I recently got a chance to briefly chat with Parkwood Entertainment signed group and Beyoncé protege’s, Chloe x Halle at Soldier Field before their opening set on night one of their two straight days performing for the sold-out Chicago dates of JAY-Z and Beyoncé’s historic current, On The Run II (OTRII) Tour. We talked about everything from being not only signed to Beyoncé’s label, but also what it’s like opening for this historic tour for such Hip-Hop and R&B royalty, the feeling to finally put out their debut album earlier this year and the very positive feedback it has received. Plus what it’s like to be a part of such that great young resurgence of great R&B/Soul going on right now with so many other talented young women besides themselves, their just starting TV careers, as well as several other topics. So get to know these talented young women even more below.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com: Hey Chloe x Halle, my name is Nello Rubio and I’m with TheHipHopDemocrat.com You guys obviously being signed to Beyoncé’s label, I’m sure that’s something you never really dreamed of being an actual reality coming up. So what’s the process and going through that actually felt like?
Halle: Yes, while being signed to Beyoncé and under her wings is something me and my sister constantly pinch ourselves over. You know we’re just so grateful to have such a beautiful person like her in our corner because she has been through everything we are going through now as new artists. So far it has been such a wonderful learning experience. We are learning so much from her just watching her every single night on this tour give 150 %. You know that inspires us and the little girls within us to do what we’re meant to do and to prove to ourselves that we can do anything if we push ourselves harder every single night like she does. So we are just really grateful and as far as our own music we are really happy. We write and produce all of our stuff in our living room and she’s always just been a champion for us creating what we want to do and not stopping for anyone.
Nello: You guys actually put out your debut album, The Kids Are Alright, earlier this year. It has actually been getting a lot of positive feedback and I’ve even some lists that have had it near the top midyear lists. How does it feel to have such a great reception with that being your first real record too?
Chloe: So it has been pretty incredible to even think that people have accepted and loved it the way they have when they listen to it. You know my sister and I we put so much love and blood, sweat and tears in this record. You know all of it, like my sister said, was all created in our living room. And to be able to executive produce it. Not only that, but to produce and write it all and to have people love it the way they do is really a great feeling to my sister and I. Especially in this male dominated industry I always love it when females produce and write the songs and they’re the masterminds behind the music. So I’m just happy that people accept it.
Nello: That actually perfectly segues into my next question. But besides you guys, you see a lot more resurgence of R&B and Soul now, not only with the males, but with all of the females like Janelle Monáe, Mila J and her sister, Jhené Aiko, Bridget Kelly, Melanie Fiona, Sevyn Streeter, Tinashe, and those are just a few off the top of my head. But how does it feel to just be in that conversation too and just be a part of the resurgence that’s going on now?
Halle: That feels amazing to be part of the resurgence of R&B. For us personally we are of all the girls you mentioned. We’re fans of girls like H.E.R. and Elle Mai. And we’re just really happy we are just a part of all of this good music coming out that speaks to your soul. Another thing that we love. We think of our music as a fusion of all of our favorite things. So for us it would be R&B, Alternative. A little bit of Jazz, cause I love Jazz so much. All of these things kind of meshed into one. And we’re really grateful to all of these people who have been receptive to this new music that’s different and doesn’t sound like everything else. That’s one thing Bey has always told us too. Is, don’t dumb down ourselves for the world. Let the world catch up to us. Since we make music that’s different to the ears. But we are really grateful to be a part of that new and up and coming wave.
Nello: Besides opening for JAY-Z and Beyoncé on this tour, you guys have even done select solo dates as well so far throughout the tour as well. So far that seems like it has been going pretty well too. How do you think the reception with that has been?
Halle: The solo shows have been amazing. We are so grateful for them because you know with the stadiums it’s interesting because a lot of them are not your fans and you’re kind of drawing them in. You’re trying to get them to be you fans. They’re a bunch of Beyoncé and JAY-Z fans. So it’s definitely a different crowd and a different type of feeling when you go out there. As far as the side shows, all of our fans show up, they sing every word to the songs, they show up and sell out. It’s kind of just a confidence booster when we do these side shows. And then we’re like, ‘OK, we can take and go back to this stadium and draw in more awesome people!’ So, yeah it’s really fun.
Nello: Yeah I think a lot of times people don’t really realize, but a lot of those more intimate shows help you and other artists grow more because the way you’re able to interact more easily with your fans a lot of times and just seeing their reactions. So do you think it’s helped little more easy doing the more intimate shows like that as opposed to the stadiums?
Chloe: It’s definitely more easier to do the more intimate shows, but we love something that pushes us out of our comfort zone. And I’m just so happy that we’re going to be on this tour for three months because we will just be getting better with every single performance and we are learning how to connect with people all across the stadium. Plus if we can do that, we can do anything we want. So we love things that help push us out of what we’re used to. So that’s why we love and are so grateful to Beyoncé and JAY-Z for giving us this platform and being a part of this along with DJ Khaled.
Nello: Obviously with both of them being among the top at their fields in both Hip-Hop and R&B. Do you guys think that helps you guys push each other more each night seeing them perform too?
Halle: Oh, yeah absolutely that inspires us even harder every single night. Traveling is a lot on your body and your soul and your mind. So you a lot of times you go into these shows feeling a bit tired and like, ‘Oh, I wish I could sleep.’ But it’s amazing because we are re-energized by watching them. And it’s funny cause everytime we say, ‘Oh, yeah, we might watch this show.’ And then we look up and we’re just mesmerized watching the show. We’re really inspired by them every single night and it absolutely does push us.
