Halsey has insisted their new concept LP, ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’, is not a “girl power” album.
The ‘Without Me’ singer – who prefers the pronouns she or they – has explained how people expected them to make a collection of songs full of “girlishness” because they were pregnant while making it, but from the off, they wanted to make clear that “I’m not a woman”, which is why the lead single is called ‘I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God’.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the 26-year-old pop star explained: “That juxtaposition was really intentional because I think there’s this through-line as well of kind of archetypal femininity, you know what I mean? Which is why everyone’s like, ‘Oh, it’s like this is a girl power album’, and I’m like, ‘No, it’s not.’ 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 Jump, I’m like, ‘I’m not a woman,’ you know what I mean? I’m not saying any of that. There’s no girl power in this album. There’s actually no … And that’s another thing too, right? 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, you know what I mean? Like go be a big girl, a girl is a gun, all I can taste is the blood in my mouth … All those moments where I am touching on those things are like … 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, but the record itself, I guess, it’s not that. And so using those sweeter vocal performances were kind of essential.”
Halsey – who welcomed their first child, Ender Ridley, with boyfriend Alev Aydin into the world in July – teamed up with Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on the album and admitted they didn’t feel “cool enough” to ask them to help her achieve the “unsettling” production she wanted to achieve on the songs at first.
The ‘Graveyard’ singer confessed: “I’ve wanted to work with Trent for years … And I wanted really cinematic sort of, not horror specifically, but kind of just really unsettling production. It’s something I wanted, and Anthony, my manager, knew that it’s something I wanted and I had abandoned it, because I was like, ‘I’m not cool enough. They’ll never do it. I’m not interesting enough. Like, I’m not even going to ask.'”
Tune in from 5pm on Monday 30 August to listen live for free to the full interview on Apple Music 1.