At only 20, Halsey (birth name: Ashley Nicolette Frangipane) has released 4 singles, is coming out with her debut album Badlands August 28th, has opened for Imagine Dragons, is headlining a fall tour that sold out almost immediately (which resulted in extra tour dates added and upgraded venues), is appearing on Jimmy Kimmel August 25th, was the most-tweeted-about artist at South by Southwest music festival, has an enormous social media following… and that’s just the start.
Here’s new music on the Edge, by Halsey – ‘New Americana’ from her upcoming album Badlands.
Industry professionals and audiences rave about her, saying she’s got what is takes to be a star. And that’s what her and her label are aiming for: a potential mainstream breakthrough.
Born in New Jersey (but identifying as from New York), unfiltered and talkative Halsey identifies herself as “tri-bi”: meaning she is bisexual, bipolar, and bi-racial (her father is African American and her mother is caucasian). She is not afraid to express herself and discuss social issues. Her website bio reflects this in 3 simple sentences: “I am Halsey. I will never be anything but honest. I write about sex and being sad”.
Her musical talent and iconic look weaved with this confidence, marketing intelligence and ability to connect with her audience, has built up a loyal and highly active fan-base. And she started young: at 14, she had 14,000 friends on MySpace. Her record label, Astralwerks (an electronic imprint under Capitol Music) gives her plenty of creative freedom, because what she does on her own, works: accomplishments like being the #1 tweeted artist at South by Southwest music festival was of her own doing. She’s fulfilled her label and her own vision. She said that “being a pop-leaning, female artist, you’d think that I’d have my record company breathing down my neck and trying to control everything I’m doing. Actually, they’ve just kind of let me take the wheel”.
She was signed to Astralwerks after the label heard her single, ‘Ghost’:
The song was a huge success online and was playing on SiriusXMs Hits 1 station. Within a few days, 5 labels expressed interest in her. Astralwerks found out about her and immediately knew they needed to meet her. And the senior vice president did. He told his team: “I just met this girl. The music is phenomenal. She is a star. We have to get engaged immediately”. They then offered her a record deal.
Instead of rushing into things, they decided to take a slower and effective route. They put her on stage (which went from small venue to arenas due to high demand), continued building her online presence and fan base, and released an EP “Room 93” in October.
Lately, among all this, the main focus was putting together Badlands, her debut album which her and the label are hoping to put her into mainstream success. The single mentioned above, “New Americana”, was released in July. This song was first played on Apple’s Beats 1 radio. The host said “Wow – There’s a new icon there, I think. That record is big. Oh my God”. It then spread all over the radio market. Yet while people are saying the song will be a cultural revolution, Hasley remains humble and says “she doesn’t think it’s that good”. We’ll let the public decide that.. it’s already on the Billboard charts!