Sister act.

Words by

Amy Campbell

Chloe and Halle Bailey are living, breathing (and singing) proof that persistence pays off.

Nine years ago, the sisters launched their YouTube channel. Perched in front of a webcam in their Atlanta basement, they set to work recording renditions of Rihanna, Beyoncé and Lorde.

Last year, their cover of Beyoncé’s ‘Pretty Hurts’ caught the eye (and ear) of Queen Bey herself. And today, under the management of Beyoncé’s record label Parkwood Entertainment, the duo’s soulful, sassy sound has the music industry pricking its ears for more.

OK, I guess this example is an outlier. Not every budding musician covering Beyoncé on YouTube is going to land a contract with The Queen. But when divine talent and persistence combine, the stars align. Or so they did for this sister act, who recently added a cameo in Bey’s Lemonade to their fast- growing list of accolades. Under the moniker Chloe x Halle, they’ve officially been dubbed “Beyoncés protégés.”

Enough about Beyoncé. Seventeen and 16 respectively, after bursting on the scene via their YouTube channel, Chloe and Halle have made the journey from social media to professional recording studio. It's here they recently celebrated the release of their first EP, Sugar Symphony.

“When my sister and I came up with the title, we just wanted a cool alliteration,” laughs Chloe, the chattier of the two. Throughout our short conversation, the girls talk a lot about complex songwriting conventions. They’re conscious of using metaphors, allegory, similes... a consciousness that indicates a musical maturity well beyond their years. In fairness, you can’t expect any less from two girls raised on a diet of Jazz and Southern Soul. Growing up, Halle’s favourite artist was Billie Holiday.

“As the EP grew, the title took on more meaning. The Sugar is the harmony and the sweet, softer melodies. But the hard beats and the 808s that make your heart rumble... they’re the Symphony. Together, it’s Sugar Symphony!” Like a recipe? I ask. “Yeah! Like a recipe. For a really sweet cake. But hidden inside the cake is something more... serious,” the girls laugh. I laugh. I’m laughing with Beyoncé’s protégés.

Okay, no more Beyoncé.

What’s even more topical is the music video that accompanies ‘Drop’, the first track on the EP. It’s got horses, a dancing guy with pink hair, rolling green pastures, a sparkling sunset and the girls rocking some seriously swanky threads.

“The horses in the video were such angels,” exclaims Chloe, who had never ridden a horse prior. “My horse’s name was Flax, and apparently he’s just made his movie debut. I rode a famous horse,” she chuffs, proudly. I wonder if Flax knows he carried a famous girl.

Often photographed connected by the ponytail, Chloe and Halle aren’t afraid to admit they’re inseparable. “My sister is my best friend,” says Halle, who politely prefaces her responses with: “now this is Halle speaking.” I guess it’s easy to get the girls’ voices confused, especially when they’re so good at finishing each other’s sentences.

But when booming from the verses of tracks like ‘Thunder’ and ‘Lazy Love’, the girl’s crescendos are easier to tell apart. According to Chloe, they have their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia to thank for such tremendous vocal chords. “It’s so humid in Atlanta, and the humidity and moisture is really great for your voice. You might notice some great singers are from Atlanta [Usher, Cee Lo Green and Kelly Rowland call the city home]. It’s 'cause the climate helps cultivate such a strong voice.”

Before our time is up, I can’t help but bring it back to Beyoncé. Chloe and Halle are part of the girl gang that strut their stuff through Lemonade. Was it hard for the sisters to keep the spectacle a secret? “Actually, not at all!” replies Chloe. “Me and my sister [sic] would just talk about it between ourselves all the time.”

The fact Bey entrusted the girls with one of the greatest musical secrets of 2016 is also indicative of their maturity. And the fact they’ve just dropped an EP, but are already working on an album (and tour!) proves these divas are darn dedicated.

For now, they’re off to band rehearsal. So while they’re tuning, we’re staying tuned.


This feature was originally published in Fashion Journal issue 158.

