Spout Podcast
Spout Podcast

Episode 71 · 1 month ago

Halsey

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Very few artists can claim their music has 31 billion global streams. Even fewer artists have had multiple albums become certified 2x platinum. But this artist has exerted an impact beyond their music and even beyond the Grammy nominations (which is accomplishment enough). This artist aspired for even more, and has been named one of Time's Most Influential People, is starring in a series of feature films, and has become a NY Times Best-Selling author. 

In this episode of the Spout Podcast, Host Tamara Dhia talks with Halsey, who opens up about their new music, acting alongside Euphoria's Sydney Sweeney, parenthood, friendship with K-Pop superstars BTS, and more.

There are very few artists who can claim their music has thirty one billion global streams to date. There are even fewer artists who have had multiple albums become certified two times Platinum, Found Good. But beyond the Grammy nominations, being named one of Times Most Influential People, and becoming a New York Times bestseller, this artist has exerted an impact beyond just their music. Look as Good is the day I met you, I forget just why I left you? I was insane. They have not only used their voice to make hit records, but also as a strong advocate for women's rights, mental health, and the l g B t Q plus community. So the people around the world asked the question, why isn't there a straight guard parade? The answer because if there was one, you wouldn't have to get on the bus and be terrified of getting beaten or killed afterwards. That's that's not straight. I'm your host tamer Dia and this is the Spout podcast where famous people spout off about more than what they're famous for, And today that's Halisey. Like many artists, Halsey has been eager to get back on tour to perform the album they dropped in while the world was mostly still in lockdown. The album If I Can't Have Love I Want Power, which was produced by Nine Inch Nails as Trent Resider and Atticus Rock, debuted a number one on Billboard's Top Current album Sales and billboards Top Alternative Album Charts, and was touted as Halsey's quote strongest work to date by pitch Port. I know you're now nearing the end of your Love and Power tour. How is it felt to get back on stage to finally perform songs from your album If I Can't Have Love, I'll Have Power? You know, it's so funny. I so, the last tour that I had done before this was the Manic Tour, and I did the first leg of it in Europe in the UK, and I had obviously anticipated coming back to the States and doing a long US tour, and then you know, we were all locked down and my tour got canceled, and I was like, huh. I wasn't really thinking about writing another album at that point, because I was planning on touring for the next two years and like touring Manneq as an as an album for a while. But you know, I had all this time when I was home and I was like, I'm not very good at being you know, board, So I started writing this record and the whole thing has just been so I don't know, it's been sometimes kind of scary, um and sometimes kind of liberating. I'm a planner,...

...you know, I'm someone who really plans things out, and this album was not a part of the plan at all, like I had not anticipated it. And then as a result, you know, the tour was not really part of the plan either, because I really thought that I was going to go to Manic in the US, um, and before I got the chance to, I wrote this album, put it out, and then was like I have to do an entirely different tour now. Um. And you know, kind of not having that time to plan and overthink has been really nice because I'm on stage just very um in the moment, you know, like everything kind of happens second to second, minute to minute, um, and it's been really fun kind of getting to explore that after what feels like a lifetime or like an entire careers worth of being a very like control freak planner about things. You know. Paulicy's latest single So Good had the internet talking even before its release, when the artists took to social media to express their frustrations with their label, wanting a viral TikTok moment before it dropped. By Good back in Junior dropped new music with the release of your single so Good, which you probably fought to get released. How did it feel to finally get it out to your fans? I mean, I was so happy that I was finally in the world, and you know, it was kind of like transparently. It was kind of one of those things where I really had to check in with myself, my gosh, like is this song worth it? Like? Is it worth all this? Like? And you know, once the um the press cycle kind of started about the song, I was like, you know, is this narrative kind of over to taking the art that I made? You know what I mean? Like you make this like amazing, you make up this piece of art, and like, you know, all of a sudden, this like narrative about it kind of overtakes like the whole thing that you made to begin with. And ultimately I was like, you know what, yeah, it is worth it for me. And it was worth it for me because the song was so personal and you know, because my partner who I wrote the song about, you know, he directed the music video and he's in it with me, and it was like just so deeply intimate that on the one hand, I was like, Yeah, this is this is worth it. I need to fight for this and get this out. But then on the other hand, I was like, Wow, I took this opportunity to do such a revealing and intimate, like autobiographical thing, and now it's kind of got this other association that I didn't really wanted to have, you know. I kind of wanted it to come out and be just like wholesome and authentic and like kind of unpainted by that um. But it's been you know, a while since the song is...

