Nick Hayes was born in Eastleigh in 1963, and works as a performer, composer and improviser, exploring the relationships between these activities. His compositions include vocal and instrumental works, and have been widely performed around the British Isles, as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Since its inauguration in 1995 he has worked extensively for the Irene Taylor Trust, who encourage the use of music as part of the rehabilitation and education of offenders. For this work he won an award at the first PRS British Composers Awards in 2003, in the Education and Community category.