Next week, Billboard will be honoring some of the most inspiring females in music at the 13th annual Women in Music Event in New York City, including Hayley Kiyoko, who will be presented with the rising star award.
Ahead of the event on Thursday (Dec. 6), Billboard sat down with the honoree to take a walk down memory lane, as she looks back at some childhood photos, as well as shares some advice for her younger self.
First, Kiyoko is handed a photo of herself as a young child, which was accompanied by the caption, “The Internet is the biggest library in the world!” The picture was taken, Kiyoko explains, when her best friend at the time (who she admits she didn’t really like, but was friends with anyway because in kindergarten, “you have to be friends with whoever will talk to you”) dragged her to a photoshoot. The friend was meant to be in the picture, but the photographer insisted on using Kiyoko, instead.
“This was my big break. This was my big moment,” she jokes, while also adding that she hated that dress she was wearing.
Kiyoko is also shown a still from a video (which you can watch below) she shot for her PledgeMusic campaign to fund her very first EP, of which she says, “I remember working really hard on this, and my outfit says it all.”
When given another photo of herself as a child – this time making a silly, scrunched up face – the singer reveals with a smile, “I was a spunky child. My mom told me I was dark.”
Asked what advice she would give to her younger self, Kiyoko replies that while there is a lot of advice she would want to give to herself, she mostly would want to give herself a hug.
“I grew up not loving myself and/or accepting who I was,” the singer states, “And I knew who I was, I just wasn’t happy with who I was. So my advice would just be to give her this massive bear hug and let her know that everything is gonna be ok.”
You can watch the full video above, and be sure to tune in to the Women in Music red carpet pre-show live on Twitter from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST on Dec. 6.