Chloe X Halle
Advertisement

Chloe x Halle’s Sights Are Set ‘Past the Sky'

Every few months someone on Twitter shares an old clip from Chloe and Halle’s YouTube channel. Launched when the sisters were 13 and 11, the page offered gusto-filled covers of chart-topping hits, many of which featured their favorite singer, Beyoncé. In a rather satisfying moment of kismet, it was a stirring rendition of “Pretty Hurts” that catapulted the duo -- who were already veteran performers around Atlanta -- to viral stardom. The cover eventually caught the attention of Beyoncé herself and brought Parkwood Entertainment to their door as a result. When these old clips circulate, more often than not they end up going viral. For legacy and new fans alike, it always acts as a bit of a refresher, putting into sharp perspective just how long the two have been pouring into their respective careers before the realization creeps in that they’re only just getting started.

Chloe, now 22; and Halle, now 20, have been performing publicly together since the ages of seven and five, when their mom signed them up for a talent show at a Spelman College summer camp program. Hitting the stage in matching rainbow-striped skirts, green tank tops and oversized flower accents in their hair, even back then, something about performing in the spotlight felt like it was meant for them. “You could really see the passion in our eyes and that nobody was forcing us to do it,” shared Chloe. “We simply did it because we loved it.”

Driely S.
Chloe X Halle

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.

Driely S.
Chloe X Halle

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.

Beyoncé Presents Chloe x Halle With Rising Star Award | Billboard Women In Music 2020

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.”

Driely S.
Chloe X Halle

It would be remiss not to add sibling love to the equation, too. Whether donning android-esque metallic jumpsuits or brightly-colored leotards, the sisters have been leaning on each other for company and creative inspiration while making a series of insanely popular live performance videos from their palatial backyard. “I’m a perfectionist when it comes to music and business,” says Chloe of their endeavors. “I'm always in my head, over-analyzing everything. With that comes self-doubt, but with Halle by my side I can snap out of it. She's like, ‘Do you know who you are? Do you know how special you are?’ Not because of music but because of your heart. And how kind and loving you are. She puts into perspective about how special it is to just be a good human being and that I am good and special. It changes my perspective and I can go back into the world again and conquer anything.”

When asked what’s actually left to conquer given all they’ve already accomplished, the sister duo lights up. Chloe is excited to hear the Jazz album that she’s sure is in Halle’s future while Halle can’t wait to see her big sister continue to flex her producing chops by creating with and for other artists. With their unique blend of gifts, DIY mentality and an unrelenting work ethic, it’s unclear exactly what direction the Bailey sister’s talents will take them in but at least one thing is certain from where Chloe sits --“I just feel like the possibilities are endless. The sky is just … we just want to go past the sky.”

'It's Your World,' The Chloe x Halle Story