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Andrew George

Five On It: on ‘Chance’, Hayley Kiyoko reinforces the need for joy during Pride and beyond

Hayley Kiyoko's Pride Month track is a reminder to celebrate queer joy. Plus new music from Greentea Peng, Mykki Blanco and more.

04 Jun 2021

Happy Pride Month! Pop superstar Hayley Kiyoko has commemorated the start of the season by releasing her new single ‘Chance’. It comes after what feels like a lifetime (OK, three years) since she dropped her 2018 debut album Expectations, and the track is a welcome installment following this year’s earlier outing, ‘Found My Friends’. 

Since publicly coming out as lesbian near the start of her solo music career with ‘Girls Like Girls’, Hayley has made it her business to normalise queer romance and LGBTQI+-related issues as a high-profile pop star. Her fans don’t refer to her as “lesbian Jesus” for nothing –  whether it be raising awareness on violence towards transgender women in ‘One Bad Night’ or with her self-directed latest visual. 

An audibly bright yet despondent tale, ‘Chance’ has Hayley reflecting on self-doubt and insecurity when it comes to pursuing romance and how, ultimately, she has been the one thwarting her own potential happiness. “I was a no, never maybe / I knew she’d never take a chance on me” she sings of not speaking up and having to live with the prospect of “what if?”

While such earnest contemplations have a place in honest songwriting, Hayley is done with the cheerless LGBTQI+ narratives that are often portrayed in the media. It’s something she wanted to counterbalance with the accompanying music video. Directed by the artist and starring Love, Simon’s Alexandra Shipp, the dreamy 16mm film captures a couple in the buoyant throes of a blossoming relationship.

“I’m always starved for hopeful queer stories onscreen, and I really wanted to direct a narrative that focused on the happier ‘honeymoon’ phase of a relationship, to show what can happen if we take a chance on ourselves and have that love reciprocated,” Kiyoko commented on her thought process. “The video is meant to portray those first few weeks, months, or even years when you are utterly head over heels in love with each other. I hope this song empowers people to push past their own self-doubt and realise how worthy they are of love.”

Music is powerful; it helps us navigate our truths, helps heal us in hard times, sparks friendships and leads us to our chosen family. From isolation to community to finding a home, both Pride and Hayley Kiyoko are a reminder that we all owe it to ourselves to write our own narratives and live our truths with love.

Hayley Kiyoko – ‘Chance’

Here she is! A bittersweet slice of dreamy synth-pop, Hayley Kiyoko’s new single ‘Chance’ follows recent outing ‘Found My Friends’ and sees her muse on not being brave enough to follow her feelings and, in turn, denying the person under her rose-tinted gaze the opportunity to reciprocate her affection. Accompanied with a cinematic music video, the visual captures the honeymoon phase of a relationship in all its glory.

Greentea Peng – ‘Free My People’ (feat. Simmy and Kid Cruise)

It’s always a good day when Greentea Peng drops new music, and ‘Free My People’ is the latest single to be shared from her debut album MAN MADE, which is out today. Led by a compulsive bassline, house-reminiscent percussion and reggae-inflected guitar, the track is a woozy ode to navigating “some of the more troubling and alienating aspects of the human condition” that have been propelled forth due to pandemic living.

Mykki Blanco – ‘Summer Fling’ (feat. Kari Faux)

Following the release of their recent breezy comeback single ‘Free Ride’, Mykki Blanco teams up with Kari Faux for ‘Summer Fling’. Taking inspiration from Y2K hip-hop production by artists like Missy Elliott and Timbaland, ‘Summer Fling’ is a chunky, swaggering bass and beat-heavy trip about ghosting and the weird dynamics of modern dating.

Tamaraebi – ‘Waistline’

Undeniably Tamaraebi is someone with a knack for making slick and coercive tracks, and his new one,  ‘Waistline’, is a concoction brewed purely for the sticky heat of the club. The most upbeat single to be shared from his new EP SPECTRUM, the track melds reggaeton rhythms and brisk, funk guitar lines with irresistible melodies and catchy hooks for a wriggling three minutes that will have you smashing repeat.

Tommy Genesis – ‘peppermint’

Returning with her first single in two years, Tommy Genesis is back with a bang with ‘peppermint’. “I can bleach my hair but can’t escape my roots,” declares the self-professed “fetish rapper” as she sweeps in her new era with moody R&B and throbbing bass; it’s as sultry as it is badass.