Halsey broke down her new album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power in a new interview and explained why it’s not a “girl power album.”
In a sit-down interview with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe for New Music Daily, the 26-year-old singer-songwriter talked about how their fourth studio album explores themes of pregnancy and new motherhood, but their journey doesn’t align with the hyper-feminine societal conceptions of it. Halsey opened up about how pregnancy “has leveled my perception of gender entirely” as well as the pressure to feel like a “girly-girly fertility goddess” in a lengthy Instagram post from February. On If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, Halsey doesn’t sugarcoat the subject matter, even if her vocals sound that way.
“Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, it’s like this is a girl power album,’ and I’m like, ‘No, it’s not,’” she said, setting the record straight. “Also, not for nothing, but the lead single is ‘I Am Not a Woman, I’m a God’ — it’s not a girl power album. From the jump, I’m like, ‘I’m not a woman.’ I’m not saying any of that. There’s no girl power in this album. … Being pregnant, writing this album, people are expecting girlishness, you know what I mean? And any time where I ever talk about womanhood, motherhood, femininity, I’m usually talking about it with a taste in my mouth. Like, go be a big girl, a girl is a gun, all I can taste is the blood in my mouth.”
“I think it probably can be experienced in that way, for some people, because the fact that I made it at all and the way that I made it is kind of like a girl power statement,” she conceded. “But the record itself, I guess, it’s not that. And so using those sweeter vocal performances were kind of essential.”
Halsey has been on a long and hard road when it comes to pregnancy. At the beginning of the year, the “Without Me” hitmaker announced their pregnancy while wearing a rainbow crochet crop top that hinted at their previous pregnancy loss, with the expected child being known as a “rainbow baby.” The singer previously opened up about suffering a miscarriage onstage and deciding to freeze their eggs in a 2018 interview — when she was 23 — on The Doctors. She also shared at the time that she was suffering from endometriosis, which can cause infertility, and underwent surgery for it in 2017. Halsey proudly showed off the scars from the surgery on their lower abdomen on their Instagram Story the same day as the pregnancy announcement, writing, “The scars that got me this angel,” adding the hashtag #endowarrior.
She was patient during her yearslong effort to get pregnant, and she eventually gave birth to her first child with Alev Aydin in July. And according to Halsey, it didn’t always feel like time was on her side. In fact, the Grammy-nominated artist says it’s a struggle most female artists go through.
“I think that the weight of that as a female artist kind of deciphering time as not your enemy when you’ve been taught for so long to think that it is: ‘Don’t get too old. Don’t get pregnant because then you can’t go on tour.’ It’s like running-out-of-time kind of mentality where time starts to become your enemy,” they explain to Lowe. “Then it’s really nice to be able to look at time as an ally, where for me time has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s allowed me to grow and allowed me to heal and allowed me to develop.”
“I do remember around Manic being like, ‘I’m washed. I’m washed. ‘Without Me’ was a huge hit. I’m not going to be able to follow that up. I just put out this album. I’m going to tour it,’” she continued. “And just being like, ‘What’s next for me? When are people going to get sick of it? When are they going to whatever. I’ll probably have to have a baby and start a family and then I’ll just be done being Halsey.’”
Halsey’s full Apple Music 1 interview will premiere on Monday, Aug. 30.
soul, classic soul, motown,