Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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“Panorama”: Hayley Kiyoko Drops a New Album

Atlantic Records

Hayley Kiyoko’s second album, Panorama, dropped on July 29th! Nicknamed the “Lesbian Jesus,” Kiyoko has been repping the sapphics since her 2015 breakthrough hit “Girls Like Girls.” So get excited about some fresh gay bangers!

What’s the theme of Panorama? It’s about getting healthy and appreciating achievements. “When you go on a hike, you’re hiking to get to the top of the mountain to take in the view,” she tells NME. “But as you go up, there’s a view at every point. And so I had this realization [as I was] going through my mental and physical health struggles, that there are highs and lows at every point in our journey.” 

Showing gratitude for what she has got, rather than what’s missing, is important to Kiyoko at the turn of her 30th birthday. “You have overcome so much in life just to get to that point,” she says. “What ‘Panorama’ means to me is acknowledging that and celebrating those highs and lows.”

Working with Danja – who has produced hits by Britney Spears, Nelly Furtado, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Madonna – taught Kiyoko how to strengthen her craft. 

“It was a very challenging process, but it was an incredible process, because he reminded me that my voice needs to be heard,” she recalls. “I love walls of sound: I grew up listening to Arcade Fire and Coldplay. But sometimes those walls of sound compete with my voice, and so with this album, he was like: ‘Hey, I want to hear you.’ So we found that fine line of having those walls of sound and letting [the music] take you away, but letting my voice speak for itself as well.”

Kiyoko has a genuine love for the sapphics she represents. They’re more than fans. In fact, she has been advised to tone the lesbianism down, which she’s ignored — putting her career on the line to be a voice for women-loving-women. 

“I’ve had tonnes [of those comments] from inside my circle and outside my circle,” she says. “I’ve also had brands pull out of music videos because it’s ‘too risqué’ or ‘too bold’ when they’re really just talking about queerness. So I’ve had a lot of hardships creating these visuals. But you know, when it’s hard and you’re doing something different that makes people uncomfortable, it’s probably something you should go through with. Because we need that representation.”

Kiyoko promises that, in Panorama, she gets vulnerable in a way she has not before. “This album is filled with self-failure and heartbreak and finding love and fighting to keep it and all of these things I have yet to share,” she tells vogue. “Panorama is me trying to own where I’m at.”

The decision to become more personal is because she understands herself more now. “I had this epiphany that, lyrically, I was still holding back and hiding how I truly felt,” she says. 

The music she wrote when she was younger was coded. “No one was ever going to know what I was actually saying, in fear of someone finding my journal, or someone thinking that I was a flaming lesbian.”

Reflecting on her place in the world, as a gay, biracial woman, Kiyoko explores human connection in the new album. “We’re all so connected and we’re so different, but we’re so similar in so many ways.”

Read the full article here

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