Chloe x Halle | Teenage Tasteland, Only Teenage Tasteland
Alone at a table for four at a quaint little vegan restaurant in Studio City, I wait for sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey (19 and 17, respectively) to arrive. To prepare, I’ve spent my morning listening to a curated selection of Chloe x Halle’s soft but powerful YouTube covers, from a jazzy take on Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” to a haunting rendition of Yo Gotti’s “Down in the DMs” accompanied by an electric guitar.
I notice their pretty sneakers through the window before they burst in: two beaming girls with wide smiles, matching dreadlocked manes, and a genuine, unmistakably Southern sweetness. They surprise me with a hug.
The Bailey sisters don’t really speak so much as they sing. Everything. They sing their orders—edamame, dumplings. Even spring rolls take on a touch of melody as they debate what to order. Many of their answers come delivered simultaneously in harmonious stereo, and they often finish one another’s sentences. It’s easy to believe the two really are the college track-star twins they play on Freeform series (and ABC sitcom Black-ish spin-off) Grown-ish. Do they share the famed “twin connection?”
They answer again in unison—“Absolutely!” Halle explains that their relationship really blossomed when they were pulled from school for home tutelage. Halle, an Aries, and Chloe, a Cancer, balance each other effortlessly.
Left to right: MARNI top and skirt, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN shoes, CHANEL earrings, and GABRIELA ARTIGAS ring. MARNI dress and top, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN shoes, and DEAN DAVIDSON earrings.
Halle admits, “People say I don’t have much of a filter. With some things, I think I’m being totally nice, but I can be hurtful. I don’t mean to be. It’s funny having that side of Chloe to take from, her sensitive side.” Chloe smiles, adding, “Yeah, Halle is all, ‘You better stand up for yourself!’” The closeness between the two girls is evident in the way they often refer to one another as “sissy” and “my baby sister,” even though they are sitting side by side. No “hers” or “shes” between these two.
When the vegan wings come out Chloe laughs, explaining how the long stick inside of the “meat” is the “bone.” She eagerly grabs one but—there are those Southern manners again—not before kindly offering one to me. As an Atlanta native myself, I’m anxious to chat about the hometown we share in common. “Have you seen that YouTube video ‘Straight out of Dunwoody?’” Chloe wonders aloud through a smirk, referring to the viral comedy clip about the ATL suburb where affluent African Americans live a lifestyle that’s quite the opposite of the one N.W.A rapped of in their classic gangsta rap cut “Straight Outta Compton.” I have and it’s hilarious. Chloe immediately reaches across the table for my hand and squeals giddily.
Left to right: ERDEM dress and shoes, ROBERI & FRAUD sunglasses, CHANEL earrings, and THE LAST LINE ring. LOUIS VUITTON coat, top, shorts, and shoes, and ROBERI & FRAUD sunglasses.
But I’m curious about their love of trap music, a sub-genre of Hip-Hop that was born in the South and is now currently the ATL’s main sonic export of the ATL, and which the sisters often reinterpret for their covers. Halle notes, “Sometimes people don’t realize the lyricism that goes into rapping, and how those guys are artists. So it’s always fun deconstructing their songs and making them singable. Those elements are always in there.” Halle gushes over Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles,” which the girls remixed specifically to bring the poetic harmonies to the forefront.
The Baileys first came to the world’s attention with soulful-beyond-their-years covers of famous songs debuted on YouTube. Their early videos garnered only three to four hundred views, but their undeniable talent soon drew millions. “People really gravitated towards our Beyoncé covers,” Halle recalls. “Next thing you know we got an email from her company saying that Beyoncé liked our cover of ‘Pretty Hurts,’ and asking if we were signed.” The girls pause for a moment, remembering one of the most important moments of their young lives. “We didn’t even question if it was real or not,” Chloe adds. “We were just like, ‘It’s Beyoncé!’”
It wasn’t a fantasy after all. Their debut album The Kids Are Alright is out now, under Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment record label. It seems they were meant to flourish under the pop icon’s reign. As fate would have it, Chloe played a young Beyoncé in the 2003 film The Fighting Temptations, and a young Halle caught her braid on the superstar’s diamond dress at a party after crawling under the table and attempting to hug her. “The universe gives you signs,” Chloe beams.
“We’ve been working on it for three years,” Chloe says of The Kids Are Alright. “Since before our Sugar Symphony EP, since before our The Two of Us mixtape. It’s been our baby, I feel like we were birthing a child. Now I’m like, ‘What am I going to do with myself? Is this album postpartum depression?’ I almost lost my mind!” Together, the Baileys write and produce all of their own music in their living room. That level of comfort and familiarity is key. “Whenever it’s feeling negative or forced in the room, we just stop,” Chloe says.
In the middle of the interview, Halle briefly takes a call from her father, gently assuring him that the sisters made it to the restaurant before hanging up. The girls cite family as the reason they are able to stay so grounded amidst the glamour and pressures of Los Angeles. “Mom and Dad, our little brother,” Halle starts, listing the roster of her core team, “and our older sister; she’s 27.” She says the last number in a manner that suggests she almost thinks that’s old.
Though they’ve come a long way, their YouTube bio still reads, “two girls who love making music in our living room,” punctuated with alien, music note and heart emojis. Oh, to be teenage princesses with the world at your door. As they dine vegan on Ventura, it’s not hard to see a future where they too become pop culture royalty in their own right—all thanks to lo-fi covers on a streaming platform. They’ve got that triple-threat trifecta (beauty, acting chops, and enviable pipes) that lengthens careers into “We’ll stop when we want to” territory, and Queen Bey’s guidance to boot. It seems it’s only a matter of time before the crown is theirs and the fantasy is realized.
Left to right: PRADA jacket, shirt, shorts, and socks, NIKE 1 REIMAGINED Jester sneakers, ROBERI & FRAUD sunglasses, and GABRIELA ARTIGAS earrings. PRADA jacket, shirt, shorts, and socks, NIKE 1 REIMAGINED jester sneakers, CUTLER & GROSS sunglasses, and GABRIELA ARTIGAS earrings
Written by Anna Ondrakova-Peluola
Photographer: Robin Harper at OPUS Reps.
Flaunt Film Director: Avery Wheless
Stylist: Mui-Hai Chu.
Hair: Kim Mcallister using KMS.
Makeup: Christiana Cassell.
Manicure: Melanie Shangaris using NCLA at Forward Artists.
Styling Assistant: Jessie Berg.
Production Assistant: Leslie Gonzalez.
GLOSSIER priming moisturizer and pressed highlight (gradient glow). NARS all day luminous foundation. MAC COSMETICS face and body foundation, mineralize skin finish compact powder and select moisture cover concealer. BECCA COSMETICS shimmering skin perfector liquid highlight (opal). MORPHE BRUSHES Jaclyn hill eyeshadow palette. ELCIE COSMETICS bronzing powder (dark).