Gemma Hayes signed to the French independent record label, Source Records in 2001, and issued the 4.35am EP and the Work to a Calm EP before releasing her debut album, Night on my Side, in 2002. In 2002 she won Best Female Singer at the Hot Press Awards. The album was nominated for the 2003 Mercury Prize but lost out to Ms. Dynamite's, A Little Deeper. In January 2009 it was announced that Hayes had been nominated for Best Irish Female, at the 2009 Meteor Ireland Music Awards. Gemma Hayes has written some original music for the 2010 movie Janie Jones, by writer/director David M. Rosenthal. Abigail Breslin sings and plays her music. The three songs to appear in the film will include Just a Game, Fight for Me and Hurricane.
Gemma Hayes returned to live performances in autumn 2010. She launched her autumn tour in Cork City, Ireland were she performed some new tracks which included Hurricane and Beside Me.