Halsey is finally coming to terms with her own gender, the 24-year-old singer told author Lizzie Goodman at the Capitol Congress conference in Hollywood on Wednesday. “I spent my whole life being the person who’s like ‘I f–ing hate girls, I only want to hang out with boys; girls are so annoying,'” Halsey revealed. “And now I’m in my 20s and I’m like ‘I love women! They’re awesome!’ Women are so tight, I’m surrounded by amazing women and I love how strong and beautiful and incredible they all are in their own ways. It’s cool to be in my 20s and to have like grown out of that internalized misogyny. I’ve grown comfortable in my own space and in my own skin, so it eliminates that factor of competition for sure.”
Halsey displayed her newfound femininity on her latest single “Nightmare,” which she’s described as an “angry anthem,” aimed at the people, and particularly men, who caused her question to her self-worth. “Female rage is a very tight subject for me right now,” she said when asked about the political context of the song.
Halsey is in the midst of recording a new album, she told the assembled executives and corporate partners. “I sat down to write this album and I was like, ‘Alright, time to stop talking about yourself and start looking at the world around you!’ And then I got two songs in and I was like, ‘Uh, I only know how to talk about myself.’ Because I don’t know anything as well as I know me, so I can’t write anything as true to f–king Halsey than when I’m writing about myself.”
But still, she uses two bold words to describe the single: “Rage and politics.” While “Nightmare” is personal, she made an effort to infuse universal issues into the song, as opposed to the “dystopian fantasy worlds” she typically sings about.
“There came a point for me where I was like, ’I need to put my mouth where my money is,” Halsey told Goodman. “It’s not enough to do the donations and to rally behind the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.” Again, she circles back to “Nightmare” — because the public “needs context.” As Halsey explained: “The girl who’s like angry yelling about the f–king world, you need to know why she’s mad and what she’s done to f–king do something about it.”
After speaking openly about her experiences with miscarriage, abortion, and reproductive health, the singer said the world is finally ready for an activist Halsey. “I exist in a world now where all people are like ‘Okay, cool, Halsey’s an activist, this is what she does.’ So when I speak, people are like, ‘We buy it. We trust you.’
The singer has been candid about her struggles with bipolar disorder in the past, and her angsty lyrics have often hinted at her diagnosis, but she notes that her latest single paints her struggles in a more optimistic light.
“It’s a miracle I haven’t killed myself yet,” she said, adding, “Still have time though, the world’s pretty sh–ty!” Jokes aside, she went on to say she does hope to get married soon, and potentially have kids down the line.
In the meantime, though? “I’m gonna f–k as many people as I can,” she said, in full feminist fashion. “The world’s not super down with me saying that — I’m gonna do it anyway!”