It's one thing to be an outspoken artist, it's another thing to incorporate your personal views and preferences as an LGTBQ artist into your music, lyrics, and videos. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter (and sometimes actress) Hayley Kiyoko manages to do it all of this with apparent ease, so she was a perfect fit for Complex's new Ground Breakers series on artists boldly challenging both industry and societal norms on sexuality and identity.
We caught up with Kiyoko during the Florida leg of her One Bad Night tour to talk about what it's like being an established, openly gay artist in the music industry today, along with her own personal journey as an LGBTQ artist and woman. Kiyoko first gained mainstream fame back in 2015 when she released the music video for her single "Girls Like Girls." The video, which Kiyoko also co-directed, offers a refreshing take on a young woman's love toward another woman, and thus started to make such major waves. Almost 70 million YouTube views later, Kiyoko earned her first big hit and went on to direct and release several other successful music videos along with her 2016 EP, Citrine. To learn more about this rising pop songstress, check out our exclusive video with Kiyoko above.