Part of it is a common tale – YouTube drifter reinvents and takes hold of musical identity, labels come running with their hands up in the air. But Halsey isn’t a common tale. Ashley Frangipane was born in New Jersey. After gaining internet attention with a T Swift parody song and her guitar in her bedroom, she now had a stepping stone of loyal fans who supported her reinvention and transition into “Halsey.”

But how many times can an artist fight the tides of the industry over and over and yet still manage to release one of the best pop albums of the year?

The timing is nice. LGBT rights are being pushed into the airwaves of the good ‘ole US of A, pop music is at its production camp peak, and artists are striving to be more independent from major labels by using their resources online.

But Ashley Frangipane did more than just utilize her resources. She connected with her fans. She talked to them at meet-ups and played requested songs on her guitar in parking lots. She took her insecurities and brought them out through her music in order to connect with the people who were listening to her. She had a voice.

So when she uploaded a new song, “Ghost” on Soundcloud after working with producers Chris Braide and Dylan Scott after living off the Halsey L stop in Bushwick and undoubtedly fully engulfed – in a joyous way – in the blood sweet and tears that Brooklyn had to offer to an 18year-old solo female artist, labels came crawling to her in no time.

I’m really obsessed with this idea of longevity lately. Longevity of a career, Longevity of an album’s sales – consistency is just not realistic in the music industry anymore.

But when the state of the country tears at its every heartstring in the year of 2015 with frequent police riots and controversial backtracking in histories ripples of political turmoil – the music industry thrives. And so, we seek leaders. Not the leaders with the suits and the inheritances – but the all American-made, trailer park to riches – with good deservance – success-driven individuals who seek change. We may be in social rut, but there is one thing that will always be there, and that is art. Through art, we find hope.

And so, we come to Halsey. Why is Halsey special? She is an artist – in all respects. She speaks her voice as an open bi-sexual, sex-driven poet who’s industrial and extremely conceptual new album, “Badlands,” takes us to a world of the future. A dream sequence in which we are all equal, accepted, loved, and truly thriving and vibrating at a high frequency of revolutionary bliss. She has drawn her inspiration from those one-on-one connections with her fans, while piecing a world together in her conceptual writing in which her fans can coexist harmoniously – free of bullying, prejudice, hurt, broken homes, abuse, self-doubt, and most importantly – Depression.

We all want to be uplifted – to risk the stakes and quit our jobs, go through with the breakup, get on that plane. But the truth is, that life’s just too short to bullshit. We deserve to start standing up for ourselves through our art without any doubt of intuition. Halsey can help. And she will.

Key Tracks: Castle, Gasoline, Roman holiday


Article: Hillary Barleaux


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