Halsey has opened up about their experience as a pregnant person in the music industry, taking aim at critics that told them to be “grateful”, as well as industry professionals that took them less seriously as an artist.
The non-binary pop star – who is currently signed to Capitol Records – spoke out against label executives that aimed to strip them of their autonomy, demanding an unreasonable amount of personal information.
Speaking to Apple Music 1 host Zane Rowe, they said: “You have to call the CEO of X, Y, Z and say, ‘Hey, hi. I’m just calling to let you know, I’m pregnant. I didn’t want you to find out on Instagram. I wanted to tell you myself, personally. It’s still business as usual over here though, don’t worry. My personal choice isn’t going to affect your profitability or your productivity or your assembly line. And also, in what world would you ever have to call me to tell me that you were having a baby? But I have to call you because it impacts your product.’”
- READ MORE: Halsey – ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ review: an endlessly compelling artistic statement
On the topic of press treating them merely as a pregnant person, rather than an artist, Halsey said: “There was publications [that when] we were going out and trying to set up magazine covers based around the album release, they were like, ‘Yeah, but is she going to be pregnant? Because we don’t want to do a maternity cover.’”
“And I was like, ‘It’s not a maternity cover. It’s about my album, I just happen to be pregnant.’ And they’re like, ‘No, it’s a pregnant cover.’ And I was like, ‘So I can’t go talk about my album?’”
Take a look at the full interview below:
Halsey also spoke on the concept of their just-released fourth album, ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ – which they’d previously described as “a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth” – telling Apple Music 1 host Zane Rowe that “it happened by accident”.
“I wasn’t trying to make a political record,” they said, “or make a record that was drowning in its own profundity. I was just writing about how I feel, and I happened to be experiencing something that is very nuanced and very complicated.”
Halsey – who gave birth to their first child, Ender Ridley Aydin, back in July – noted that pregnancy is often misread by those who haven’t experienced it, explaining that “pregnancy for some women is a dream, and pregnancy for some people is a fucking nightmare. It’s a nightmare.
“And that’s the thing nobody else talks about, right, is the pain and the blood, the disease, the fear, the fact that it’s arguably the most dangerous condition the human body can experience, and has been for millennia. It kills people, and to this day still kills people who don’t have access to the right healthcare.”
They went on to say that because of their prior miscarriage and battles with reproductive health issues like endometriosis, critics expected Halsey to be more “grateful” of their pregnancy, in turn sacrificing their career.
They continued: “I think everyone who has heard me yearn for motherhood, and yearn for this for so long, would have expected me to write the album that was full of gratitude. And instead I was like, ‘No, this shit is so scary, and so horrifying, and my body’s changing, and I have no control over anything, and I do finally have this thing I want, so I wake up in fear every single day that I’m going to lose it.
“Everyone’s like, ‘Aren’t you just living a dream?’ I’m like, ‘No, actually, I have nightmares about waking up in a pool of my own blood.’ That’s actually what it’s like.”
Halsey released ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ last Friday (August 27), alongside a film of the same name. In a four-star review, NME’s Nick Levine called it “an intricate and an endlessly compelling artistic statement that only Halsey could have made”.