“I literally wrote, ‘Get signed to a record label in August,’” recalls singer, songwriter, director, artist, and actress Hayley Kiyoko. “It happened. If you focus and have realistic goals, you can get where you want to be. That’s still what I do to this day. I like to joke that it might be a magic journal though!”
Magic or no magic, Hayley’s diligence, dedication, and dynamic artistry enchanted countless listeners worldwide. She spent the prior year quietly instigating the most wonderful sort of pop disruption via her breakthrough independent single “Girls Like Girls” and critically acclaimed This Side of Paradise EP.
“Girls Like Girls” resonated in a big way with its different depiction of young love, all-inclusive message, and entrancing, engaging, and ethereal melodies. The music video, written and co-directed by Hayley and Austin S. Winchell, garnered over 40 million YouTube views in just the span of a year and 10 million Spotify streams. Getting behind the camera again and starring this time, its follow-up “Cliff’s Edge” generated 12 million views in under six months. Along the way, she’s received critical praise with Billboard describing her enigmatic style as “Energetic, high-stakes pop music,” and US Magazine claiming she’s “giving a whole new meaning to pop anthems.” Simultaneously, she starred in CSI: Cyber , Insidious: Chapter 3, and the Netflix original movie, XOXO —among other film and television projects.
She began pondering the next creative evolution, which would ultimately drive her major label debut EP, CITRINE.
“Throughout the process, I learned my essence is essentially speaking the truth and writing music that tells stories as well as covers extraordinary, sometimes taboo concepts and themes in pop music,” she explains. “Directing and making music are both about having a vision and executing it. It all comes together for me. I wanted to focus on strong melodies and dive into messages that are truthful to who I am. On This Side of Paradise, I was a little timid in terms of how far I wanted to go. On this EP, I went all out.”
Hayley took a trip to Ojai, CA and worked with producers 4E [The Neighbourhood] on the bulk of the material. The sunny coastal setting, intoxicating scent of orange blossoms, and vibrant energy left its imprint on the music.
“I’d never been there, but something happened,” she goes on. “It had a big influence on the songs. I’m very inspired by colors. The songs we wrote there are more orange and yellow. They’re really special.”
In addition to “Girls Like Girls,” the EP boasts five new tracks. Whether it’s the lush and lithe celebration of a stranger’s beauty on “Pretty Girl” or the airy electro-pop tribute to a lost loved one “Palace,” the music comprises a hypnotic and heartfelt journey. Written the day she arrived in Ojai, “Gravel To Tempo” tiptoes on a delicate beat with an unshakable and empowering affirmation—“I gotta be on my own.” Keeping it close to her heart, she once again conceptualized and directed the single’s video.
Then, there’s “One Bad Night,” which carries an unwavering chant over a shuffle of skittering electronics and bombastic drums produced by Bram Inscore [Troye Sivan, Icona Pop, Feist]. Its music video, helmed by Hayley, sees a twist of fate and an act of kindness bring a young man and trans-woman together for a moment of pure compassion between strangers.
“It’s just a really beautiful instance of seeing two strangers find happiness, safety, and hope within one another,” she smiles. “I’ve seen so many times where people pass by and don’t do anything. This promotes action. It’s that release of safety from someone you don’t even know. Those moments inspired me because my life is so chaotic. I live for that silence, that wind in my face, or that smile from a stranger. It keeps me going.”
The title, CITRINE, represents an important turning point in her life. After suffering a concussion, she discovered a wall adorned with the orange quartz. Immediately, it proved impactful.
“It’s been a long journey back to health,” she admits. “The stone has such a positive energy for me. It’s supposed to get rid of negative feelings and turn them into positive ones. I can’t explain it, but I looked at it, and it just centered me. It gave me something to believe in. I’m hoping the EP enables listeners to turn that negativity into positivity and feel self-empowered, confident, and happy.”
In the end, Hayley brings a fresh, focused, and fiery perspective to pop music.
“When people listen to my music, I want everybody to feel included and not alone,” she concludes. “I want to show it’s okay to feel everything: happiness, sadness, loss, and love. I’d love to be that young female who can empower, making others feel beautiful and great about themselves.”
That’s the most magical thing of all. | Source: www.atlanticrecords.com
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.
The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.
After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.
Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University
On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.
Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'
Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.
On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!
Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'
On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.
Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'
On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!
For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!
In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!