« Song Exploder

Halsey - You Asked for This

2021-12-01 | 🔗

Halsey is an award-winning singer and songwriter from New Jersey. She's been nominated for two Grammys, and sold over a million records. In August, she released her fourth album, If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power, which was produced by the Grammy and Oscar winning duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from Nine Inch Nails. Halsey wrote one of the songs on the album, "You Asked for This," with Greg Kurstin, who’s won 8 Grammys himself, including Producer of the Year. In this episode, Halsey tells the story of making this song while pregnant with her son, and how that shaped the lyrics and the music.

For more, visit songexploder.net/halsey.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
You're listening to song exploder, where musicians take apart their songs and piece by piece tell the story of how they were made. My name is received your way. Song exploder, sprat you by progressive, we thinking more about how to tighten up your budget these days drivers who saved by switching you progressive, save. for seven hundred dollars on average and customers qualified for an average of six discounts on the side up a little off your rate. Each month goes a long way get a quote today: a progressive dot com progressive casualty, insurance company and affiliates. Now annual average insurance savings by new customer survey who saved with progressive between June two and twenty and may twenty twenty one potential savings will vary, that's very and are not available in all states and situations. This happened What is sponsored by indeed, indeed, Is it easy to hire great talent, and you can do it all in one place, which is why more than three million businesses worldwide use, indeed too high, a great talent fast.
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holy tells a story of making the song, while pregnant, with her son and how that shaped, the lyrics and the music, the MLC. When I first start, You asked for this. I was twenty. Six pregnant and I didn't have many peers in the industry who when kids as young as me, so I was kind of having this fall as the central crisis of like what is my life going to be? Do I have to give up everything that I love do. I have to give the parts of me that I think make me the best artist, that I am. I it was working with great Kirsten, whose experienced and seasoned and knows how to get right to the gods of what makes a really good. Sir,
I am in his home his it's doing homework at the kitchen table. You know in the room outside the studio, and he has like a really wonderful relationship with his wife he's a great dad and his daughters riding her scooter around in the front yard and it's a completely different world, so it really taps into this duality. For me, which is me still as like, you know, someone who's kind of spontaneous and maybe sometimes irresponsible and like a little bit more law and then the version of me who's like tender and mature and compassionate and wants to hang out with somebody's kids, and this kind of flip flop is happening. in the midst of me being pregnant, trying to figure out who am I going to be on the other side of this, which one do I have to pick so I into the studio in Hawaii and elected Gregg has a tremendous guitar. I second credible instrumental us- and I was like I want to make something kind of shoe gaze. He, like my body,
one time the I wanted this song to feel like I was floating in between two spaces. You know like that feeling when you go to sit down and there's two chairs and like you don't land on either of them, you could fall through the middle. That was the feeling that I was having in this. transitional space in my life and so Greg. Conscious airplane started playing guitar the first thing: did, which is what I usually do when I start writing music. As I started writing a poem and the army of him playing this guitar kind of like put this poem. into my head. I'm barefoot and I've been in the sun and I'm in nice, like ripped jeans, and I can't button cuz, my belly is getting bigger and I'm sitting on the couch. which and so
You know the song opens up with don't know what you want from me- I'm sunburnt lips and summer feet, I'm tat like these Levi Jeans punch wasted on redundancy the who's exactly exact. He who and how I was in that moment when the first, of the song kind of came in to conception I let my guard down for a little bit looked inside and was like what are you feeling right now and I started to get kind of emotional cuz. I realized what I was feeling was fear anyone who had asked me up until that point You know how I was feeling I would be like all them great like you, I'm so excited
be pregnant. You know you scared about labor, unlike nope, not scared at all. Are you scared? rubbing a mom nope them was born to do this, and I was just putting on a brave face and the one thought that keeps into my head, is gonna, be a big girl, This is what you asked for. You asked for this, There's three voices in the song there's verse me, which is kind of like whiny me, who is am I resigned to to it's like domesticated complacency, saw him star and then behind the guard and crystal glasses, picket fences file, taxes and then there's the critical voice in the chorus that's kind of like will shut up and If a girl you asked for this were going to do it, we're fine, you don't the choice anymore.
