Even before her album Badlands was released last year, the singer Halsey, 21, was already on people’s minds. The video for “Ghost,” her first hit, stunned not only indie rock fans drawn to her sultry voice, but also those in the LQBTQ community who were drawn to her openness in including lesbian scenes. She made her mainstream debut Aug. 28 at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, performing her No. 1 hit “Closer” with EDM duo The Chainsmokers.
The singer known as Halsey was born Ashley Frangipane, taking her stage name from an anagram of her first name and inspired by a street she lived on in Brooklyn. When she first came to the music scene last year, it was her striking blue hair that first grasped people’s attention. After the success of her debut album, she shocked everyone by cutting her blue locks into a pixie cut. At the VMA’s, the self-proclaimed biracial and queer pop star sported long, dark locks.
Halsey made an a name for herself talking openly about bisexuality in another hit, “New Americana.” She mentions how she feels being “Tri Bi” — someone who is biracial, bisexual and bipolar — thing you might not notice about her by looks alone.
“Please don’t erase my race because I’m white passing,” she has said on Twitter.
Her voice is a cross between Ellie Golding and Lorde, a bit husky and low but that’s not want makes her stand out to most. Her lyrics are raw and explicit, but also poetic. She stated on her blog, “I write songs about sex and being sad.” We can all relate to both and she’s so honest in her songs that you can understand her on a personal level. Halsey’s music is surprisingly refreshing from the cute pop songs we hear on the radio nowadays.
The beat of her songs are something you can’t help but move to, it’s a great way to jam out to in the car while you’re driving down Pacific Coast Highway or on your way to classes. Either way, they will always put you in a great mood.
This is her biggest year yet, on Aug. 28 her album Badlands hit it’s one year anniversary and her tour just finished this summer at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Her song “Castle” was even featured on the movie “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” and that seemed like a perfect fit.
She was here in LA not too long ago in July and I was fortunate enough to go see her live. Although, the stage seems like a scary place to most, she owned it.
It wasn’t until she hit the stage at the VMA’s that people outside the indie community found an interest in her. Not only did she have stunning vocals, which might have even outshined Andrew Taggart of “The Chainsmokers,” she looked incredible doing so, you can also watch the performance on their YouTube channel here.