Halsey Goes on Tour

The “New Americana” singer is going to the next level.

Photographer: Matthias Vriens-McGrath Stylist: Elizabeth Stewart

Last January, at the ripe old age of 20, the electropop singer Halsey put out her first single, “Ghost,” and sparked a major-label bidding war. But the self-described bisexual, biracial, bipolar musician had actually started to pave her path to stardom long before that. When she was 14 and known as Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, she already had 14,000 fans on Myspace; later, under the Tumblr handle se7enteenblack, she posted a breakup poem that was liked and reposted more than 800,000 times. And in 2012, inspired by the musician Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids, she moved from New Jersey to Bushwick, Brooklyn, where a seedy loft became her modern-day Chelsea Hotel. This past August, powered by her anthem “New Americana,” Halsey’s first album, Badlands, debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200, second only to the Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness. That’s fitting, since Halsey considers herself a spiritual cousin to that dark prince of R&B, with whom she is now touringdespite the fact that she often gets mentioned in the same breath as Lorde, Lana Del Rey, and Miley Cyrus. “He has a refrain in one of his songs: ‘This ain’t nothing to relate to’—and he’s right!” Halsey says. “I would rather my music be believable than relatable.”