Voice of a generation
1. She named herself after a street in New York City
21-year-old Ashley Nicolette Frangipane gave herself the name Halsey from the street where a guy she used to see lived. He was 24, she 17. Halsey Street was where she first started writing music and felt a force bigger than her life in New Jersey.
2. Halsey grew up on popular music, and isn't embarrassed about it
Raised by teenage parents who enjoyed hip-hop and alternative rock, Halsey listened to the likes of Alanis Morissette, Coldplay, Nirvana and Tupac. "I f*cking love pop music," she shared. "I'm not afraid of pop music. A lot of artists are f*cking scared of pop music and there's no reason to be because pop music is essentially popular music."
Sometimes, in moments of fear I think about my father. I think about him, younger than I am right now, holding a six pound baby in his hands and realizing his entire life was about to change. I think about how relentlessly he worked my entire life to make sure I always had everything I wanted. All of the interests he nurtured by working extra hours to buy art sets and violins and sewing kits. How I never knew we had ever struggled because he protected me from ever feeling afraid. I think about the rented apartments for 20 years. Every move we made and new elementary school I started so he could get a better job. I think about how he never objected to wanting to paint my walls pink or purple or blue even though he knew it meant the landlord would keep the security deposit. I think about all of the things he sacrificed and the opportunities he missed out on. I think about the hell I put him through, trying to figure out who I was. When I am scared, I think about my father. Because he brought me into this world without a single clue and somehow he managed to figure it all out. Happy Father's Day dad, I love you.
3. She isn't afraid to speak out about mental illness
Halsey spent a few weeks during her senior year in a psychiatric hospital after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. "I had tried to kill myself," she said. "I was an adolescent; I didn't know what I was doing. Because I was 17, I was still in a children's ward. Which was terrifying. I was in there with nine-year-olds who had tried to kill themselves."
4. She's successfully met and performed with her former idols
The day she was released from hospital, she was listening to rock outfit Imagine Dragons (who's also performing at the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix this year). "It was a f*cking moment for me," she recalled. "I don't think I realized how important music was to me before that. Three years later, I was opening their U.S. arena tour."
Found a journal from when I was hospitalized for psychiatric care in high school. There's tons of mind blowing stuff in here but this page really brought me to tears. I had no idea I would be touring with Imagine Dragons 3 years later, and had no idea just how amazing life could be. Keep going through whatever you're dealing with right now. Happy Holidays.
5. She's an influential figure among the youth
With more than three million followers on Instagram and Twitter, the outspoken Halsey isn't afraid to voice out on issues she's passionate about, and engages her large fanbase. Her songs aren't your run-of-the-mill boy-meets-girl, girl-cries-wolf melodrama. Instead, Castle talks sexism and society's expectations while New Americana's a soaring anthem on diversity.
Halsey will perform on 18 September, 6.40pm at Zone 4 Padang Stage. For last week's #WomanCrushWednesday, click here.