Kylie Explores the Artistry of HAIM & Halsey Alongside Their Impact As Women In the Music Industry
"I am a very passionate person. I think these two stood out to me because they feel very passionate as well. Their music feels like it has a soul of it's own and it sucks me in." - Kylie
Hi Kylie, Thank-you so much for agreeing to speak with us at fan features. Today our topic of discussion will focus on Haim and Halsey and will provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate the best of women in music. So to kick things off, would you mind introducing yourself to our readers?
Hello! Thank you so much for having me. My name is Kylie, I'm 24 and from Utah, I have a deep love for music and art.
The first thing I would like to ask is…how did you come to discover both Haim and Halsey? How did your journey as a fan come to fruition?
I discovered Halsey in late 2016 after hearing a lot of hype around BADLANDS. I decided to listen to it and ever since then I've kind of naturally fell in love with her discography and how she is as an artist. I listened to their EP and album on repeat for months and immersed myself in their world. I haven't been the same since then! As for HAIM, I started listening to them as recently as July/August 2020. I decided to get into them after hearing their collaboration "Warm" with Charli XCX. Their music spoke to me a lot and I've come to love their art so deeply over the past year!
And how would you describe the influence they’ve had on you personally? What have they brought to your life?
Both of them definitely influence my life in general. They are who I'd consider to be my favourite artists. With Halsey in particular it's been a lot of living through her eras and feeling as though I'm part of the universe she's created. I feel like I've grown up with Halsey in a strange way.
Both artists are leading names in music today, but what is it about them that particularly stood out to you?
I am a very passionate person. I think these two stood out to me because they feel very passionate as well. Their music feels like it has a soul of it's own and it sucks me in.
Is there a song by both artists which you’d count as a personal favourite? Is there a story behind your choices?
I have a hard time choosing favorite songs, I've never been good at that haha. For right now I'm going to say that "Roman Holiday" by Halsey and "Running If You Call My Name" by HAIM have my heart. Again, it's the passion. I love the emotion behind them, the lyrics are beautiful.
Halsey recently announced her return to music with the release of a concept album ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’. Breaking away from the norms of the music industry, she opted to portray a subject that represents the present period in her life as she experiences pregnancy and childbirth; the concept album also explores the contrast between the Madonna and the Whore & how this relates to her own body as a sexual being and ‘as a vessel’ and gift to her child. I’m curious to ask about your thoughts on the concept of her upcoming album and how she might translate these topics within the music and beyond? And why is so important that artists like Halsey explore these subjects within their music?
The thing that I've always loved about Halsey is that they always choose interesting concept for their work. I think that IICHLIWP is going to potentially bring very interesting conversations about these topics. Halsey has a way of portraying things in a very theatrical and cinematic sense. She can be both straightforward and metaphorical - I'm not sure what I'm expecting from this particular project because it is, in my opinion, her most bold and unique concept. Halsey has a huge platform. There are so many stigmas around pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, etc. Artists like Halsey come to shine a light on those topics and, through that, start important discussions. It's time these stigmas change and I hope that this album will help push things in the right direction.
Whilst researching Halsey for this interview, I spent some time reading up on her work and it quickly became apparent that a number of her previous releases are also conceptual based albums. ‘Badlands’ for example is about a dystopian futuristic society whereas ‘Hopeless Fountain Kingdom’ takes on a more romantic concept looking at Romeo and Juliet inspired tale. What do you think it is about conceptual albums that Halsey naturally gravitates towards within her musical releases?
I think that Halsey is a storyteller, simply. Isn't that the great thing about concept albums? She gives you a chance to exist inside her universe for the length of an album.
Halsey is very striking as an artist and clearly her visual and conceptual artistry are just as important as the music itself. From an onlooker’s perspective, I feel that through her using these elements she’s able to portray power messages and stories across her work. Out of all her releases whether that be a song, music video or live performance; is there a message that has particularly spoken or inspired you in some shape or form?
Manic in particular has spoken to me in a lot of ways. I connect with that album on a deep level - I think it has to do with the fact that it is her most personal album. With it's release, I realized that Halsey and I have more similar thought patterns than I initially realised.
Having been a longtime fan of Halsey’s, how has her journey as an artist developed and evolved over the years?
I feel like they're always giving something new, something different. Halsey always manages to sound fresh no matter what genre or sound they're exploring. In terms of performances as well as announcements and projects, everything keeps getting bigger. And I'm here to stay to see what journey she takes us on next.
