The age-old debate of whether platonic friendship is possible between men and women is put under the spotlight in Haylea Heyns’ new single, JUST FRIENDS.

The idea for the track came about after a heart to heart with a friend over a glass of wine. “My friend had fallen for a guy in a committed relationship, and we chatted in depth about it, trying to figure out what she should do,” explains Haylea. The conversation led to some soul-searching and a few weeks later, in collaboration with Thomas Watkeys, Haylea wrote JUST FRIENDS.

“While the song is essentially a heart to heart between me and my friend, it also touches on conversations I’ve had with myself in the past – I always seemed to fall for the wrong guy. The lyrics are my advice to my friend and to my past self.”

Haylea uses the song to share her take on the widely-debated topic of whether a purely platonic friendship can exist between a man and a woman. “I have always questioned, in this situation, whether there is one person who secretly wants something more, and the song delves deeper into my views,” she says. On a more personal level, it serves a reminder to Haylea of hidden personal insecurities and past hurts.

The adult contemporary pop song has a distinct 80s feel, with glassy synthesisers, gated reverbs, and classic Phil Collins-style drums paying homage to that classic era. “I am a huge fan of 80s music, and it has been so much fun exploring this genre and choosing elements to include in the production. It has, however, been quite challenging to not take the 80s inspiration too far and still have a song that stands its ground in the present pop era.”

With its fresh 80s-inspired vibe the single is quite different from anything the singer-songwriter has done before. That said, the high vocal runs weaving in and out of the lead vocal, catchy melody and meaningful lyrics makes the song unmistakably Haylea.

JUST FRIENDS marks a special milestone for the artist – it is her tenth original release. Following the success of Sorry and Cold Water, which were very well received and got play listed on several major radio stations, her latest single is sure to reinforce this versatile young singer-songwriter’s position as a rising star.

Haylea was born and raised in Empangeni and has always been passionate about music. After school she studied BA Music and Drama Performance and graduated Cum Laude.

She made her musical debut in 2018 and has had many career highlights since, including being named Durban Artist of the Year at the 2021 City Awards, having the honour of singing the South African National Anthem and the British National Anthem at big international rugby matches and working with several SAMA acclaimed artists like Connell Cruise and Mark Stent.

In addition to writing and recording music and doing live performances, Haylea is also a published children’s book author, as well as a skilled copywriter and content creator.

Despite her packed schedule, she is eager to keep writing new music. And as for her future plans, she looks forward to being on stage again. With borders having opened again, she admits that she is also a little restless. “I long to fulfil my wanderlust and go travelling again.” 

JUST FRIENDS is now available for download from



Instagram: @hayleaheyns

Twitter: @hayleaheyns



TikTok: @hayleaheyns

Share this Post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *