Halsey Talks Dating a Heroin Addict, Suicide in Super Candid ‘Billboard’ Interview
Her most revealing interview yet.
Halsey, the 21-year-old “New Americana” singer who is taking over the radio – and internet – one song and tweet at a time, is Billboard magazine’s latest cover story. She opened up about mental health, social media and her fans, boyfriends and sexuality, and much more in this extremely candid interview.
Here are 14 things we learned about the New Jersey native.
She interacts with her fans on social media seemingly 24/7:
I talk to them like real f—ing human beings, because they are. But then there’s also a sense of entitlement, where they feel like they have the right to chastise me like they would a friend. And sometimes you want to be like, ‘Who the f— are you to say that?’
She’s a Bernie Sanders supporter:
I’m 21 years old and it’s kind of uncomfortable for me to talk about, but I’m in the 1 percent as far as my income and tax bracket. But now that I’m here, there’s no amount of money you can wave in front of my face that will make me understand depriving people of human rights. While I know people in the industry who want to vote for someone who will protect them financially, I’m looking for a person who will make sure my 17-year-old brother doesn’t get killed someday because he’s half-black. If that means I lose 50 percent of my income every year, so be it.
She also is biracial, though she notes she passes as white. Her father, a manager of a car dealership, is African-American, and her mother, who does security for a hospital, is Italian-American.
Her ex-boyfriend is a heroin addict who she followed to New York:
I was following a boy. I was 17. He was 23, and he had a really serious heroin addiction.
They met in the studio — each, unbeknownst to the other, broke off the relationships they were in that night. They began seeing each other soon after…even though it has been on and off (it’s currently off), they’ve lived together virtually nonstop since they met, including in the new house in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sherman Oaks that Halsey recently purchased.
She’s so “Tumblr” that people are skeptical of her and if she’s real:
There are conspiracy theorists who think I was crafted in a boardroom. Because I’m so very relatable and so very topical and so very Tumblr.
She’s open about her sexuality. Writes Billboard:
Halsey is a staunch feminist, an advocate for people with mental illness and a Bernie sis. (Her Twitter handle currently reads “Bernie Sanders Fan.”) She also is an out bisexual woman who rails against “heteronormativity.” She’s self-aware enough to know that young women with strong opinions often get slapped with labels like “attention-seeking.” Or, as Halsey puts it, “Everyone’s mortal enemy is the girl on the Internet who’s misunderstood.”
On her steamy Today show performance of “The Feeling” with Justin Bieber:
It was a f—ing train wreck. You don’t know fear until it’s 7 a.m. and freezing cold on live television and you’re not sure if Justin Bieber is going to kiss you or not.
She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and spent a few weeks in a psychiatric hospital during her senior year of high school.
I had tried to kill myself. 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 9-year-olds who had tried to kill themselves.
Hearing Imagine Dragons when she first left the hospital was life-changing:
There was no TV, no music, no nothing. The day I got out of the hospital I was in the car and I was listening to Imagine Dragons. It was a fucking moment for me. 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.
She came up with the name Halsey because it is both an anagram of Ashley (her real name is Ashley Frangipane) and the name of her boyfriend’s Brooklyn subway stop.
Fame makes her uncomfortable:
“In my camp we have a different F-word and C-word. ‘Fame’ and ‘celebrity.’ I hate them.” (Still, she’s comfortable enough in her new world to have a “camp,” which isn’t a thing that non-F- or C-people have.)
She sympathizes with Kanye West, because artists:
I love Kanye West. I think he’s a visionary. He’s one of those people for whom I separate his personality from his artistry. But I also sympathize with him in a weird way, because being a musician is tough. If you were asked to talk about yourself for six hours a day you would probably go crazy, too! Which is why I give Kanye the benefit of the doubt. Being him must be exhausting.
And lastly, singing keeps her alive.
I could be having the worst day of my life, hate my body, think I’m fat, think I suck, and as soon as I hear the first few notes of my intro, that all goes away. Everything that I hate about myself goes away when I walk onstage. That’s why I cling to it so much — it keeps me from killing myself.