Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, by a family they describe as “a whimsical pack of people,” the sisters were always encouraged to develop their interests, and to “go full throttle.” From their mother, who heard a toddler-aged Chloe’s rendition of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and raised a flag that there was singing talent in the family, to their father, who researched tips on songwriting and arranging to aide in their first writing attempts, it was almost pre-determined that the two would become a tour-de-force on their own terms.
Their time in Atlanta, with its rich musical history and myriad of opportunities, helped stoke their creative curiosity. Halle took to the guitar early and explored a burgeoning love of jazz, listening raptly to Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Nat King Cole and Nina Simone while Chloe turned her attention toward learning production when it became clear that the myriad of well-known producers in Atlanta weren’t quite sure what to do with the pint-sized singer-songwriters.
Nevertheless, it didn’t stop Chloe in particular from trying. “Halle would make fun of me sometimes because we would see like these big-time producers in the street and I'd be like, ‘Can we sing for you,’" Chloe admits with a laugh before Halle takes the chance to share her account. “Literally, if we saw Jermaine Dupri or Polow da Don leaving a club Chloe would be like, ‘Let's go ask them to sing. We can sing for them.’ And I'm like, ‘Chloe they're headed to their car.’”
The sisters are remarkably chipper for having been on set since the early morning. A photoshoot, a pair of interviews including this one and several hours on-camera were just a few of the commitments they’d fulfill on the day as the recipients of the Honda Stage-sponsored Rising Star award at Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony. And though exhaustion is slowly creeping into the edges of their movements, they still seem to embody an unspoken confidence that they are exactly where they’re meant to be in this moment. With an EP, mixtape, and two critically acclaimed albums under their belt, the future is ripe with abundance. Halle, whose charming stint on Grown-ish felt as on-the-nose as on-the-nose can be, will also be taking on the role of Ariel in Disney’s forthcoming live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid.
Outside of that, their latest album, Ungodly Hour, released June 12 of this year (it was originally scheduled for release on June 5 but the sisters deferred in support of the Black Lives Matter movement), became their best-received project yet, debuting at number 16 on the Billboard 200 before notching a trio of Grammy nominations at the approaching 2021 ceremony. A follow up of 2018’s The Kids Are Alright, the album marks a visceral sonic and lyrical turning point. In some ways, it’s a coming-of-age tale coded in song. “The reason why Ungodly Hour feels completely different from our first project is because we're grown now,” Halle offers bluntly.
“We've actually been through things now. It's actually really interesting when we put it into perspective. The Kids Are Alright, we made that album when I was between the ages of 15 and 18, and my sister was 17 to 20. I just turned 20 this year and I already feel like it's a huge shift. We’ve experienced love and heartbreak and insecurities, and just the journey of realizing who we truly are as young women. More feelings come up with that, more things rise. It's more inspiration to write with, it's more seeds to use as fuel for your creativity.” She goes on to describe the range of emotions that laid the groundwork for the 13-track record. “A lot of the songs are very angry, passionate songs about love. I feel like 70 or 80 percent of the album is about love in all forms. There's angry love, there's being ‘in love’ love, there's mad love, and then there’s self-love.”