...out, and I think that that it's kind of like recovered from from that, and people are really resonating with the song for like the story and what it means to me, and then, like you know, as a ways with songs, what it means to the audience once they get their hands on it. The So Good video felt like an intimate portrait of Halsey's life, and as it should, as it was directed by the father of her son and partner Alive Aid it, I finally got the chance to tell a story that I really long wanted to tell. You know, I, Um, I started dating my partner a couple of years ago. UM, and obviously during a pandemic, we got pregnant and I had my son Ender, And in the midst of all that, I was writing Love and Power, which was an album that wasn't really about the like tender, nice parts of what I was going through. It was more like a personal account of like the more challenging things that I was experiencing. And I find that that's really common with art, is that like you are more inclined to write about the negative or like the challenging, or the scary or the bad, because like, those are the things you have to get out, you know, those are the the things you need to let out and release. But the good you want to hold on to it. You know, it's yours. You don't want people to have it. And so you know, the album is largely focused on some of the more challenging parts of that transition in my life. UM. There's a couple of nice moments on it too. You know that there's a song Darling that I wrote, UM that's like really really beautiful and and and white and know the family of a state good to really tell you when they leave us, don't visit me when I am gondo. Then but I felt like once I had kind of gotten us the fear, the fear of being pregnant, of giving birth, of being a mom's oh my gosh, what is all this going to be? Like, the dust kind of settled for me, and what I was left with was the good and like this story that I had never gotten the chance to tell because I had been holding onto it and keeping it private and keeping it close to the chest for so long. Um. And I've always been really opened with my fans, really transparent about everything going through. So I think that a lot of them were like a little bit surprised when all of a sudden, I, like, you know, popped up out of nowhere with a boyfriend and a baby, and you know, they were kind of like, whoa. And they were happy for me. They were like, you know, she deserves to have this, um. You know, she deserves to have this intimate experience, and we want them to be secure in that. But at the same time, I think my fans were also like, but hey, like we're best friends, you tell us everything. Why didn't you tell us about this? And so I was like, Okay, I'm gonna tell you story now,...

...like this is how it went down, and this is what he's like and what we are like, and here's this little like glimpse into this part of our lives. Looking night, all the stuffs are faded. Then for the night I was so frustrated to him for the first time, say it on your facing and then the life times flashing. You shared a really sweet note on Instagram that talked about how you two initially met because he was supposed to direct a movie about your life but now ended up directing a music video about the life that you two share together. Did you ever have moments on set where you were like, Wow, the universe works in crazy ways. That was like def only the energy, like the whole whole room, like you know, his best friend, uh justin Shack was the dp um and you know, it was just like such a crazy thing, Like for my friends who have all you know, worked with me and who have known a love for so long because they've known him as the writer that's you know, sitting in the dressing room taking notes and judging all of us, and you know, all of us were like, oh gosh, we're gonna show up on the screen when he writes this thing. Um. You know, they had gotten to know him in their own way over the years, and then I had obviously, you know, grown close with the people in a love's life as well, and so having everyone on set like it was a collaborative effort beyond even just he and I. It was like, you know, a lot of our our friends are people that we like to work with creatively, So having us all in the same space being like this is so freaky, like what's going on? Um, and then you know, seeing like the finished product come together and um, yeah it was. It was really special. And you know, I think that I really trusted him to direct that video because I'm notoriously like I've never really made a music video that I didn't write the concept for and where I'm not on set like control freak. Um implicit trust in him obviously because he was the person that I wanted to tell my story. UM. So it was actually kind of nice to kind of go there into like again, the theme of this past year for me has really been next surrendering, you know what I mean. And kind of go there and surrender to him and be like, I trust you and you're going to do an amazing job with this. And I was just like so proud of the result and so proud of um. I was. I was so like dignified in in my trust of him as a as a creative It was almost like more intimate, like we have a family, sure, we had a baby, he's you know, my life. But even more scary and intimate than that is directing a music video for me, like the burd...

