Halsey covers this month’s Playboy and opens up about all kinds of surprising things:
On Being the “Backseat of the Rover” girl:
I feel like I have been underestimated in my career, yeah. After “Closer”—which is an absolutely great pop record, and I mean no disrespect to the guys—it was really hard for me and my fans. People were like, “Oh, the ‘backseat of your Rover’ girl.” My fans were like, “No, the girl I’ve loved for three years and sings about mental health and self-love.” Also, I write every song. I have co-writing credits, but most of the time it’s a co-write from a melodic perspective. Make no mistake: The poetry is mine. I executive-produced this album and direct my videos, so to go from that to “Rover girl,” no.
On being biracial:
I’m white-passing. I’ve accepted that about myself and have never tried to control anything about black culture that’s not mine. I’m proud to be in a biracial family, I’m proud of who I am, and I’m proud of my hair. One of my big jokes a long time ago was “I look white, but I still have white boys in my life asking me why my nipples are brown.” Every now and then I experience these racial blips. I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman. So it’s been weird navigating that. When I was growing up I didn’t know if I was supposed to love TLC or Britney.
How do people react when they find out she’s biracial?
White guilt is funny, but this is a really hard time for white allies. People don’t want to do too much but want to do enough, and in my bubble of Los Angeles I’m surrounded by a lot of good people with a lot of good intentions. But as I learned in this past election, my bubble is just a small fraction of how this country operates. That is ultimately my greatest frustration with the public perception of any sort of activism: the mentality of “Well, it’s not affecting me.” Open your fucking eyes.
Your hallmark in interviews is being really open. Is that just your nature, the same way you’ve refused to censor yourself when writing lyrics?
Sometimes I forget I’m doing interviews and I just talk to people. I have a friend who has been in the industry a very long time, and he said to me the other day, “Remember, the press is not your therapist.” Being an artist is so fucking lonely, though. People forget that when I’m on tour, sometimes interviews are the only human interaction I get all day.
If it makes you feel better, oftentimes it’s the only human interaction for the journalist too. Are there things you’ve regretted divulging?
Sometimes I give pieces of myself to everyone that I wish I could take back. As soon as I have my first child, articles will say, “Back in 2016, Halsey came out about having a miscarriage, so we’re very happy for her.” I’ll be enjoying the happiest moment of my entire life, because I want to be a mom more than anything—if you told me tomorrow that I had to quit music but could have a happy family, I’d be like, “Sorry, guys, I’m out”—and I know the press will ruin it.
What spurred you to reveal your miscarriage to the press?
Every time I read a miscarriage story, it’s about a happily married woman who loses a baby, and that’s fucking terrible and I empathize, but I never read “A 20-year-old girl who’s scared and alone and single had a miscarriage.” And guess what—that happens all around the world every day. I wanted to say something about it because when I was going through it, I was fucking alone. I didn’t know any artists I could have called and said, “Hey, I know this happened to you. What should I do? Can I go back on tour? How long did it take for your hormones to realign?” I had no one to talk to.
Read the whole interview here.
(Bottom pics: Pacific Coast News)