C: We had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of Lemonade. Filming the project was fun! We began in December and were so happy to be a part of it. We were so honored. All we knew at the time was that we were going to be a part of something wonderful and special. We were partying along to the songs and dancing to the television when Lemonade came on HBO. It was a wonderful treat to us too because we knew what we were doing, but we didn’t know how it would come to light and what beautiful impact it would make. We’re really so honored.
H: All we knew was that we got the call to head down to New Orleans to be a part of the video. We were very excited. We get there and we’re surrounded by all these beautiful, strong black women. It was such an impactful and wonderful scene to behold. We got a chance to hang out with Amandla [Stenberg], Zendaya and all the other beautiful women. It was just such a wonderful experience. We knew that we were going to be a part of something special just being in that setting, so that was very exciting.
OKP: This has been a life that the both of you have wanted since a young age. How did you both know that singing and songwriting was the passion? And now that you both are in the thick of it all — how do you see Chloe x Halle redefining the music industry?
C: My sister and I just grew up having an extreme passion for music. Thanks to Parkwood, our dreams have come true most definitely. We’re super grateful. When we were growing up, our dad sat us down when we were ten and eight. He showed us basic song structure. He did a very, very good job of teaching us the basics of songwriting. He taught us our tools like similes and metaphors. [Laughs] Our dad will never admit it, but he is really a very talented writer. I don’t know about his singing, but his writing is really good. He taught us those beginning steps and because of that our first couple of songs were interesting to say the least. But as time went on, they [the songs] would turn into something great.
H: From then on, [our songwriting] just grew into something greater, and it continued to evolve. Our love for music has always been there. It is rooted in our DNA. We just continued to learn more about our craft and grow into our skill set.
OKP: What was the first song that you both ever wrote and created called? Can you guys talk about what that song has come to symbolize ever since entering the professional life?
C: It was called “What Makes You Sad?” How we wrote it, it was just a long list of things that can make people sad.
OKP: What have been the most definitive obstacles that you and your sister have overcome thus far?
H: I think that one of the major obstacles we had to overcome was believing in ourselves and what we had to offer and trusting our intuition. Trusting what we had to bring to the table because working in this industry. It’s a lot of older people and not a lot of youth. So, walking into a room, those people think all you do is “kiddie, kiddie” music, but we have fun proving people wrong and showing them that the youth can bring something fresh and new to the world. To be honest, I’m really happy that we get to be a part of that. We like to play around with new sounds and stuff that is just different. People might say that it would not be understood, but just learning how to take that and continue to move forward is great because that is what we love to do. It is that fact that we really had to learn. That has been super essential to us and it has permeated into every avenue of our lives. It helped us to become better people.
H: And believing in our ideas, too, because at the end of the day, we aim to be legends. We really want to be legends. In order to do that, we should have new ideas and bring something different to the table.
OKP: What are some elements or traits that you both have learned about the other that comes out in the music?
C: My sister Halle, well, she has always been an incredible guitarist. For the past four years, she has excelled as a performer. But there is something about when we create music from scratch that brings another version of her out. She creates all these wonderful and incredible ideas. These melodies that she comes up with are amazing. As she mentioned earlier, she grew up listening to jazz, so she has these really beautiful, jazzy melodies. Her harmonies are just so cool. I’m really proud of my sister, and it is just really fun working together.
H: I have seen my beautiful sister blossom into a wonderful producer. It has been only two years of her producing like this, but it has turned into amazing music. “Drop” was our real first song that featured Chloe’s production. It was just awe-inspiring and I’m still astounded at what she can do. She is able to be that creative, especially with the beats. It is really stunning to me. I’ve seen her blossom into a beautiful flower of a producer.
OKP: What was it like meeting the First Lady, Michelle Obama, during South by Southwest? Did you guys have any preconceived notions of what she would be like? Did she offer any advice to you two after the performance?
is the managing editor of Okayplayer. His top three MCs are: 1) Andre 3000, 2) Scarface, and 3) Black Thought. Debate him on Twitter @KevitoClark.