Chloe x Halle Bailey roll out their debut EP "Sugar Symphony" combined by forces equal to their sibling DNA: Layered harmonies, peerless production instincts and an adjoining R&B/pop destiny intertwined with mentor Beyoncé (who initially met the girls on a film shoot more than a decade ago), all setting the table for their genre-pushing debut "Drop."
Chloe x Halle navigated YouTube's pop landscape with a string of jaw-dropping covers the past couple of years. Their playlist covered the likes of Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Nina Simone, Lorde and John Legend, among others – revealing their gift for creating harmonies and genuine musical moments showcasing their expansive range. It was their soulful rendition of Beyoncé's own "Pretty Hurts" that caught the attention of the mogul's Parkwood Entertainment imprint in 2013, garnering millions of views around the globe and ushering them into the fold as one of her touchstone artists. The signing has kicked off an incredible chain of events for the already prolific young duo, from splashing the pages of Elle and EW to appearing in Beyoncé's visual tour de force, "Lemonade." The girls' locs have also become a trademark of sorts, but the most impressive weapon in the Chloe x Halle arsenal is their songwriting.
Halle cites the growth process involved in writing hundreds of songs, huddling together as a duo or seeking out collaborators: "We took everything in like sponges. When you have the opportunity to work with great people, you learn a lot about yourself as well."
Chloe was already skilled at keyboards and production techniques, while Halle had a knack for the guitar. "A few years ago our dad gave us basic music lessons, taught us song structure and how to use the tools to make music. It all came in handy during the writing sessions." The ongoing creative cycle took them to London in January to collaborate with up-and-coming U.K. producer Samir.
It was the girls' own "Drop" and their ballad "Fall," both produced by Chloe, that raised their confidence level and desire to work even more. Halle says the familial rapport between the two sisters proved that inspiration for a track could come from places unspoken. "Sometimes it's just a sense of something. When we started writing 'Drop' we wanted to talk about a song that was stuck in our head without sounding so straight forward, so we thought of personifying the song like a relationship. The connection we have can get us to something different a lot quicker."
Chloe adds, "The harmonies and melodies just come as we try out things on each other. We used to only sing separate parts for awhile, but one day our voices just clicked. I think when we started being homeschooled the time we spent together made our bond even stronger, and we became aware of how in sync musically we really were."
Born in Atlanta and currently residing in Los Angeles, it was acting that first stirred the girls' imaginations when they were younger. They auditioned for parts as early as 3 years old, with film and TV credits that include "Joyful Noise," "Meet the Browns," "Austin & Ally," "The Last Holiday" and "The Fighting Temptations," among others. The latter movie, a 2003 film starring Beyoncé, would also be the first encounter the girls had with the star. It would be only a few years later that the girls would win their first singing talent contest deciding soon after to pursue their musical dreams together.
Blessed with the same bearing and composure inherent in their confident sound, they credit their stable family life as a source of constant support. Chloe and Halle's parents also encourage the girls to be grateful when it comes to accruing career milestones stressing the importance of renewal and self-empowerment for all future endeavors.
Soon after meeting Michelle Obama at SXSW, they were invited to the White House. Their memorable experience with the first lady was augmented by their participation in the FLOTUS-inspired Let Girls Learn campaign, a U.S. government-wide initiative launched by the president and the first lady to help more than 62 million girls who are not in school get access to education. Chloe and Halle also lent their voices to the song "This Is For My Girls" for the initiative, which included Kelly Clarkson, Missy Elliott, Zendaya, Lea Michele, Jadagrace, Janelle Monáe and Kelly Rowland.