Halsey has—finally—debuted some tantalizing new music.
Listen to “Not Afraid Anymore” and see what Halsey had to say to Apple Music's Beats 1 about the track below.
Read more: 8 reasons you should be listening to Halsey
A day ago, Halsey teased the new track on her Instagram, saying “finally. this friday. new music.”
“Not Afraid Anymore” comes from the star-studded and equally tantalizing Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, which also features that Zayn and Taylor Swift duet—but also Tovo Lo, John Legend, Nick Jonas and Nicki Minaj (the latter two on the same song).
As Billboard notes, the original Fifty Shades Of Grey soundtrack—with the Weeknd, Beyonce and Ellie Goulding—peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Halsey (A.K.A. Ashley Nicolette Frangipane) released her debut album, Badlands, in August 2015. This isn't the first time the singer contributed to a feature film: Halsey's single “Castle” was reimagined for The Huntsman: Winter's War.
“Closer,” Halsey's mainstream hit with the Chainsmokers, stayed a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 for a whopping 12 consecutive weeks. In the song, Halsey sings, “Stay, and play that Blink-182 song.”
Fifty Shades Darker, the steamy sequel to Fifty Shades Of Grey, arrives in the theaters on Feb. 10.
Halsey on Beats 1:
Halsey on “Not Afraid Anymore”
“With the exception of doing the “Closer” collaboration it was the first time I had written something organically for myself since I made Badlands and it’s creeping up on two years ago now. It was right before I started writing for my second record which I’m hoping to get out in the next couple of months or so. It was a good faucet opening. And also it’s especially hard to do something that feels unique and feels authentic especially for me because Fifty Shades [Darker] was almost too good of a pairing, too good of a brand mashup especially this film in particular because Fifty Shades Darks is kind of about Anna, the female character, coming into her own on her sexuality and owning it and choosing her freedom and choosing her quality over a life of submission. You know that’s very much the M.O. of my project, strong, sexual female mentality so it was almost too easy—I was like how do I do this?”
Halsey on her vocal performance on the song
“Singing is like a muscle you know its like a sport in a weird way. I was on the road for eighteen months straight. When you go out and have to sing you need to be consistent, you need to be resilient. It gave me a whole new armada of weaponry to use now from a vocal standpoint when I'm in the studio. I have so much more confidence, I’ve tried things live as far as doing ab-libs and doing runs I haven't been used to doing and it’s definitely put me in a place where I’m in a position to make this next record a lot more interesting. That’s something I wanted to do with ‘Not Afraid Anymore’ was say to my fans like I’m still me I’m still like – it’s dark and still sexy but I’m aiming a little higher here.”
Halsey on if it’s a conceptual song
“I watched clips from the film, I watched for where the song was supposed to fit and it’s definitely a moment of sexual empowerment for Anna, the female character in the film. She’s also coming off the cusp of being I think kind of afraid and kind of insecure and nervous within her relationship. I was thinking about how to put myself in those same shoes. Because at the time of writing the song I was painfully single. I definitely wasn't having any Christian Grey fantasies going on to inspire the writing of this record. But I had to dive deep and I had to find something from a time in my life when I felt similarly so I wrote the song about my first lesbian sexual experience. So I wrote the song about my first experience having a sexual interaction with a woman so the mentality of the song kinda like I’m excited to pursue this new sexual frontier that I have been told is taboo or I have been taught is impure and I’m excited to be empowered in this moment and to take control of this and try something because I’m not afraid of this anymore and it’s liberating to be apart of it. So that was why own personal experience which is also really cool for me too get to have this song with female pronouns in it. A song about a same sex, female sexual encounter and get to have this be a part of such a massive franchise, have everyone be so supportive and so engaged. That’s a really nice thing to have especially in this volatile climate.”
“Not Afraid Anymore”: