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KHLOEY on Breaking into the Alt Pop Scene With Her Debut Single “MISSING”

There's perhaps no soul more heartwarming to have ever graced this planet Earth than the one that belongs to 20-year-old alternative pop artist KHLOEY. After spending her teenage years thriving in secrecy as a sought-after songwriter selling uncredited demos, KHLOEY released her debut single “MISSING” on October 30th of this year. A dark and dreamy ode that blends tender, loving devotion with fierce self-determination, “MISSING” is symbolic of her entrance into the music scene as an independent artist — although she's no stranger to the industry. 

Accompanied and produced by lo-fi producer/songwriter Ward Wills (with whom she actually now shares a home with), “MISSING” proves that KHLOEY fills an important space in the music scene, making room for a female voice to express how setting boundaries actually enhances our ability to love. 

A star is born

As a high school student, KHLOEY began photographing musicians with a small film camera that she owned. “I had such a love for music in any facet,” KHLOEY explains. “I was gaining a lot of friends in the music scene by shooting their shows.” Through gradually networking with artists, KHLOEY began offering her skills through songwriting as she attentively listened to and pieced together the vulnerable stories they confided in her. KHLOEY was able to capture these painful life experiences and transform them into beautiful, emotionally-charged pieces to share with their audiences. “For a long time, I felt very comfortable writing for other artists, but I was never fully comfortable writing for myself… I wasn’t quite sure about my sound or what I felt like I wanted people to hear.”

So what finally sparked her transition from working in secrecy as a sought-after songwriter to having the courage to release music under her own name? It all started with a spontaneous train trip from Oregon to Wisconsin in the summer of 2019. “I'd met with my musician friends Francis and the Lights and Bon Iver,” she shares, pointing to both artists as inspirations due to their emotional intelligence and humility.

Not only are those qualities reflected in their music, but they show up in their personal lives as well. KHLOEY attributes both artists as being key in helping her understand why it was so critical that the world hear her story, and through the lens of her own artist name. “I’d always had a huge love for storytelling,” she says. “All I really needed was a push.”

On “MISSING”

KHLOEY’s love for and innate ability to storytell are evident in “MISSING”. She initially wrote the song back in 2018, but spent a couple of years working on and sitting with it. “I was planning on selling [“MISSING”],” she discloses, “but as I was turning it around, a lot of people were like, ‘You should keep this one.’” She kept the piece, and continued to work with other artists in the meantime. The years of life experiences that KHLOEY went through during the process of finalizing “MISSING” helped drive the song to completion, and are evident in it’s lyrical, emotional and musical content.

“‘MISSING’ is about not needing things that don’t need you anymore,” KHLOEY says. The inspiration behind the song is her own experience in a toxic relationship, one in which she spent too much time quietly wishing her partner would put up the white flag. “When you reach a point where you know that a relationship is not good for either one of you, be proud of yourself if you’re the one that walks away first, rather than letting yourself get hurt,” she advises. Characteristic to her humble personality, KHLOEY adds, “That, of course, is way, way easier said than done.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KHLOEY (@khloeyetc)

KHLOEY’s bright future

As far as what’s next for her career, KHLOEY’s excited about the projects she's currently working on. “I feel very confident in the way things are going right now,” she shares. “I’ve been working a lot with other artists… I really love making music with other people, when we can get in the same room with the same feeling.” Although KHLOEY’s entire career prior to “MISSING” was built around her tremendous ability to collaborate with other artists, she’s now able to do so in a much more powerful way by using her own tenderhearted voice in the foreground.

KHLOEY’s also working on releasing her large debut project as an artist, although its release date is yet to be announced. “I want to put music out that I feel very strongly about,” she says. KHLOEY has spent the past month writing dozens of new songs and demos, and will continue to work on them until they feel complete. “I want it to be very purposeful,” she says. “My long term goal is that I want my music to support people through big, life-changing moments.”

KHLOEY has certainly taken a large step into accomplishing this mission with the release of “MISSING”, as it contains years’ worth of personal and artistic growth. The song communicates the depth of KHLOEY’s tremendously vulnerable heart and expresses her innate tendency to envelop everyone she meets with love. It also tells the inspirational story of a brave girl who learns an invaluable lesson — that at the end of the day, you should never lose who you are in the process of loving someone else.

Stream KHLOEY’s music through Spotify, SoundCloud, or Apple Music. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter.

Follow Her Campus contributor Emily Green on YouTube or Instagram.

emily green is a music lover, health & wellness advocate & people person. some of her passions include: values-based living, sex positivity, self-expression & identity formation. she believes everyone is an artist & that a little bit of social media can be a very good thing. you can catch her hiking, dancing, writing, with friends & taking pictures of random things on her phone.
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