Like that goes beyond like any of that stuff. I was like, Okay, now we're really going to prepare to know each other on like a deep level because you know, my my creative work is like it's so sacred to me. It's really enough and good shot this session, she's gonna go. I'm going for guess she was sweet. Is that movie about your life still in the works? Because I know When You're on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he brought up how he thought Millie Bobby Brown should play you because the resemblance really truly is uncanny. I was thinking about who could play you. Oh God, now I know the answer, is it is it who I think it? Ready? Here's what I think should play you? Well, this is you, but this is you as Millie Bobby Brown. Oh, I was gonna say, you do you? I should play you? Yeah? What Millie Bobby Brown should play? I mean, yeah, Millie would be great, but I don't really think I'm famous enough to cast Millie. We'll do it though, right, And Millie Bobby Brown took to her Instagram stories to say that she quote is so down, So what's the update there? You know, It's funny. I always joke around. I'm always like, Okay, well i have a lot of work to do before I'm a subject that's worthy of having someone like Milly portrayed me on screen. Um. And you know that was so crazy about them that the concept of the biopic as well, right, was it was kind of supposed to be like getting it, I guess getting ahead of it, like you know, the studio I think was more like, um, go learn about her now, so that like, if we want to tell this story later, we have like a real in the moment account of like what what it was like and what they're like and like you know all that stuff. Um, it was I don't think it was ever meant to be something that came out like this year, you know, um, because it was really funny after that, After that Foul and segment aired, a lot of people were like, why would you have a bio with me? I was like, I don't know. I was like one. I was like I just kind of agreed to be like, yeah, you can follow me around and I'm an open book. I'll tell you everything about me, you know what I mean? So maybe in like ten years, if I have I don't know, achieved something worthy of having having a film, then maybe we can talk about bringing millionto the fold, because we really do look just so much like it's crazy funny going through my Instagram whilst you go to the sheet post in my feet and I'm like, it takes me a second. Jumping to acting seems to be the path for many musicians, some of whom have achieved great success in both artistic fields. After being in music for over a decade, it's now time for a Halsey to make the leap, speaking of acting, back into related...

...to make your acting debut in the Players Table alongside Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney. Have you started shooting that yet so we're still writing. UM. We had it took a little bit of time, um during during the pandemic, because um, the product was the project was a collaboration between myself, Sydney Um, and a company that was headed by Jean Marc ballet Um, who is a absolutely iconic and legendary all tour and he passed really unexpectedly during the pandemic. Um Didney. He was really close with him, and you know, I had got to know him through the process and was a absolute, you know, huge fan of his work and was so excited. So we're taking our time with it because I think we have a lot of there's a lot of incentive to make it as best as it can possibly be, you know, for him and in honor of him. So I'm still writing. We're gonna make sure it's perfect before I screen. But in that time, I actually ended up shooting a movie with Sydney. It was my acting debut, was a movie called National Anthem. I went to Albuquerque and I shot it for two months, and Uh, that was such a crazy experience. I had never experienced anything like it, and I totally fell in love with the process and with the director, the writer, Tony Toast and getting to be on set with people like Sydney Sweeney and you know who's a friend And she helped me a lot through that process of kind of being like Okay, what do I do? You know? Um, and not even so much what do I do? Like how do I act? Or like what do I do? Like how do I act? Like how do I be? Not like acting as a skill acting more as like Okay, where do I stand? And where do I go? And if I have a question, who do I ask? And like do I wait when he calls cut? Or do I like leave and then wait for them to call me? Like it's just stupid, like little questions like that hour I was like said, help me, I don't know what I'm doing, like all you everywhere you know, like that kind of thing. So it was, it was It was really awesome because we kind of got the opportunity to kind of like cut our teeth and work together in that way in preparation for the the show that we're developing together. How are you liking the acting world? Um, that's a good question. You know. There's one thing you found about the film industry. It's it's not quite as instant gratification. As the music industry um where you know, in music, you can write something and then pretty much as soon as you wanted out, most of the time you can, you can get it out and then you know. With with with films, it's just so crazy. People will work on projects for years before they come out. Um. Which is why I think that I would just be so terrible as a filmmaker. Um Or I would be okay, but it would definitely be...