HAIM on the other hand first broke into the music industry in 2007 and like Halsey have experienced an incredibly fruitful career. To knowledge there really aren’t any major female centred bands in the music scene right now, why do you think that is? I know HAIM feel strongly about the fact that they are recognised for their talent and as artists opposed to the fact that their women in a male centric industry…
To be honest I think it has to do with the fact that women aren't given as many opportunities as men. If you're a woman you really have to prove yourself and things aren't always handed to you as easily.
Listening to HAIM they have such versatile sound honing inspiration from anything between 70s soft rock to a bit of R&B or Hip-Hop. We all have our own take on music and what might be apparent to some could be heard in totally different light by another so I’m curious to ask…how would you define HAIM’s sound?
That's something I absolutely adore about HAIM! They are almost genre-less. They explore sounds and through doing so have created their own unique sound that doesn't really fit into a box. It's impressive and inspiring! I think summed up you could call them a rock band - but they're much more than that!
The group dropped their most recent album ‘Women in Music PT.III’ last year, from a fan’s perspective what kind of message do you feel the girl’s were trying to portray through this specific release?
Women In Music Pt III is such a unique album and - in my opinion - an absolute masterpiece. The band was definitely showing a more raw and vulnerable side both musically and lyrically. It felt like they were going in deep and saying things, personal and even universal things, that they had never said before.
One of the pinnacles of the album is a song called ‘Man From A Magazine’ which personally speaking feels like the perfect example of the albums concept. Would you agree with this?
I do agree with this. The song is short and strong. Definitely Joni Mitchell inspired musically and lyrically very straightforward. I think it's message coincides perfectly with the album title.
I’ve heard a lot of people rave about HAIM’s live performances, what do you think it is about their presence and performances that have gather such praise from not only their fans but casual listeners?
The HAIM sisters are passionate performers. The energy they give translates to the crowd. You can tell they love playing music and it makes watching and listening to them play that much better.
There is a lot of HAIM concert/studio performances floating around the internet, are there any in particular that have blown you away?
Oh yes. So many of them. I would recommend watching "Nothing's Wrong" from Rock in Rio 2018. I can barely watch the performance without getting emotional. It's just pure passion and that outro! Incredible.
You also mentioned that you previously had the chance to catch Halsey live in concert? Can you tell our readers more about your experience?
I would love to! It was at an event called Bonanza Campout 2018 here in Utah. It was outside, in the mountains. I waited all day on the hot barricade for her (she was headlining). It is one of my fondest memories. When the curtain came down during "Eyes Closed." It was such a magical moment. It felt so short but every bit of it was so magical from her stage presence to the visuals. Her vocals were incredible. Halsey has an indescribable energy.
Like we previously discussed, Halsey is a very powerful, innovative and creative artist…how did this translate within a live setting?
Each song had it's own unique visual! That's something I want to point out here now that you mention it. It was so cool seeing so much effort put into every detail.
Obviously seeing one of you favourite artists live is a moment no one will ever forget…was there a particular moment from the concert that you’d count as a highlight?
Apart from when the curtain came down there were a few other highlights I remember vividly - the jumping during "Castle." I could've sworn she smiled at me during "Colors." The fireworks during "Bad At Love." Ahh it was truly a beautiful experience.
I’m afraid we’re nearing the end of the interview, Kylie. With that in mind, I have two more questions for you…do you have a message you’d like to share with HAIM and Halsey?
Yes I do have a message - thank you so much for being part of my life. For helping shape who I am. Both of you have had a strong impact on me and have unknowingly helped me through the toughest times. I love getting to experience music with you, thank you both for giving me a place that makes me feel so free, alive and passionate. It means the world.
And finally, at the end of every interview I like to give fans a chance to share a track of their choice with someone who might be unfamiliar with their favourite artist. So what would you recommend to a Halsey and HAIM virgin?
I would recommend they start where I started because everything came naturally after that. "Castle" by Halsey and "Want You Back" by HAIM. Check them out!
Kylie, it has been such a pleasure speaking with you! I loved hearing your insight behind both HAIM and Halsey and gaining a new perspective on both their music, conceptual ideas and artistry. Thank-You so much for taking the time to share them with us all!
Thank you so much for this interview! It was a lot of fun and I loved being able to verbalize what I love about my favorite artists. This was a great experience.
Be sure to show Kylie some love by giving her a follow over on Twitter: @haimtinashe