Who is Halsey?

On Friday, Nov. 13th, Justin Bieber’s new album Purpose comes out. He is boasting some big names on his collaborated songs, like Big Sean, Travis Scott, Skrillex, Diplo and Ariana Grande. And Monday, while on Zane Lowe’s Beats Radio show, he released two new songs, one co-written with Ed Sheeran, called “Love Yourself.” And Bieber insisted that Lowe play his other new single, “The Feeling,” featuring the hauntingly beautiful voice of Halsey. Halsey herself didn’t even know that the single was dropping Monday (because I really think it was supposed to wait until Friday with the rest of the album), saying “Oh, that’s how it’s going to be? We’re just going to drop a song like that, huh, Justin?”

 

But who exactly is Halsey you may ask? Well, you’ve probably heard her uber-popular hit that was played everywhere this summer called “New Americana.” But here are some more facts about the new Alt-Pop Queen!

 

The Name

Halsey may seem like a weird name. And it is a little unusual, mostly because she made it up. The singer’s real name is Ashley Frangipane. “Halsey” is an anagram of Ashley, meaning that they are the same letters, just switched around. The name is also a street in Brooklyn, NY where she spent time as a kid.

 

 

Her favorite musicians

Her love of all music is so prevalent in her own, through the lyrics and her vibe. Halsey is obviously a fan of Notorious B.I.G. and Nirvana, as heard in “New Americana.” She also grew up with Alanis Morissette's album Jagged Little Pill, a big reason she said yes to collab with Bieber (he uses the phrase in “The Feeling”). A song that she says changed her life was Tori Amos's “Me and a Gun,” which she heard at 8 or 9 years old. She was in the car with her mother, who also has bipolar disorder, as she was just driving and crying, and Halsey said,  “All I remember is believing [Amos] and believing the realness of what she was saying.” She was also a pretty big One Direction fan. Back in 2012, when she was posting cover songs on Tumblr she would write parody and original songs about Taylor Swift and Harry Styles dating. Not to mention her recent approval of “Drag Me Down.”  

 

She’s real

Halsey is known for giving honest and candid interviews. She connects with fans on her Twitter and she hardly ever censors herself, which I find so refreshing. And Halsey is loved for her thoughts on different issues. She speaks up a lot about racial issues (she’s biracial: her mom is Italian and her father is African American) and bipolar disorder, which she was diagnosed with at age 18. Just going through her twitter feed is so inspiring and you just feel your head nodding “Yaaaasssss” to everything.

 

She’s a feminist

Going off of her honest way of speaking, she declares herself a feminist and that is obvious in her lyrics as well. She has tweeted her thoughts on the feminism movement and in a personal essay she wrote for “Local Wolves” magazine, where she said, “My determination spawned from being a young woman in a male dominated industry, singly handedly building an entire collective from the ground up. And they want to make it a ‘shtick’; a ‘gimmick.’” She is not afraid to call out bull on anything.

 

 

Her Stage Presence

Halsey is a bit tiny, but can she work the whole stage. With her gyrating and knee-sliding, she is so energetic and fun to watch, it makes me want to go to every show that she does. Every. Single. One.

HER MUSIC

Her album Badlands is a masterpiece. Halsey wrote it to form a story when listened to in order, with the “Badlands” being this dystopian world that we see in the video for “New Americana” and where she leaves after the song “Drive.” Her lyrics read like straight poetry and ring true to almost any mood or situation you have going on in your life at the moment. Feeling the pressure of your burdens? Listen to “Hold Me Down.” Feeling strong, independent and like you “don’t belong to no man”? Give “Hurricane” and go. The album is so thought out, it will be on repeat for days!