American pop singer Halsey is one celebrity who is not afraid of opening up about the more difficult moments of her life.
She has spoken out about her mental illness as well as being sexually abused, all in the hopes of helping others overcome the stigma of discussing such issues.
“I think artistes should talk about whatever is the truth for them and what they are passionate about,” says the 23-year-old.
“Every artiste has his own story, but I’m proud to talk about my journey.”
In the Women’s March in New York City in January this year, for example, the singer – born Ashley Nicolette Frangipane – read out a poem, A Story Like Mine, which details how she was sexually assaulted as a child.
She also delves into personal issues in her songs, no matter how negative. In an e-mail interview, she emphasises that she believes the situation is never without hope.
“Songs always grow and change as the person singing them does. I feel happy I overcame the things that once made me sad.”
Last year, she released her second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, which topped the American Billboard charts and featured pop hits like Bad At Love.
“The song is me laughing at myself for all my failed relationships, but I’m still kind of hopeful because I say, ‘You can’t blame me for trying’,” she says.
“No matter all my failures, I will always be a hopeless romantic looking for true love.”
Born and raised in New Jersey to an African-American father and a mother who is of Italian and Hungarian descent, she released her debut EP, Room 93, in 2014.
It generated enough buzz to land at No. 3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, which tracks new and rising acts.
Her debut full album, Badlands, then peaked at No. 2 on the album chart.
She is also known for multiple successful collaborations with other pop acts, most notably on Closer, the 2016 No. 1 song by electronic dance music duo The Chainsmokers. The song was nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category at last year’s Grammy Awards.
“I owe everything to the fans,” she says of her rise in the past four years. “Their support is what made me a success long before I had songs on the radio. They will always come first and I will always strive to make music that brings happiness to their lives.”
It might be a while before she comes up with new music, though.
“I’m going to take a long break and learn more about myself before I make the third album.
“I have grown up a lot since I was the 19-year-old who wrote Badlands. I want my music to reflect that.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network