...a lesson in patience for me, because I'm so who's like, I made this and I need everyone to see her right now. It's no sweet dream that I'm ahead of a night. I don't know sweet dream that I'm ahead of a night? Are you wasting money on subscriptions? Of people have subscriptions they completely forgot about. Maybe for you it's an unused Amazon Prime account or a Hulu account that never gets streamed. There's this great app I use that helps me track all of my expenses, and because of it, I no longer waste money on subscriptions I don't even use. You might have heard of it. It's called rocket Money, formally known as true Bill. Rocket Money is an app that shows all of your subscriptions in one place and then cancels whatever you don't want. Rocket money can even find subscriptions you didn't know you were paying for. You may even find out you've been double charged for a subscription. To cancel a subscription, all you have to do is press cancel and rocket money takes care of the rest. So get rid of useless subscriptions with rocket money now go to rocket money dot com slash spout. Seriously, this could save you a hundreds per year. That's rocket money dot com slash spout. Well. Halsey is mostly known for their poppets. Their latest album is a strong departure from the genre, but Halsey recently announced that they would be finding their way back to their root. You said in your IG stories back in March that quote, due to personal reasons, I will be making a pop album. So Hallisy, when can we expect this pop album? I don't know. I think this time I'm going to really take my time with the you know the past couple of years that I have really like rushed through, um the creative process in some ways, um and almost because I think that was my creative process was like get it out, fall in love, with it, put it out before you change your mind and you overthink it, you know. And and in that way, like every record that I've released has been like a true, uninhibited summary of what my mental state was like in that exact time, what my life is like, what I was going through. You know. Sometimes when you wait too long with things, you start to get cold feet, where you're like, I don't know if I want to tell this story, or like are people gonna like judge me, or like, oh gosh, this is actually lame, or like this is bad, it's just good. I don't know, you know. So for me, I kind of always just like get things out as fast as possible because my own worst enemy. But with that being said, I...

...would like to try to really take my time and sort of I guess perfect something in a way because it will be my fifth album, which I cannot even believe I just said that out loud. Um, it's so crazy. I for as long as I've I guess, been doing this, like I'm kind of in an in between stage where like, you know, I'm not like the new kid on the block anymore, but I'm also not you know, like some of the more like established musicians that I admire who's been doing this for a decade, even longer than me. Um, So I'm kind of in this like I guess like late adolescence of music, and everybody knows late adolescence is angsty and scary and I'm sure and transformative, and that's the era that I'm in right now professionally. So there's definitely a lot of exploring and soul searching for me to do in that way, kind of like whom I want to be. Making friendships in the industry sometimes seems forced, especially when it comes alongside a musical collaboration, but every once in a while you can tell the love between two artists is pure, like Halseys with K pop superstars bt S. Speaking of pop, you clearly have a really special relationship with BTS outside of your collaboration on the track Boy with Love, which by the way, has one point five billion views on YouTube, No big deal. Um, what makes your relationship with BTS so special? I mean, you know, they're like real creatives, say Caroline about what they do. They're very respectful and responsible and dedicated and determine they worked very hard, but very professional, but they're also really fun and warm and kind and real and they don't take themselves too seriously and like, you know, that's what that energy is infectious. You know, you want to be around people who are They work really hard, but they also know how to have fun. And you know, I think one of the things that was really awesome for me in getting to have that experience of collaborating with seven people instead of one, was, you know, I'm kind of like, uh, I don't know, I feel like I have like seven different personalities kind of you know what I mean. So it was almost like a different version of me could bond in a different way with each of the guys, you know, whether it was like Okay, you know, I'm bonding with one of them because we have a love of were like both cinophiles, and we love like, you know, old new wave films and photography and like pragumart cameras and stuff, and like, you know, I'm bonding with a another because both love basketball.

