She’s also, perhaps not coincidentally, really good at getting into stuff. A little more than two years ago, Halsey was not actually Halsey, she was Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, a 19-year-old community-college dropout, couch-surfing between basements in her native New Jersey and the Bed-Stuy/Lower East Side hovels of a badass, tatted-up crowd of “degenerate stoners” she met through her boyfriend two years before that, back when she was an arty, misfit high school kid taking AP classes and roaming the halls covered in paint. She’d gotten into the well-regarded Rhode Island School of Design, and then learned that she couldn’t afford to go. She’d found the college she could afford a waste of time.
From recording a commercial jingle in a basement in New Jersey to selling out Madison Square Garden. In a personal conversation with VICE, Halsey talks about her childhood, growing up bi-racial and the time she spent in NYC that lead to a break that changed everything.