I know I just kind of started like bullying myself and I just that voice in my head over and over and over again, but the Rio that chorus the first time I did. It didn't feel right, and it was because my delivery was too weak. It didn't have enough authority. and I was like I need to put some into this the the is now a so I was. pyramid thing with a type of vocal delivery that I've never really experimented with before
this kind of motivated by a lot like ones to finding. No doubt like Super Nasal II, that in girl. Sort of voice guns funny like really nails that she was. Like an instrumental part of my development as an was destiny cool to like throw that in there, because for a song, that's about my inner child, in my feature as a mother, was called to tap into someone who was like that. for me as an art as when I was a child, and when I was like kind of coming of age. God. Damn thank now so soon as I tried to Greg, and I both have each other and we were like that's it like. That is the voice. There's this image. Same thing happens when I write with Greg, which is that we don't We talk all that much
There's always this. Knowing look that he gives me which is like but he sees me and he sees what I'm going through but like he kind of just listens, and he just lets me get it out in the only way that I know how to and then, when it's over, we look at each other and we're kind of like this is good. Yeah. so nine inch nails was my favorite bands, for you know most of adolescence and most of my early work is me just kind of poorly plagiarizing them and I can sugar coated way, but still it was my greatest dream to make a record with them, one train out, has got their hands on the songs they took them, apart, with the exception of you, asked for this
I was the one where we really stuck to the original mentality and like once, we started working on you asked for this, like it became immediately clear to me that they were on board with making this song really fuzzy and really textured the trend Atticus they really helped me create that authentic, like my bloody valentine, you no sound, and so,
well. There are thirty three guitars on you asked for this. The I don't think I've ever had that many guitars in a song before the all of those guitars are supposed to create a sense of anxiety that tells the listener I'm having so many feelings at once and now you are too there's a third voice that enters that's kind of, like my ego, which is like
I have this phone and around and then you know that voice turns kind of a carnal, an animalistic and sexual she's. Like this, I want everything that I asked for so it's kind of this voice, that kind of becomes like stern and almost like. Malevolent. That's, like you, know you're, going to be a mom and you're going to have axe and you're, going to cut your hair and get tattoos and you're going to be baby and go for walks, but you're going to wear leather and latex and do whatever you want, because you can, you can do everything you can have everything there's this moment of kind of freedom at the end of run like well. Why can't I? Why can't I
The. When I got pregnant, I was like why am I as an artist? If not you know, sexy young and kind of this, like men, Pixie spontaneous thing you'll be a great wholesome amazing, mom and also a sexually independent self. Actualized individual,
there's like a constant battle between you know having your autonomy and your independence and all to being a great parent to this tiny little thing that depends on you entirely. Underneath all that I found there Who does my fear was that you know for as much I feel like a really well round. Didn, They woman on the outside there's a the girl still inside of me. Who's like I don't know if I know how to be somebody's mom and what happening was like men, that mattered, I can articulate that he's. The greatest thing that's ever happened and all of the chaos of the dust settled, and you know I was exactly where I wanted to be so it's tongue. Chicken unbeginning. Well, you asked for this and then You know by the end, it's
her tender in and out at its. I asked for this, and then I got it and now here's you asked for this by housing in its entirety.
To learn more visit song exploder dot net, Slash, Halsey you'll, find links stream or download you asked for this, and you can watch the video exploiter is sponsored by Dave's killer. Bread actually love Dayz killer bread, but they gave me a script to read so his attention. others. We now have taste in the bread, I'll Dave's killer, bread, that's right and organic, bread, that's no longer a sedative for your taste, Dave's killer, red is on a mission to make the most of the loaf to rid the world of Gmos: high fructose, corn, An artificial ingredients and plant the seeds of good and all that they make killer, taste killer texture, always organic Dave's killer bread, bread amplify. Thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring the show, scarcely is an all in one platform that lets you build a beautiful website for your business or your art or your band. If you sell stuff. They've got e commerce templates. If you want to make a blog, they give you buttons
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-27.