Leave a comment


On how she hopes to change the world.
Feat. all the worst Californian rock clichés.
It’s the fun, jaunty-pop we’ve come to know Arcade Fire for.
From the rawness of heartbreak, to a place of renewed strength.
Looks like this New Orleans band has finally hit its stride.
On NYC, Panorama Music Festival and Brazillian poetry.
On music, long-distance relationships and supporting local talent.
A fat bunch of hits does not an album make.
An all-out glam rock album.
There's a certain charm about this album.
Musicians are advised to back up their music.
On band mates, women in music and overcoming stage fright.
A glimmering record full of love and heartbreak.
Talking touring, Netflix and time spent at home.
Easygoing and atmospheric.
Is it wrong to want more?
A debut album four years in the making.
Frankly, not their best work.
A voice for the angry.
The little electro band that could.
Home hangs with Emma and Alice.
We hang at home with the two best friends.
The first single off her forthcoming album.
In an unannounced Australian capital city.
Is it still relevant to rap about gangsta shit?
*By a person who didn't really know her music until now
No fashion week should be without a good hair director.
Talkin nail polish, EPs and the possibility of a Killing Heidi Reunion.
Thanks to Bey, Tidal's finally making waves.
A little West Coast act doing big things.
The self-awareness sets her apart.
Inspired by the not-so-nice stuff about being a woman.
Strangely underwhelming.
Clearly a very personal album for frontman, Kele.
I didn't want this to be a hate letter....
That Rihanna reign just don't let up.
There's still nobody out there with a voice like this.
Meet the label prioritising social responsibility.
A lush and detailed listen.
Confident and charismatic.
And other handy job application tips.
An in-depth look at the woman behind the label.
The best week of Melbourne's music year is on the horizon.
We heard everything...
We get to know one of Melbourne's busiest musicians.
Talking The First Wives Club and GarageBand.
The most bootylicious superhero there ever was.
Madonna will bring her Rebel Heart tour to Australia next year.
What it’s really like growing up in a cosmetics empire.
Sweden, you’ve done it again.
Australian musicians are taking centre stage.
An album that is somehow both loud and indescribably quiet at the same time.
Talking M&M’s in ice-cream and Skittles in vodka.
With all in- app purchases going to charity.
"The mid-song break down on the title track is still one of my favourite musical moments from recent memory."
"Oh, this is what feel good music is."
Dreamy pop tunes coming to you live.
Hoooooooooboy. Get ready to start planning your trip to Byron, the lineup for Splendour In The Grass 2015 is finally here.
One of the smoothest voices in Melbourne.
Returns to Australia for Vivid Live.
In the wake of their reunion, we pay tribute to Destiny’s child.
The hauntingly beautiful sounds of London Grammar hit Festival Hall.
It may not be groundbreaking, but this is definitely emotional enough.
It's like it's 2012 all over again and in a very good way.
Comfortingly few muscle tees.
Our favourite fashion friendships of all time.
Get ready for your next fave artist Australia.
Take those early high school years and turn them into a bratty pop record.
The Backstreet Boys are coming back, awright.
Fascinated and a little intrigued, we quizzed the duo behind the Spanish label.
The singer/songwriter gears up to grace our shores.
Mim and Liv NERVO have taken the world by storm.
Melbourne's fun new jewellery label tells us what's up.
Client Liaison are hitting the ground running in 2015.
Because pun-derpants are the best idea.
2014 has been a pretty ripper year for music, seeing the emergence of new (and incredible) artists, the continuing domination of...
Our girl-crush just got a lot more intense.
Like we needed another reason to <3 her.
'Tis the season for a touch of daggy.
Taylor Swift tells ASOS Magazine the life lessons she’s learnt.
Is there anything more 'Melbourne' than a laneway party?
Absence must make the heart grow fonder, as Chet Faker announces an Australian Tour after a year of worldly adventure
Zoe Kravitz to hit Topshop Sydney this Friday
Nostalgia for the ‘80s and an appreciation of Aussie culture— Client Liaison evoke a corporate narrative, to the point where I...
If you’ve spent time on any fashion website during the last five years – which is pretty likely – then you have encountered Julia...
Because we all want world peace.
Gorman is in a constant state of flux - but in a good way.
Actual great vintage tees without the hassle.
We hit up Joey and Rob from ELEVEN Australia for some insider tips, nifty tricks and picked their brains on how they made it in...
When you hear the words ‘Swedish folk music’ the first image that jumps to mind is probably men in tiny green overalls yodelling...
We chatted to Kelis about her line of sauces, the Kelis food truck at SXSW, what she loves most about fashion and of course her...
Everyone the world over just amped up their squat regime.
We love the internet, especially the endless hours of shopping fun it provides us.
How can one person have so many talents? I mean, really.
LA born BANKS has been capturing global attention. We caught up with her to chat songwriting, messages from the universe, and why...
We chat to Lily Allen ahead of her Australia tour Splendour in the Grass headline appearance
Stevie Dance’s story is pretty much a fashion industry fairytale.
Desert Designs might just be the most inter­est­ing design col­lab­o­ra­tion going around.