Chloe and Halle Bailey want the world to know they are young, they are women and they can do anything when they walk into the studio.
“It’s really fun for us to prove people wrong,” Halle said. “Sometimes when we walk into the studio, it’s all males and they think we’re two little girls who don’t know what to do. But a lot of the time we’re like, ‘We can do this. We can prove them wrong.’ We show them that we can do all of our [music] ourselves, and they’re blown away.”
The sisters make up R&B duo Chloe x Halle, the opening act of Cal Poly’s annual Spring Stampede concert June 2. Beyoncé discovered the pair in 2013 after they won “Radio Disney’s Next BIG Thing” competition and uploaded their cover of “Pretty Hurts,” by Beyoncé, to YouTube, where it went viral. Beyoncé’s label signed them soon after.
Since their discovery, Chloe x Halle have toured with Beyoncé on her Formation tour, performed at Coachella and starred in the “Black-ish” spinoff “Grown-ish.” This summer, they will tour with Beyoncé again on the American leg of her ‘On The Run 2’ tour with Jay-Z.
Eighteen-year-old Halle and 19-year-old Chloe write and produce their own music together. Their newest album, titled ‘The Kids Are Alright,” is aimed to celebrate and empower the younger generation.
“That title really speaks to us personally, but also in a general state with all the crazy things happening today,” Chloe said. “There’s a lot of underestimation with this generation. People are always wondering if we’re OK and if we’ve got this. But the answer is: we do. We’ll be alright. We always figure out a way to make negative into positive using our art and our voices. I think that’s something really special about us and I’m happy to be a part of this generation.”
The duo said women’s empowerment is vital to them and their music.
“It really means so much to us to be two young girls in the music industry,” Halle said. “We grew up surrounded by amazing women in our lives. I think when you’re surrounded by these strong female figures, you kind of grow up to be one.”
Advice and support from mentors like Beyoncé have played an instrumental role in their career.
“Watching her perform every night with the same amount of passion and intensity and just getting greater and greater, we learned a lot as young performers,” Halle said.
They hope to emulate the same empowering message of self affirmation Beyoncé sends with her music.
“She’s always telling us to trust our intuition and our gut — to not dumb our music down for the world, and to let the world catch up to us,” Chloe said. “That’s been instrumental to us, hearing it from her.”
Fans at Spring Stampede said their theme of self affirmation, which is evident in songs like “Warrior” and “Hi Lo,” resonates with listeners.
“I love Black women empowering other Black women,” psychology junior Sena Agbemadon said. “That’s what I’m here for. Especially with everything that happened earlier this year on campus, I needed that to take me through the rest of this quarter.”
Halle said one of the highlights of her career is hearing that their music has impacted many of their fans.
“It touches me,” she said. “These words we write in our living room as messages to ourselves to make us feel better are really translating.”
Economics junior Jared O’Mara said music like Chloe x Halle’s — music that sends strong, clear messages of positivity and empowerment — reflects a time of change in the United States.
“This is a time in the United States where things are changing, and music is a place where we can progress,” O’Mara said. “They’re really working hard to say, ‘We’re here, we’re bold and we’re ready to change the world.’”