"No, I won't smile but I'll show you my teeth / I could play nice or I could be a bully. I'm tired and angry but somebody should be." Those are the lyrics behind Halsey’s empowering new track “Nightmare.” The song, she told Ryan Seacrest when she stopped by the studio on Friday, May 17, is an important one.
“It’s very angry,” she explained of the girl power anthem. “I think it’s angry in a way that feels vindicated. [Like,] ‘I’m grateful for this anger and I don’t care If you don’t like me for being angry.’ Which, right now, is a really important feeling.”
The Grammy-nominated songstress, who is currently working on her third studio album, explained that she’s grown mentally and musically.
“I used to care, but now I don’t care that people care that I care if that makes any sense,” she explained of her growth, adding that with “Nightmare” she also wanted to show this side of herself to fans.
“A lot of people who have heard my music on the radio probably know me for the relationship-y songs … but I have albums full of really angry mosh music,” Halsey revealed. “I’ve watched a lot of fans who’ve discovered me from listening to your station … and then they come to the concerts and they’re like, ‘Why is she wearing a ski mask and fishnets? I thought this was the [ballad] girl?’ So it was really important for me to lead with a record that was like ‘I’m also this.’ … So that people aren’t taking their scared kids out of my show.”
With lyrics like “I keep a record of the wreckage of my life … I waited a while for a moment to say I don't owe you a goddamn thing,” Halsey added that her past two albums now serve a bigger purpose.
“That line is like ‘Wow, I really truly keep a record of all this awful stuff that’s happened to me,’ but it’s validated and serves a great purpose now, you know?” she said. “Because it helps people."
Album No. 3 will serve an even greater purpose, she concluded.
“I made my first album, Badlands, when I was 19 and … all I could think about was the way the world revolved around me … I was really concerned about where I fit in and … I’m 24 now and I think that I don’t care so much about the world around me as much as it revolves in general which I think is just getting older and seeing things differently,” Halsey concluded. “…I had a weird thing this year, I just like wanted to do weird stuff … but, weird stuff with a purpose.”
Watch back the full interview in the videos above for more, including to hear Halsey’s hilarious explanation as to why babies love her.