Magical Hayley Kiyoko. She cannot be stopped! The LA-born singer splits her time between acting and singing, and recently released her Citrine EP, a five-track collection that climbed into the Top 3 spot on the iTunes pop chart. Right under Beyoncé. Casual.
Following her previous two EPs, on Citrine it really feels like the 25-year-old is hitting her stride. Songs like "Palace" and "Gravel to Tempo" are glittering synth-pop anthems, melding honeyed hooks and Kiyoko's spitfire energy. But she can dial it back on a dime too: "Pretty Girl," with its Twin Peaks-esque sonics and cantering beats, is wistful without being saccharine.
Below is the premiere of the video of "One Bad Night." Like the videos for "Gravel to Tempo" and "Girls Like Girls," Kiyoko steps behind the camera and executes her vision as a director. While the song's lyrics may have sprung from a daydream about getting hot and heavy in a car (haven't we all had that fantasy!), in this video she took the storyline in an entirely different direction.
Starring Erin Armstrong a.k.a. "Grishno"—the first transgender personality to intimately document her transition on YouTube—"One Bad Night" is a powerful reminder: if you see something shitty going down stand up and say something. That's putting it bluntly, but sometimes you have to. As the story's focal point, it was the first time Armstrong had ever acted professionally, and damn, there are some seriously uncomfortable moments that she conveys with tear-stained aplomb. Additional shouts out to actors Kelvin Harrison Jr. as the video's hero, and Georgie Flores as the girl he's crushing on.
"I fell in love with the idea of the 'One Bad Night' video becoming a story of human compassion," explains Kiyoko. "With the issues going on in our world right now, it's important for us not to turn our backs each other. Anyone we come across could be an unlikely hero. Even the simple things in life can make or break your night, whether it's a smile at the grocery store, an acknowledgment of support... just being seen. I wanted this video to be a reminder that humanity is looking out for you."