Artist to Watch: Halsey
20 year old singer-songwriter, Halsey, has established an incredible presence for herself in the music industry in a remarkably short time. Just three years ago, the 17-year-old Ashley Frangipane seemed an average girl living in Rutgers’ home state, New Jersey. Her normal life turned upside down when the harsh realities of drug use came to bear in her last years of adolescence. She chose a stage name- Halsey is both the name of the subway stop where she would get off to enter "the Badlands,” and an anagram for her birth name, Ashley. Her first single, “Ghost”, gained instant popularity when Frangipane posted the electro-pop track online. It caught the attention of American record label, Astralwerks. They were quick to sign Halsey and produced her first EP, Room 93 which debuted October 27th, 2014.
Halsey’s debut full-length album, Badlands, dropped on August 28th, 2015, less than a year after the Room 93 release. The album tells a provocative story of the singer’s band of drug abusing companions and youth rebellion with an alternative techno-pop sound. Each song cohesively blends into the next, perfectly illustrating subject matter anywhere from fighting with personal demons and societal judgement, to raw love affairs.
Here’s my “Top Five Kick-Ass Elements of Badlands”:
The beginning instrumental of the album’s opener “Castle” is super powerful and makes you feel like a badass just listening to it.
The part in “Gasoline” where Halsey alludes to “Hurricane”. I practically screamed when I first heard this part, talk about a fangirl moment!
When the beat drops in “Hold Me Down”
This might sound weird, but the bat noises in “Control” are eerily amazing
The entire song “New Americana” is the perfect teen-angst-in-2015 anthem.
I was lucky enough to be pretty much front row at her set for Firefly Music Festival this June. It was before the album had been released and not knowing the words to every song like a true fan should was difficult, but her microphone-cord-licking during “Hold Me Down” and water-bottle-pouring during “Hurricane” made up for it and then some. This is a pic I shot while enjoying the show.
Halsey’s fashion is almost as iconic as her music. She’s pulled off pretty much every hair color and style imaginable. She's rocked turquoise, pink, silver, and lavender locks throughout the duration of her young career. Halsey fans have used their artistic abilities to showcase their queen’s aesthetic as well as to promote the new LP. Here are some of Halsey's favorites, which she featured on Twitter!
Summed up, Halsey and her new album are incredible and making her an artist you need to keep on your musical radar.
Follow her Twitter and Instagram at https://twitter.com/halsey and https://instagram.com/iamhalsey/ so you can send her some birthday cake and party horn emojis (she's turning 21 on the 29th of September), spread some birthday love and stay updated on her music!