As well as regularly topping the charts with her hit songs, Halsey has never been one to shy away from activism and using her platform to help others – something she’s championing with her Black Creators Fund Initiative.
The singer, whose real name is Ashley Frangipane, has teamed up with Magnum to front their #TrueToPleasure campaign, and she revealed why she wants to be the voice for others to be true to themselves.
She explained during a Q&A for the launch: ‘I think it starts on a local level, supporting your friends and family, and wanting to see people pursue their dreams.
‘For me, that can be through working with new creatives just starting out, giving them the aid I wished I’d had when I was first starting, or the support or friendship or motivation.
‘I’m very connected with my fanbase. I chat with them on a very personal level on social media every day, whether they’re venting to me about problems at home, or they’ve just graduated from university and are worried about starting a job or they’re excited about a new project and they want to share it with me.
‘I like to encourage people in that way where they get to connect with me and usurp that veil of celebrity. I want them to feel like I’m a friend, someone they can hit up when they have a problem, or they need advice, or they have a simple, innocent question about something and I like to be that resource for them.’
Setting up her Black Creators Fund programme, Halsey wanted to shine a light on the amazing creatives that haven’t managed to get their big break yet – something Magnum has joined to support her on.
Halsey explained: ‘The charitable element of what I do is, arguably, the most important. When you have a platform, it’s important to utilise it in the best way.
‘I was given a voice and a large platform to speak, and there’s a lot of things that I’m always trying to call attention to.
‘I feel a responsibility and obligation to be involved and call attention. Most recently, we launched the Black Creators Funding Initiative,,which was an idea we’d wanted to do for a really long time, which culminated at a moment when a lot of people really needed it the most.
‘Most of it is about focusing on highlighting young black creators who may not have the same opportunities as other people because of socioeconomic obstacles or any kind of prejudices that are existing within the process of selecting these individuals.
‘And they are all so outrageously talented. It was such a bittersweet experience, because we were receiving entries and receiving work and assets from all these incredible participants, and you get this feeling of excitement looking through all this incredible art.
‘And that crashes down with the realisation that these people should probably be far more successful than they are, and for whatever reason, they haven’t had the same opportunities.
‘We were so excited to be inspired by such incredible talent, but then also the realisation that while I’m happy to offer my assistance, the fact my help is even necessary is a little demoralising.’
The Black Creators Fund is open to all black creatives for submissions, and Halsey has promised funding, resources and a platform to showcase their work to the masses, which has been able to reach even more creatives thanks to Magnum’s support.
She explained: ‘These are people who’ve dedicated their lives to the thing that makes them happy. I remember that feeling, having ideas but none of the resources to bring them to life.
‘I remember walking through art and paint stores in New York, looking at the canvasses on the walls and thinking what I could make if I could simply afford to buy these things.
‘Or, working on music and thinking if someone would give me a chance, the album I could make, the videos I could make and I watch people struggle with that to this day.’
Halsey added that she used her personal experiences as inspiration to use the platform she now has to help as many people as she can.
She explained: ‘ I kind of grew up as an “in between” girl in an “in between” place. There’s a lot of things for me where I felt in between, and I didn’t feel like I belonged to one group of people or the other.
‘I severely lacked representation growing up, and it made it difficult to feel like I really belong anywhere.
‘Belonging to one group maybe forced me to stifle or suppress certain parts of my identity, belonging to a different group meant having to create parts of me that didn’t exist before to belong.
‘That’s why a specialised and individualised representation is really, really important. For me, that’s been one of the reasons why I’ve kept my platform so honest.
‘I’ve been honest about my transgressions and my learning experiences. To say to someone “Hey I’m not perfect and neither are you but both of us are doing our best and that’s what matters”.
‘Also, I’ve got one heck of a mouth on me! I mean it, when I get passionate about something, I go off on a real tangent about it.
‘If there’s a cause that I can serve as an ally to, that needs a really strong voice with a pre-existing platform, then I’m not afraid to put myself on the line and to really be a champion for change and this soldier of rage that can articulate something in a way that perhaps people haven’t thought about before.’
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