Halsey: Catch Her Light
Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, popularly known as Halsey is an American songwriter and singer whose honest angst about authenticity and musings about life is palpable in every line of her songs. In a heartbeat, she is both young and old telling stories of where she was and will be in the future.
Born on September 29, 1994 to an African American father and an Italian American mother, her biracial roots tug and makes for an interesting individual. Her early years in New Jersey, where she was born was spent learning and being exposed to violin, viola and the cello. By the time she was 14, she was holding her first acoustic guitar and learning to play a Taylor Swift’s song Fifteen.
The next couple of years were a string of highs and lows for the singer who was diagnosed to have bipolar disorder when she was between 16-17 years old. At 18, with no money to pay rent, Halsey turned to music, playing at various gigs in numerous cities, but with different professional names. It was only when she lived on Halsey Street in Brooklyn that she decided to use Halsey as a stage name, which is also an anagram of her moniker Ashley.
Her struggles with her bipolar disorder and family finances made her an unexpectedly rare individual caught in the midst of unconventionality and mediocrity. Her lifestyle was etched in wild bohemian fashion, and she lived the life of drugs, sex and confusion before she even turned 18.
Halsey’s career started when she begun uploading her songs to YouTube under her own name. In 2012, she got her much needed break with The Haylor Song, a parody of Taylor Swift’s video I Knew You Were Trouble. Two years later, Halsey recorded Ghost in 2012, which she posted in Soundcloud.
Described as an electropop track, the song was received positively by the public. The buzz generated by the song opened up a record deal with Astralwerks record label, and led to the release of Room 93 EP on October 27, 2014. Additional videos for Ghost and Hurricane were also added, along with 2 other videos for the album’s five songs.
The year 2014 saw Halsey going on tour with the Kooks all around the cities across the USA. Accompanied by her artist friends such as OLIVVER and Young Rising Sons, she has been performing cuts from her Room 93 EP album with selections that includes Control, Colors, Haunting, Castle and Roman Holiday.
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Her popularity continued to climb in 2015, being the most talked about artist in Twitter during the South by Southwest; a musical festival, interactive media and conferences held in Austin, Texas. The music fest was the perfect venue for artists via their YouTube channel to showcase their talent to a ready audience.
Halsey continued performing through March-April 2015 that led to co-headlining tour with Young Rising Sons. Supporting Imagine Dragons on their Smoke and Mirrors Tour between June 3, 2015 and August 1, 2015, her star even got brighter.
It was not surprising that her debut album called Badlands, which was released on August 28, 2015 by Astralwerks and Capitol garnered tremendous interests. Getting the thumbs up from numerous critics who marveled at the songs, the album was described by Halsey as a concept album.
The Badlands, which is Halsey’s full-length debut album, was released on August 28, 2015. The artist songwriter entered at No. 4 at the Artist 100 just below Taylor Swift. Badlands had a stunning entry at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and Top Album Sales, which is also the second-biggest debut for a female artist in 2015. A reported 97,000 in traditional sales was reported and was pegged at No.1 on the Alternative Albums Chart. The album was also the highest-ever chart busting hit for Astralwerks.
The artist, who considers herself as a bisexual described Badlands as an “angry feminist record” but later on referred to the album as an “angry female record”. The album was included under the Indie Pop genre and includes hits such as New Americana, which is included in the Top 100 and other gems like Ghost, Hurricane, Roman Holiday, Colors, Strange Love, Haunting, and Coming Down, among others.
Halsey’s Imminent Fame
Being a songwriter, Halsey’s need for authenticity in her music and unabashed passion for strong, succinct lyrics make her a committed artist to her craft. Most of her songs are admittedly autobiographical and tells of complicated ties with people that listeners can easily relate to. She is a smart artist, writing music that offered no excuses for where she has been and who she is now, much like the rest of her fans who have accepted the persons they had become.
Halsey’s voice soothes, questions and is often laced with raw sadness and anger beyond her years. Her completely sold-out tour and hit songs reek of shining bright lights that may continue to grow even more blinding in the offing.