Hayley KiyokoÂ hit a huge milestone in her career this past weekend and Celeb SecretsÂ was there to witness it!
The 25-year-old singer and actress made her festival debut atÂ theÂ Billboard Hot 100 FestivalÂ held at the Nikon at Jones Beach TheaterÂ in Long Island, NY.
“Iâ€™m super excited for todayâ€™s show because Iâ€™m premiering my new EP,Â Citrine,Â that comes out in the fall. So everyone out here that are getting all sweaty and gross are going to get to listen to new music,”Â HayleyÂ told us right before she went onstage.
Hayley’s 30 minute set consisted of drumming and lots of color. “Iâ€™m really excited because a lot of my new music is freer than my last EP, lyrically,” she says.
If you’re like us, you may remember Hayley for her acting credits inÂ Wizards of Waverly Place, Lemonade Mouth, The Fosters,Â andÂ CSI: Cyber.Â When Kiyoko isn’t acting, she’sÂ instigating the most wonderful sort of pop disruption via her music, including breakthrough independent single â€œGirls Like Girlsâ€ and her most recent Atlantic Records’ single “Gravel to Tempo.”
“Gravel to Tempo” was just released earlier this month and the music video has racked up over a million views since its premiere.Â The self-directed video finds Hayley back in high school, brilliantly dancing on lunchroom tables in an effort to stand up to the popular girls. Itâ€™s such a fun, badass video that everyone can relate to.
Be on the lookout for Hayley’s EPÂ Citrine this fall and read our Q&A with her below.
Celeb Secrets: Some of our readers know youâ€™re an actress, now that youâ€™re focusing more solely on music, how would you describe your music for someone who has never heard you before?
Hayley Kiyoko: “My music is pop, its playful, its vibey, and its flirty.”
Celeb Secrets: Was it acting coming before music, or music coming before acting?
Hayley Kiyoko: “Music was always first, but as most artists know it takes a long time to really harvest and create at finding your sound. So I have been working on my music my whole life and I discovered acting along that journey, I never planned to be an actress, but I love doing that as well. And now Iâ€™m finally getting my music where I want it to be and kind of allowing it to blossom. I am excited for people to hear my music.”
Celeb Secrets: What made you decide to choose â€œGravel to Tempoâ€ as your single?
Hayley Kiyoko: “That was the first song I wrote when we did our writing retreat. It was day one and it was a song that I wrote with our producers and I had imagined the music video in my brain and thatâ€™s exactly what I ended up releasing last week. I directed the video and I just wanted to like dance in front of my crushes and let them know that I have the confidence that I need, and that I donâ€™t need their validation to feel good about myself. I think everyone goes through that having crushes in high school and if someone doesnâ€™t like you back, you feel inadequate and you feel like youâ€™re never going to be loved. It was a very dramatic time in your life and I wish that all of us had that confidence that we have now, back then. So my goal now is to release music to the younger generations to have more confidence in themselves earlier on. Why wait? Life is short.”
Celeb Secrets: What was it like directing and starring in your music video?
Hayley Kiyoko:Â “It is definitely difficult when Iâ€™m in it. I prefer not to be in my videos a lot because sometimes it is just too much. Because this song was so personal to me and the storyline of the video was so personal to me, I had to be in it. Its just a lot of preproduction, a lot of making sure everyone knows what theyâ€™re doing so when Iâ€™m on set it is just us performing and everyone going through the motions.”
Celeb Secrets: What made you come up with the concept of standing up to the popular crowd?
Hayley Kiyoko: “When I wrote the song, it inspired my lyrically, but I think the main thing in high school is that I had a lot of friends and had a great time. There was always something in me that made me feel misunderstood and it kind of shaped who I am today. It was a really pivotal point in my life and I feel like itâ€™s a pivotal point in other peopleâ€™s as well. I was really inspired to tell my story of how I felt and it doesnâ€™t really matter what kind of social ranking youâ€™re in, everyoneâ€™s going through shit. Whether youâ€™re cool or youâ€™re not, or youâ€™re this or youâ€™re that. I think its important for people to have human compassion to have it at a young age.”
Celeb Secrets: I feel like music is such an awesome way to be able to go after what you werenâ€™t able to when you were younger.Â
Hayley Kiyoko: “Yeah, and hopefully inspire people along the way and try to help people have an easier time. It is tough.”
Celeb Secrets: So your brand new EP is coming out, can you tell us a little bit about that?
Hayley Kiyoko: “Lyrically its is flirty and free. Thereâ€™s a lot of confidence in it. It is definitely has a vibe to it, there is a lot of percussion and the beats have a hip-hop foundation to them. The producers I work with, 4E, they have a lot of urban but pop kind of sound. Also, like the last track on the EP is kind of like coping with loss and I think in our culture in America, we kind of mourn death as opposed to honor death. The last track on the EP is about remembering the people in the right light as opposed to being upset. Iâ€™m trying to utilize my pop melodies and pop music and trying to tell stories for people to connect to. I want to help people go through life because weâ€™re all in it together.”
Celeb Secrets: What three reasons would you tell people to listen to your music for?
Hayley Kiyoko: “You should listen to my EP because it will get rid of self-doubt, it will make you happy, and you will swag out.”
Celeb Secrets: We are called Celeb Secrets, is there a secret or a hidden talent that no one really knows about you?
Hayley Kiyoko:Â “I eat a lot of food. Its one of my biggest passions, I have a fear of starvation. I have to have ample amounts of food in my backpack or in my car. I canâ€™t not have food on me or Iâ€™ll get anxiety. My whole life is catered to my next meal.”