Not Ur Girlfrenz is an award-winning, all-girl power trio from Dallas. Liv Haynes, 13, is a tour de force on guitar and lead vocals; Maren Alford, 13, beats the drums like they owe her big money; and Gigi Haynes, 11, keeps it sick and steady on bass. The band works with producer Jaret Reddick, Grammy-nominee and seller of over a million albums as front man for pop punk icons Bowling for Soup. The Not Ur Girlfrenz tour starts in April and includes a stop in Austin at 3TEN ACL Live on April 20. This summer, they will become one of the youngest groups to tour with the Vans Warped Tour ‘18.
How did you become a band?
Liv: Gigi and I are sisters, and we’ve sung together since we can remember. We met Maren at Cathryn Sullivan’s Acting for Film school in 2012. We all played instruments but never had a chance to get together because our schedules were so crazy. In 2016, we finally got together and played our first song, “Rock And Roll” by Led Zeppelin. It was magical, and the start of something amazing. My first stage performance was at Grapevine’s Palace Theatre, age 7. I started playing the guitar and keyboard when I was 10.
Maren: I started playing drums when I was 8, and I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember.
Gigi: The first time I sang in front people, I was so scared I was shaking. But once the music started playing, I was in the zone and felt at home. I’ve been singing on stage since I was 6, the keyboards since I was 8 and the bass since I was 10.
Who mentors you?
Liv: Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup. We wouldn’t be doing what we are doing without him. He’s been through everything we are going through and is still making hit songs. Recently, the group was nominated for a Grammy, which is a definite band goal. Plus, he is a great human being! He has kids our age and understands our world both from the band perspective and as like a second dad.
You recently released your first original single, “Never Stop.” How did that make you feel?
Liv: It was insane! So much fun. It was so crazy to see people tweeting my lyrics and singing them at shows.
Maren: I feel really proud of what we’ve done, and I’m super excited for what’s to come.
Gigi: It made me want to #neverstop making our own music.
First tour in April with Bowling for Soup. How exciting is that?
Liv: It’s so exciting! I can’t wait! If I would have told my younger self that I would be touring at 13, I would have freaked out…and I still am right now! We are so blessed to have such amazing opportunities and wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of our manager, Jaret Reddick, families, and fans—#frenzone.
Gigi: We can’t wait to start touring! It’s going to be an amazing summer, too, being one of the youngest bands to tour with Vans Warped Tour. Definitely not your normal summer vacation.
What would you say to someone who sings or plays an instrument, and they want to succeed like you?
Liv: Have patience. It doesn’t happen overnight. You have to work hard! And no matter what you do, fear will always be there. That just means you care about what you are doing, which is not a bad thing. Don’t give up and have fun!
Maren: Find an instrument you really connect with and are really passionate about. Explore different kinds of music and find what you enjoy playing and practice every day, even if you only have a few minutes.
Gigi: Have fun! I do what I do because it’s fun for me. Don’t be scared to try new things. If I was scared, I would have never been able to play the bass and be a part of Not Ur Girlfrenz. It’s hard to think of a world like that. And don’t be someone you are not. No one else is like you. So, be you! Nobody else is going to put their heart out to the world the same way you do.
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas