Dating someone with a troubled past
I could have recoiled and deflected my sexuality, but instead I was like, ' I'm going to own it now.'"And so it seems like she might just have everything figured out, until a moment in our interview when things go slightly off the rails. "I beat myself up for it," she tells me, "because I think that the reason it happened is just the lifestyle I was living. "I had a choice," she says, though she did the thing that made her feel like she didn't.We're lying in the sun, getting pleasantly sloshed, when Halsey confesses that she's read a story I wrote for Rolling Stone in April, about Planned Parenthood and a miscarriage I had. I was really terrified of you, because I knew as soon as I saw you, I was going to need to tell you that last year on tour I got pregnant." Then, at a breathless pace, she's describing being in a hotel room in Chicago before Badlands even came out, back when her whole career could have easily been ruined ("What happens? She looks off toward the fields where children play in the distance.When she was younger, she'd be left to read in the nearby Barnes & Noble every week while her brother was at karate class, then her mother would take them to dinner at the local Chili's. house with a pool and a spectacular view, and she's moved her two closest friends there to live with her. In a matter of days, she's playing her first arena dates as a headliner."It doesn't matter to me anymore," she says of such bygones. None of it fucking matters."Halsey lives on the other side of the country now. As for how she feels about all of that, well, "I've been through some shit. I haven't had the time to figure it out." And also, maybe she hasn't had the inclination: "You have to decide what's most important to you. "I hope I wasn't awful today," she says, sighing.She took flak after The New York Times quoted her as calling herself "tri-bi" – a trivializing term that Halsey claims she never used. She put one on, took two Percocet and went to the venue to do her job."The funniest thing is that the biggest battle that I've had to overcome in my career was not being bisexual, was not being biracial, was not being bipolar," she says. "It's the angriest performance that I've ever done in my life," she says, her voice breaking.
She's also, perhaps not coincidentally, really good at getting into stuff.Halsey's manager, Anthony Li, sits across from her in a booth, as does her on-again/off-again boyfriend, Norwegian producer Lido. She orders a Yoo-hoo and a bagel with Taylor ham (a New Jersey delicacy – "It's kind of bacon-y, kind of ham-y").She came to this diner after she went to prom, she tells me."Being an old Italian woman from New Jersey," Halsey affirms, "my grandma had the sheet music to Cats."It was during this time of rambling that Halsey got invited to a party at a Holiday Inn in Newark, a tantalizing prospect because, she says, "I figured hotel party equals bed.I needed a bed." At some point in the night, she met a music guy who later introduced her – based on a cellphone video of her performing a song she'd written – to another music guy, who invited her to his house to maybe do some sort of collaboration.
"They could've just not happened, like they were some weird incubatory period. She's written a concept album that – in addition to having smart-girl swagger and hooks that burrow into your reptile brain – is about feeling trapped and isolated in a dystopian city of the mind.