C: Oh, my goodness. She was just incredible. We knew that she was incredible. We knew that she would be kind and gracious. But she just took all of that to a whole other level when we met her in person. I tell you, her aura, her essence is just impeccable. She holds herself like a queen. She’s so real. You can feel her light from the other side of the room. Just to have the honor to stand in front of her, talk to her and hold a direct conversation with her was absolutely beautiful. When we were invited to the White House, she personally invited us and introduced us with the most kindest words. She was in the audience, cheering us on as we performed and dancing with them while we just stare back in amazement. The moment felt so surreal that I had to hold back my own tears!
It is crazy how you can just put something out into the universe and have it come back to you. It was such an honor meeting the First Lady, the President of the United States and their cute little dogs, Bo and Sunny. We met Sasha [Obama], and she was super sweet. We haven’t met Malia [Obama] yet because she wasn’t there, but they are both just the kindest girls. That is because they were raised by such incredible people.
H: [Michelle Obama] told us to just keep going, that we were on the “right path” and that what we were doing is amazing. Those words were so great to hear because she is truly the best role model that you could ever have. She is so gracious. The way she holds herself and embraces life is beautiful. She’s incredibly smart and the way she talks to you makes you feel like you’ve been friends with her forever. Her advice to tell us to don’t stop what we’re doing was impactful, and I’ll never forget what those words mean to me.
OKP: How can you and your sister’s music speak truth to power in an age where people are so quickly digesting sounds and disposing of artists so quickly?
C: I, and my sister, are so incredibly grateful that when growing up, we listened to everything. We didn’t just listen to what was on the radio. We listened to absolutely everything. I think that helped to break the barriers in our mind, so that’s why we have such an open ear to different sounds. I know that there are many people out there who don’t really have an open ear like that, but I think the time is coming where hearing new and diverse sounds is inescapable. People are finding the rare diamonds and jewels on Soundcloud, YouTube and the like.
H: We are extremely happy to have the platform to share this art that we have been working on for so long. Alongside the incredible people that we’re surrounded by, we’re able to have a voice that can be heard. We’re really happy for that because for people who make music like we do, who step outside the box, a lot of them don’t have the platform to really share their beautiful work with others. We’re grateful for the position that we’re in because we have the freedom to do something that makes our hearts sing. Based on how everything is going with our first song, the people have welcomed us with open arms because it is something different. A lot of the songs you hear sound the same on the radio, yet I believe what we’re bringing to the table is refreshing and I’m happy that we’re able to do that.
OKP: As you both become more ingrained in the business, we wanted to know if there were somebody that you guys would love to work with in the future? If so, why?
H: I think I can speak for the both of us on this and say that we both, absolutely, love Frank Ocean. Working with him would be incredible and awesome! We’ve had the opportunity to work with so many amazing artists who are also on the come-up, but we definitely have love for Frank Ocean!
C: We also really love Kendrick Lamar. His lyrics, his cadences and how he forms the stories that he tells are just… wow. We would really love to work with him one day. A few years back, we met up with him and he was just so kind. He watched our YouTube videos and gave us advice. He just told us to keep our classic sound and to not let anything change it. We would love to work with him one day, which has always been a dream of ours. Someone else who is so incredible would be Merrill Garbus from the tUnE-yArDs. She is awesome! Their experimental stuff is really fascinating and how they create music from just banging on different things is something that we’d love to just go with the flow with and make art.
H: I can’t believe we almost for Imogen Heap! She just makes art with her music. The way that she combines things proves that she is a genius. And now, she’s getting into creating technology with music with these gloves that transforms one’s voice in the air. It is really cool and we would love to work with her on some things as well. She’s a genius!
OKP: What is the overall message that you both are attempting to present in your music?
C: Our main message that we want to offer to listeners in our music is this: be comfortable in your skin and be happy with being yourself. We’re the generation of the youth and we have something that needs to be heard. In this day and age, everyone is stunting on the Instagram and all that stuff. That makes you look at yourself and say, ‘Am I that cool? Am I that great?’ What we want to share in our music is, yes, you are that great and you should be confident in who you are. Share that excellence to the best of your ability and never hold back. I think that there are even adults still learning that fact today. We’re still grasping that concept and because we’re still learning that it is easy to transform that into our music.
OKP: What was the inspiration for the song, “Drop,” and how did you both go about creating and producing the song?
H: “Drop” came from a song that was stuck in our heads that inspired us. I can’t really recall the song exactly, but we wanted to write “Drop” about a song being stuck in your head without sounding like a beginner or coming off as boring. We thought, ‘Why not we personify the song as a relationship?’ So, in our lyrics, when we’re saying, ‘Baby, I get sick of you. You’re that same old tune. I don’t ever want to hear you again,’ it sounds like you could be arguing with a potential love interest. But, to us, we were actually talking about the song itself. We thought that that was a really cool way of just being fun in talking about why the song is stuck in your head without being so straight forward.
C: When my sister and I created this song two years ago at our home studio, we were finishing up another song. Out of the blue, we just wanted to start a new, fresh idea. I pulled up the drum kit and it had these awesome 808s in it, so I started playing those. Then Halle started singing this crazy melody that eventually became the hook on the song. It just happened like magic right in front of our eyes. It was another one of those moments where God just plopped it right in our laps, and it happened right in front of us. It was really fun and the song wrote and produced itself. It was just a fun time.
OKP: In an industry that is heavily male-focused and ran by males, how do you both see yourselves changing the game for the better?
C: I think female empowerment all the way! When more girls and women see others doing something and changing the climate, it will inspire them to do something even cooler. A woman might see that they can become a producer, or that they can excel as a scientist in this room full of men. ‘I’m strong enough, I’m just as willing, I’m just as smart and just as talented,’ they begin to say to themselves. And I believe that that’s how we can help to inspire others to “change the game,” y’know? We can help other women to stand up to make their awesome voices be heard.
H: Exactly! Since we have this beautiful role model, Chloe, with her producing and beautiful energy, even I get inspired to be my best self. So, I know that other women would be inspired as well. We’re just hoping to push you to think outside of what you would normally do. To believe in yourself to do what others would say is impossible.
OKP: If the reader has learned one thing about Chloe x Halle in this First Look Friday interview — what would it be and in what octave would it sound like?
C: I think that they would learn that we’re just two regular girls who love music and enjoy bringing art into the world. We want to inspire others to follow their dreams and aspirations because we’ve had those same experiences from so many other people. We’re just doing what we love and we’re so happy and grateful that people are welcoming us with open arms and open ears. We really appreciate what we’re bringing to the table because everybody is given a gift. It is your job to share it with the world and inspire. So, we are very happy that we have a chance to do that and I believe that is who we are.
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.