Hayley Kiyoko doesn't shy away from sharing — whether that's in music or in conversation — so her episode is packed with realness. Hayley has been releasing records for the best part of a decade, really hitting her stride with 2015’s "Girls Like Girls" and solidifying the buzz with her 2018 debut album Expectations. Fast-forward to 2021 and a lot has happened. She’s been anointed Lesbian Jesus by her fans, she's dealt with a serious concussion and depression, she's toured the country, and become a true pillar in the queer community. Hayley's currently teasing us with new tracks like "Found My Friends" and "Chance" from her forthcoming second album.
Remarkably, despite millions of streams and millions of ardent fans, Hayley still considers herself an emerging artist and that informs how she tackles her art: with a ferocious tenacity. When she hears the word no, she pivots. In this episode she discusses tour tips, health and mental health, the importance of nurturing your fanbase, and the power of honesty in art. Her can-do, break-it-down-to-brass-tacks attitude is always inspiring.
Listen to Hayley's episode, plus check out some of her key takeaways, below.
Highlights from Hayley Kiyoko’s Best Advice episode
Work out your vision and build a team of people you genuinely love
First challenge is having a vision, knowing what you want. And then the second challenge is, how do I find the people that have a common interest, or see the vision and want to actually believe in the vision and support the vision. Nothing feels better than working with people that you love. Like that should be everyone's top goal: to be able to do life with the people that you love. No matter the financial success. It's just to be able to have those journeys and those stories and the laughs and those moments. That is life.
The process of proving oneself is ongoing
The main challenge for me is proving my worth and my existence is important and that it's vital and there's an urgency to it. [It’s about proving myself to] whoever's financing you. So for example, that would be my label. They’re very supportive, but they also have power in the sense that they go, this is what we can offer you to finance whatever you want to release. And a lot of times, it's not an ideal situation, which has essentially been my whole career, until you're, you know, Bruno Mars or someone at a level, where you're able to prove your worth through numbers. I've never really been a numbers artist, I've always been like a people's artist, a heart artist, someone who people really connect to. And I'm still growing. Worth right now is valued in many different ways and as an artist, it’s very challenging to navigate that.
Don’t let the idea of perfection hold you back
The best thing to do when you don't know what to do, is just do it. You can't wait on finding the perfect manager, you can't wait on finding the perfect team. You just have to do it. And once you have the product, figure it out.