I don't like bonding with another because we both really love like early hip hop production like jay Dilla, and like some of the under like earlier like Timble and stuff, and like I don't always kind of like whoever I was that day, there was always a friend, you know what I mean, There's always someone who got me um, and that's really cool. I really liked it. And if I could have it my way, I would love to walk into a room and have seven different potential bus friends on any given day, you know what I mean, Seffinitly, UM, it completely unique and wonderful experience. UM. And they've also been a part of my life for a very long time. You know, they've seen me at different stages of my career and then you know, through being pregnant becoming a mom. And it's just really cool to have those relationships in this industry because it can be a lonely one. Have there been any conversations about a new song together. I think so, Yeah, I think so. I don't think it would probably be like a like a halzy Bts song again, but you know, all the guys are like incredibly talented individuals, so you know, obviously had the amazing opportunity to work with Sugar Manic. We did a record together called Shuga's in a Root and Chid Oh My Life to set food that it's saying the heaven like an I knew right away that I wanted him for that record, and it was just like it came together so so well. So I could definitely foresee like more opportunities like that where the two of us me and you know, whichever one of the guys that project is right for um come together and like really really vibe on something, just as as artists, you know, not as like we should put these two artists on a song, because it's you know, it's not really how we give this, you know. Well, speaking of artists, I saw in your I G story that you went to the Kendrick Lamar show last night, and I'm actually going to the show on Saturday, and I am so excited. How was it? Was It fun? It was incredible, It was so good, you know, like I, um, you know what was really cool. And like I'm making I'm totally making assumptions here. I don't know any of this to be true, but just from my perception, like you know, watching Kendrick kind of pay homage to like other great artists who have come before him, you know, like he's he's got the Michael Globe and he's at the piano like print and there's like a little bit of like little Richard and Elton and there's yeah, the Michael Prints, Little Richard, It's like all these little like seeds. That was a cool thing to watch because I've taken my own things from Kendrick. Every artist I think, their their style, like their performance style or like the taste is really just an amalgamation of all the...

...things they love, you know what I mean, you like little bits and pieces of everyone kind of warm their way in and and make you. You know, all those ingredients make you into like a completely unexpected combination. You know, whether it's like I'm learning from Kendrick, or I'm learning from uh Mick Jagger, or I'm learning from Stevie Nicks. But then I'm also you know, obviously grew up on like watching Haley Williams, you know, and and also, I mean the list goes on. I've just I've I've seen hundreds of concerts and at every single one of them have done I'm going to do that. I'm gonna do that. Yeah, but like my way like this um and you know, whether everyone will admit it or not, so we're all doing you know, nothing's created in the vacuum all our influences, and so yeah, I had already I had already borrowed a trick from him from his last tour or from the Damn tour, and so then having seen him last night, I was like, ah, I'm gonna do that. I'm want to do that. I don't want to do that. And you know, one of the things that I thought was really incredible about his show, aside from him being just like, you know, an amazing musical talent, was just from a production standpoint, I learned a really important lesson last night. And this is probably gonna come back in a couple of years and run back on tour. People are gonna remember me saying this right now. But um, in the power of being a silhouette, I'm a really frantic performer, Like I run around quite a bit. I'm like moving the whole time. And some of the most impactful moments of Kendrick said last night were the moments where he was standing still and I realized it was because he had nothing proved and nowhere to go, and him just being there and being him was enough. And I was watching that and I was like, Wow, I really hope that I get to be that type of performer one day. So, yeah, it's really cool. As a fan of was great and then as like a an artist and a scientist, you know it was. It was a really cool experiment as well as well as well. Halsey has a lot of projects under their belt, but one of them is especially important their beauty brand About Face. Aside from music and potential acting, last year, you launched your beauty brand About Face, which is cruelty free and vegan, and honestly, this is like such an organic thing for you to do because I've always loved your makeup. So tell us about your journey with about Face, And for someone who hasn't tried any of the products yet, what are some of your favorites. Gosh, okay, I'm gonna time to you. I started, I guess oh almost over three years ago now maybe almost four three almost four years ago. It was like the kind of initial conversations about like you know, what kind of brand I wanted to make, and like you know, the development and innovation and like what was really important to me in the brand's identity And obviously takes a long time to um, go through formulas and labs and like you know, get everything to a really good...

