was filming this homage really special, but the downtime between takes we had such a blast working together. We were making each other laugh, playing Cards Against Humanity and I remember it being such a joyful day despite working late into the night. It’s moments like that where we are reminded how amazing this job is that we get to play for a living.

How did you get into character as Erica Goldberg, and what it's like to play a young adult in the 80s?

It’s very easy to get into character with Erica, especially after this long. I have put so much of myself into her that it feels seamless now. I just have to play up the sassier, dry humor side of myself more. Playing in the 80s has been super fun and I do miss the days when our character physically looked more like the era with the big hair and colorful makeup. There’s something really lovely about living part time in a world where social media didn’t exist, too.

Who is someone in the cast that truly inspires you when it comes to acting? Who has become a friend for life?

I really admire Sean Giambrone as an actor. I’ve been lucky enough to watch him work from as young as 13 years old and to see him now at 22, I am just as in awe of him as day one. He is so naturally talented and can tap into the heart of a scene in a way few can. He’s willing to go there emotionally, but he balances it so well with this phenomenal comedic timing that this role could not have been made for anyone else.

I would say Sam Lerner and I became very close over the years having our characters start as friends and now being married. When we are on set we are attached at the hip, constantly making each other laugh & doing coffee runs. He’s my buddy and I have such an amazing time working with him.

You have a new single “Open your Mouth” coming out today! What's the inspiration behind this unique project?

I wrote this song with my friends Kalie Shorr & Simon Reid out in Nashville about 3 years ago. Kalie came to the write after having run into her ex wondering why they ever broke up, but it wasn’t until they started talking that she remembered why it didn’t work out. The song is meant to be a funny take on the disappointing reality of seeing your ex after so much time has passed. We had a blast writing it together and my hope is that it becomes the girl’s bathroom anthem to remind each other not to text your ex, no matter how good you think it may be.

Would you consider your music to be country? Is there someone in the genre you look up to?

People view my music as country because I am very lyrically driven and I have dabbled in that world, but my music has taken on so many faces. I’m drawn to music that either brings me to tears with a new perspective on things or upbeat sassy pop anthems I can sing to in the car. I strive to make music that I can feel the same way about and hopefully will resonate with others that way, too.

One person I always gravitate towards being my “musical idol” would be Sara Bareilles. She writes straight from the heart and she does it so well. Lyrically she touches my soul, but I love her ability to morph her sound depending on what project she’s focused on. She’s done singer/songwriter, pop, Broadway, jazz… I admire her for that.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being an actress and a musician? How do you overcome these obstacles?

The hardest part is making time to do both in the capacity I want to. It’s been very difficult to juggle the two at once, but I love to do it so I will always strive to find that balance to do both. People want to put you in a box and say “she’s an actress so she can’t be a musician” or vice versa, because it’s easier for them to wrap their mind around who you are that way. However, I have always been a multi-hyphenate and I work at being more every day. I love learning new things and while it has it’s disadvantages, I pride myself on working towards doing what I love. I have to fight the urge to throw in the towel because of what people doesn’t understand about me, but if I’m doing it for other people then I’m not in it for the right reasons.

Where do you want to be in five years?

Obviously, I can look back at this answer and none may have come to fruition, but I have always been a big believer in speaking your goals into existence. I would to release more music and go on the road opening for an artist I admire in venues I’ve attended as a fan. I also want to develop my own scripted content alongside my partner, Greg Furman, and my incredible friend group who are all independently creating some amazing work. I want to direct and episode of The Goldbergs or something I’ve written. I’ve got big goals for myself in the world of music, tv and film and I hope that no matter where these next few years take me that my love for it hasn’t diminished.


Listen to "Open Your Mouth" on Spotify and all streaming platforms – out now! Make sure to follow MUD on Instagram.


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