Nello: You guys a couple of years ago when Beyoncé was on her solo, The Formation Tour, opened for her then too. Do you guys have a particular city that you have gone to that was really a favorite for you to perform?
Chloe: Boston a few days ago (for this particular tour) was a very good crowd. That was good.
Halle: Yes, it really was.
Chloe: The second night of New York was great too. We’re really excited for our hometown of Atlanta because we will have our own side show at the more intimate venue, but we will also have it at the stadium and that’s where we are from, our hometown. We will see a lot of familiar faces. So it will be a nice little homecoming.
Halle: I think Boston was one of my favorites and then for The Formation Tour. We had never been to Europe before. So Amsterdam was one of my favorites cause we went bike riding there, we had so much fun and it was just beautiful. So, yeah, that was my favorite.
Nello: Besides your music something that some people may be familiar with, but still some others not, is that you guys have actually been a part of the new Black-ish spinoff, Grown-ish. So is that something you guys also want to get more involved with, is on the acting side of things as well?
Chloe: Oh, absolutely. We love being a part of Grown-ish and funny, as well as ironically enough, it just got announced a couple of days ago that it’s coming back in January. Right after this tour we actually start filming Season 2. While technically in the later half of the tour, so we will be going back and forth. But it’s just fun to be able to express ourselves in that sort of way. Music will always be our first love, but of course we would always love to dive into more acting.
Nello: You guys actually even have the theme song for the show too. So how does it feel to have the actual theme song for the show as well?
Halle: The theme song was something amazing that came along for us to do. You know we’re so happy to be a part of the show, Grown-ish, but we are music lovers and music is our first love. So we were brainstorming ways to incorporate our music throughout the show anyways. And Kenya Burris, the executive producer, had mentioned how he loved one of our songs, The Kids Are Alright. The title track of our album and how he wanted to use that for the theme song. And then we were like, ‘You know what maybe we will write another one.’ So we wrote another one in our living room and thought about everything that we were going through and are really still going through. In transitioning to adults. I’m 18, still not completely there. But, she’s 20. So we were talking about all these feelings and we just put it into that song and sent it to Kenya and he really loved it and was like, ‘This is the theme song.’ So we where just like, ‘Wow, cool.’ So little things like that we are really just blessed to have come our way. We are really grateful and we definitely want to do more of perhaps scoring for films in the future. We love having music in films (They had their song, Warrior, featured in the movie and as part of the soundtrack for the Disney film, A Wrinkle in Time). That’s something we always dreamed about, so that was really fun to do.
Nello: Seeing how much you guys have grown and seeing some of the other artists that have comeup with you and being so young. Who are some of the other artists you haven’t worked with yet, but would love to?
Chloe: My sister and I would love to work with H.E.R. and Daniel Cesar. And The Internet. We actually did a song with Steve Lacy on our mixtape. But just Syd, we love Syd. Kali Uchis, Tyler the Creator. There’s just so many really cool young kids right now. Making some really awesome music and we also just always loved, Joey Bada$$, and to be able to do the song with him, Happy Without Me, on our album, which we are pushing right now is pretty cool. That song will always be special to us and even Goldlink. We’ve always been big Goldlink fans and to have his features, as well as Kari Faux’s on our album is just a fun collaboration.
Nello: Kind of playing off the last question. Being here in Chicago, is there any Chicago artists you haven’t worked with yet and would love to?
Chloe: Kanye West.
Halle: Oh, yeah we love Kanye. We love his music.
Chloe: Chance the Rapper *Halle almost exactly at the same time laughing also names Chance*
Halle: *continuing to laugh* And then our friend, BJ the Chicago Kid, it’s in his name, haha. So yeah, I think those cause I don’t really know to many other people from Chicago.
Nello: You guys said obviously besides the R&B and Soul, that you guys mix things up a lot too. Which I noticed on a lot of the album, as far as Jazz and that. Is there anything else besides Jazz that you may want to incorporate more in your music?
Chloe: Yeah, my sister and I, when we make music it’s such a free-flowing process for us. We never force anything and I think because we are such music lovers of all genres, it kind of just flows into the music naturally. So my sister loves Jazz and I love Alternative music and experimental sounds. I’m really getting into Joni Mitchell right now and I’m really loving early 2000’s. Those beats from than. So I’m pretty sure what we are being influenced by and listening to now will have a hint in our new music.
Nello: With you guys being such creatives too. Is there anything else besides music and TV, that you guys want to eventually want to get into as well like fashion or something else?
Halle: Yeah, for me I realized I really have a love for real estate and interior designing. I don’t know why, but I just think it’s really cool. I’m just obsessed with all the house hunters shows, all of that type of stuff. So I feel like I will maybe do something like investing in real estate or something in interior design. When I’m much older and it’s just something fun for me to do on the side.
Chloe: Definitely fashion and it would also be pretty cool to be behind the scenes in the acting world, and get really cool with the scoring and even the cinematography. And learning that whole world would be really cool and writing it. You never know.
Nello: Finally before I finish off. Is there anything that you guys want to let your fans know that they can expect coming up soon besides maybe any new music videos or any new music in general or anything else?
Halle: Yes, while as of now we want our fans to know that they can get our debut album, The Kids Are Alright, everywhere. All streaming services and iTunes. And we would also like to let them know to look out for, Grown-ish, coming back in January 2019. Also if you are going to any of the dates on, On The Run, we will see you there and it will be a really, really fun end to the Summer. We can’t wait to start working on our new project of course, which will be really fun cause we are just getting all these ideas and inspiration from traveling and being on the road. So when we get back home it’s like it will just all come out.
Chloe: Definitely get our album and also check out our new song, Happy Without Me.