Halsey Says “New Americana” Is “Self Aware” and a “Satire”

AstralwerksHalsey's single "New Americana," from her debut album Badlands, is an ode to the new generation of kids and young adults in America. While the song's chorus, which goes "We are the New Americana/High on legal marijuana/Raised on Biggie and Nirvana," has been pegged as Halsey's mantra of sorts, the song was actually written with a little bit of a wink.

"I think, most importantly, the song is self-aware. It's a satire on a generation that is so poignantly aware it's become a parody," Halsey tells MTV News. "For me, the song mentions my mixed-race upbringing in a very tongue-in-cheek way, 'raised on Biggie and Nirvana.' Overall, it's just a call to arms for the people in this generation -- including myself -- who used to be a part of counter culture that has become the norm."

However, that doesn't mean that Halsey doesn't have a sincere message to convey with "New Americana."

"It's this idea of these kids who are part of a generation where pop culture is so heavily influential that diversity doesn't scare them the way it scared our parents and their parents. We're more accepting of different walks of life," she says. "So I think the New Americana is racially ambiguous, people who are proud of their culture and they own it, possibly not from a binary of gender."

Halsey was born Ashley Nicolette Frangipane -- in fact, her band name is an anagram of her birth name. While the names may be similar, the alt-pop singer-songwriter considers Halsey and Ashley to be two separate people.

"Halsey is just a vehicle for me. Ashley is how I take my coffee. Halsey has a story to tell," says Halsey. "I think you need to be able to separate the two because the nature of artistry is so egotistical. If I do a full day of interviews, the sun goes down and I just talked about myself for six hours straight. That would drive any person crazy. You detach. You depersonalize. It can be scary."

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