From “Girls Like Girls,” to “Cliff’s Edge,” to “Sleepover,”
Hayley Kiyoko has been giving us gay bop after gay pop, and so, we’d like to take
today to celebrate the indie pop princess’s 26th birthday. Happy birthday
Although most of us have fallen in love with Hayley through
her music career, she was also gracing our television screens long before many
of us would have even thought of ourselves as girls who liked girls. Born April
3, 1991 in Los Angeles, Hayley was born to be an entertainer; her father is a
comedian and an actor, while her mother is a former figure skater turned
choreographer. Hayley first found herself in the spotlight at five years old when
she began appearing in commercials and ad campaigns for companies like Slim
Jim, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and JC Penny’s. Throughout her acting career,
Hayley has starred in films such as Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins, Scooby Doo!
Curse of the Lake Monster, and Lemonade Mouth and has also been featured in
television shows The Fosters and CSI: Cyber.
Despite the lengthy acting resume, music has always been
Hayley’s first love. She began taking drum lessons when she was just six years
old and was producing her own drum charts by the time she was eleven. After a
brief stint with the musical group The Stunners, Hayley started releasing her
own music in 2013 with the debut of her first E.P., A Belle to Remember. The song “Girls Like Girls” from her second E.P.
This Side of Paradise served as a public coming out party. In an interview with
Paper Magazine following the release of the “Girls Like Girls” music video,
Hayley had this to say:
“When we shot the music video for ‘Girls like Girls,’ I
felt like I was finally telling my story for the first time. The yearning
feelings I had and also the feeling of being so alone. I think that’s why
people connected with the music video. Not only because they too have
experienced deeply liking someone, but also the sadness and longing that comes
with it. You could be around so many people, and still have the feeling of
being so alone and misunderstood.”
Hayley’s refusal to play coy or to reduce her sexuality to
subtext is what has garnered her the huge following of young girls she has today. There are two things you can count on when you listen
to a Hayley Kiyoko record – the insatiable need to dance around your bedroom, and the eerie feeling that you yourself wrote the lyrics sometime
long ago in one of your prepubescent diaries – Hayley Kiyoko is to gay girls what Taylor Swift is to straight
girls, a vital and viciously loved source of validation.
Happy 27th birthday, Queen of Pop!!!