Looking Back on Hayley Kiyoko

Seeing an Old Friend Shine at SOhO

Hayley Kiyoko played a sold-out show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club on Sunday, March 5, for a packed house. A broad age range of teens and adults lined up outside the club, eagerly awaiting to see the pop star. This show was particularly exciting for me because I’ve known Kiyoko since she was the Student Body President at Lindero Canyon Middle School in Agoura Hills.

Before the show, Kiyoko sat down with me to discuss the explosion of her music career. As a well-established actress, Kiyoko is no stranger to massive success and has held starring and supporting roles in Insidious: Chapter 3, The Vampire Diaries, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, CSI, Wizards of Waverly Place, and much more.

“I love acting, but music has always been my biggest passion,” she said, “and obviously storytelling, so writing a song, shooting a video for it, and creating the story — but the dream is being able to do both, and to be at the same level. Right now I’ve been building my music to level out with my acting, and I’ll build it even more.”

Watching Kiyoko’s career unfold has been exciting and inspiring to watch. She’s ambitious, driven, and outspoken about her sexual orientation and the LGBTQ community, and she is a shining light for many of the youth of today.

Most recently, she released her newest music video “Sleepover,” which shows the memories of when Kiyoko was closeted and had fantasies of intimacy with her platonic friends and the shame that went along with it. The lyrics of the song are as follows: “Sleeping here right next to me / But will you ever mess with me? No / But at least I got you in my head, oh yeah / At least I got you in my head, in my head.”

Kiyoko explained, “It’s tough because for a lot of same-sex videos, people watch them, and they think that’s so sexual, but it’s just a part of life. When I see the lap dance shots, I’m thinking that’s so sad, because here I am wanting a best friend that will never like me the way I want her to like me and so that lap dance is symbolic of not being able to achieve that in this society.”

Kiyoko feels that it’s her duty to expose these feelings so that others that might have felt the same thing can find the strength to be their true selves.

“It’s so difficult. I meet so many people that aren’t willing to be who they are because their family would disown them, or their friends wouldn’t understand, and so, therefore, they don’t let themselves understand. For me as an artist, my goal is to normalize those feelings and normalize the existence of that, so that people can be happy. People’s biggest weakness is themselves, and so many people hold themselves back, and so if I’m able with my art to open that door, that’s my small piece that I’m helping.

The Hayley Kiyoko show was absolutely incredible. Kiyoko sang her heart out while simultaneously playing dueling drum solos on a vertical wall of electric drum while her female drummer smashed away ferociously. The guitar was crystal clear and bright as the sun, and distorted synths filled the club with modern and edgy pop vibration. Other than the amazing performance, the fans were incredibly loyal and loud, screaming at every word Kiyoko uttered. The audience was wrapped in a bubble of positive energy. They were ecstatic to say the least.


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