...place. Um. It's like one of the greatest stories of my life. UM. I actually literally spent all day yesterday going through new formulas. UM. I test everything, I wear everything, I send things back over and over and over again, and like you know, to creamy and that opaque, you know, to drawing to this like you know, I I I have like a I see, really have like a pretty uh meticulous knowledge about makeup just from you know, the past eight years of doing my own um on camera on red carpets and music videos, magazine covers. You know, Um, you learn a lot. You learned a lot about what products work and what do certain things and uh, you know, I've kind of just tried to apply with that knowledge to about face. But also I just really wanted to make a brand that was really fun, really fun, like just didn't feel like a like a clean white, sterile backdrop and someone being like you should buy this more just like something that was kind of like chaotic and colorful and kind of like and not sending the message by this because you will be more beautiful, but sending the message that says by this because you're gonna have so much fun with it, you know what I mean? Um, I like make a joke to my friends a lot of the times where I'm like, I would rather be cool than pretty, if that makes any sense. Like, you know, there's I know, there's a lot of people who probably, like for example, think that I look better when I have long hair, um because it's more beautiful and more glamorous to them. And maybe sometimes that's true for what our standards are for those types of things. But I like it better when I shave my head, or when I bleach you off my eyebrows, or when I you know, like, sometimes what makes me feel the coolest isn't always necessary early what looks the best, And I don't know that I really care. I would much prefer to be cool. And that's kind of like the that's really the DNA of about Face is that like cars are being pretty, be cool as alsy, and we are back. I'm going to be showing you how to do another full face look with my about Face products. Now, we're not gonna be giving any old, regular, degular look today. We're gonna be getting into some very adventurous, advantageous, hyperbolic, extravagant crazy stuff. Now. One of my favorite things to do in red carpets is to do a full editorial look, which means sometimes breaking makeup rules. It's something nice not caring so much about that stuff because it gives you so much more room for experimentation. You know. Like sometimes I'm doing my hair and like my hair stylist would be like, are you sure you want to do this? And I'll be like yeah, because if I don't like it, I'll just shave my head. You know. Like having that freedom to be able to just be like yeah, because if I don't like it, I'll just do this or I'll do that. I don't care, you know, Like I'll shave off my eyebrows for like...

...a photo shoot and people will be like, oh my gosh, shooting't shave up your ebrows. I'm like yeah, because I don't care. You know. It's nice to have that kind of freedom. I guess. Um, as far as products people should try, UM, you know I have to. I have two lines. So there's about Face and then there's a F ninety four UM about Faces kind of my artistry brand, and then a F ninety four is our like introductory brands that's available at Walmart. UM. And there's great products across both of them, UM, and they're both great for if your experienced or if you're not. There's kind of something for everyone in both lines. But um, for a ninety four, my favorite products are the play date uh cheek and lip stick. UM. I love the scribbled stick. Our glasses are amazing, UM. Our liners are really fun. Um. There's one liquid liner that's in a color called blue venen Ski and it's like the most electric clue liner ever. It's really awesome. Then for about face, we have kind of we have gel eyeliners that come in a bunch of different colors like super Neon shades, um, and actually yesterday we just wanted to lore Best of Beauty Award for them. I think thank you. So it' such just me saying that they're like the best product, Like I have the I have the science to back it up, and there's some fun. They're so awesome. And then and then our our eye paints are great if you're like a real artistic person who likes to kind of um mess around with that. But yeah, every every there's something for everyone, Like if you're like a no makeup makeup person or you're like a totally goth editorial experimental makeup person, like, there's definitely something for you more than one a lot of things. Actually, well, thank you so much, Halsey. It's been so much fun talking to you today. I really appreciate your time, and I'm definitely going to be looking out for that pop album and the next however, long take your time. It's going to be really exciting. Thank you. Just so funny you say that, because every single person I talked to has such a different um, desire or agenda for the next year. And every time I talked to people who you know, love radio and and love pop culture and love pop music, like we want the pop album. And then you know, when I talk to people who are like on the more old side of things, they're like, when are you making a new metal record? But I hope that I can can continue to make something for everyone, you know what I mean. Sorry for chasing that and thanks for having me. To see more of our conversation, search Spout Podcast on i G or Twitter, or at spout podcast dot com. This episode of the Spout Podcast is presented by Alpha Media, written and narrated by Tamradia, produced by Mark Long, and edited and created by Phil Kerry Smout m.

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