SEATTLE, Washington — Halsey is a widely-known American singer and songwriter, but her image of empowerment to her fans surpasses her music. She has come a long way since she released her first EP five years ago. She now has two albums as well as several worldwide hits. One of Halsey’s most profound trademarks for her audience is that she is unapologetically herself. Halsey is also a huge advocate for women’s issues. Throughout her career thus far she has amassed a large, female audience and has become a role model for them by branching out of the typical love and heartbreak themes. Listed below are five of Halsey’s songs about empowering women.
Five Halsey Songs About Empowering Women
- Castle: Castle is the first track on Halsey’s first studio album Badlands. It is undoubtedly, a powerful and blunt entrance to who Halsey is and what she hopes to illustrate through her music. The song, featured on the 2016 movie The Huntsman: Winter’s War, alludes to toppling the patriarchy that confines women. A couple of lines that illustrate this theory come during the second half of the chorus, “I’m headed straight for the castle/They’ve got the kingdom locked up/And there’s an old man sitting on the throne saying I should probably keep pretty my mouth shut.” In an interview, Halsey explained that the old man is a representation of the patriarchy and the opposition she faced from men early on in her career. In turn, the song signifies to women across the globe that they don’t have to conform to men’s ideas of who they should be.
- Hurricane: The fifth track off of Badlands carries the same angst. Similar themes of empowerment are quite clear upon examination of the lyrics in the first half of the chorus, “I’m a wanderess/I’m a one night stand/Don’t belong to no city/Don’t belong to no man.” The song explains how Halsey becomes entangled with a man and how, rather than letting him break her heart, she decides to leave him first. This is something not many women would have the courage to do in a tumultuous relationship. In saying that she “don’t belong to not man” she shows her audience that it is perfectly acceptable to hold true to what they want and that they shouldn’t have to sacrifice themselves in relationships.
- Angel on Fire: Angel on Fire is the fourteenth track off of her second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. In this song, Halsey elaborates her tendency to throw parties at her house and hide away due to her social anxiety. One of the most poignant lines in the song is, “Nobody seems to ask about me anymore.” There’s a strong sense of empowerment that comes from admitting things that you’re taught by society to be ashamed of. Halsey explains how difficult it has been to make friends while being in the spotlight because people have a tendency to use her for her money.
- Without Me: This song is a single that Halsey released at the end of 2018. Compared to her other songs, this one is more of a ballad and is on a completely separate tone than the rest of her work. Halsey has historically written concept albums, but this one is solely about herself and a toxic relationship that she had experienced. The first verse shows her very raw emotions, “Found you when your heart was broke/I filled your cup until it overflowed/Took it so far to keep you close/I was afraid to leave you on your own.” Throughout the lyrics, she explains how her need to nurture those closest to her is something that often goes unreciprocated. Through admitting her role in it all, she can find acceptance.
- Nightmare: Probably Halsey’s most political single yet has turned into an angry anthem for many females since it’s release in May. It tackles many of the issues that women experience every day with living in a patriarchal society in 2019. Halsey hits the nail on the head with multiple aspects of the song. In the powerful second chorus, Halsey lets others know that they are not alone in their feelings of frustration towards the state of the world today. The other poignant lyrics address these issues more specifically, “I’ve been polite, but I won’t be caught dead/ Letting a man tell me what I should do in my bed.” Arguably, this song is the most empowering song to date that Halsey has released as it serves as a rallying cry for women to fight against outside forces that try to take away their voice.
These five Halsey songs about empowering women express who she is as an artist because they expose her depth as a human being. She knows that she is the voice for many of her fans who don’t have the privilege of a public voice. It is clear in these five examples that she does not take that responsibility for granted.
– Joanna Buoniconti