Time for another #TBT! On the second Thursday of each month, we’ll release a past celeb cover story from our print-only archives. For this second round, we’re throwin’ it back to spring 2016 with Chloe and Halle.
By Andréa Butler| Photographed by Mason Poole
It’s easy to dream big, but putting in that work, work, work, work, work, work can be a bit harder. The trick? Stick with it and there’s no telling where things will take you. Chloe and Halle are about to find out, though, and from the looks (and sounds) of things, they’re going straight to the top.
Even after a chance meeting with Beyoncé 13 years ago, Chloe and Halle still never expected to end up signed to Bey’s company, Parkwood Entertainment. For one thing, Parkwood didn’t exist yet, and for another, Chloe was only 4 years old when she landed a role on The Fighting Temptations. Her sister Halle was only 2. “It’s just so funny how the Universe works and just comes around full circle,” Chloe says.
But destiny didn’t simply fulfill itself all on its own. Chloe and Halle (now 17 and 15, respectively), who just moved to L.A from the ATL three years ago, have had their drive and ambition set to no chill since they were small. “We just always sang together,” Chloe recalls. “The first song that we sang [in public] together was ‘Summertime’ and it was at our Spelman summer camp talent show.” (BTW, the video of then 7-year-old Chloe and 5-year-old Halle belting out that Porgy and Bess tune is life — and you can still watch it — below!)
Since then, they’ve performed in little shows all over Atlanta, learned to play the piano (Chloe) and the guitar (Halle), and starred in movies and television shows like Austin and Ally, Let It Shine, Last Holiday, Meet the Browns, and House of Payne. Oh yeah, they also launched a YouTube channel that would ultimately host their cover of Beyoncé’s “Pretty Hurts,” which would, in turn, change everything. “I think we just started because it felt natural and it was something that was fun,” says Halle of why they got into the business. “It was our passion, like, we were immediately drawn to it, drawn to a love for singing. Then, we were like, ‘Oh, well, maybe … we could make a thing outta this!’”
“You never realize the impact YouTube videos can have,” says Chloe. “It’s crazy! Everyone posts covers and videos of their art, and there’s like billions and billions of videos. We’re so lucky … that our video stood out. It’s like one in a million.”
And so are they. (Well, technically, they’d be two in a million, but you get it.)
These singing-songwriting sisters stand out because they don’t simply record straight covers. They’re not about that singing-to-a-karaoke-background-track-of-the-OG-arrangement life. Creating new versions of popular songs is where it’s at for them. “A lot of times when we arrange our covers, we sit by our keyboard or guitar and we learn the chords by ear,” says Halle. “And then, we just freelance it.”
“We’ve listened to a lot of music growing up — all different types of genres — we just pull from what inspires us and we create something new,” says Chloe. “And, you know, we really just have to give credit to God because sometimes the arrangements come out of nowhere. We’re like, ‘Whoa! How did that happen?!’ I’m amazed every time that we’re even blessed with the ability to do this.”
#WontHeDoIt? Just look at the blessings they’re racking up and decide for yourself.
“Right now, we’re just really working on our show and tightening up, so that it can be the best version of us possible,” says Chloe. “We can’t wait to start touring with our new music.”
Yep, you heard right: New music. Upcoming show. And they didn’t even have to wait for their first tour to begin before they got a chance to #seesomeworld.
“I really just wanna go all over the world, you know. Going to London was our first time out of the United States, so we were like, ‘Oh my gosh! This is so cool, this is so new and different,” Halle says. “We actually visited London to do music. So, we were in the studio working all of those 10 days. It was so much fun. We met with Naughty Boy … we did some great stuff with all of these other wonderful producers.”
“We are so in love with London,” Chloe adds. “It’s such a magical place and the people there are wonderful.”
“And we love their accents,” Halle interrupts, giving her best impersonation of a British accent, which is pretty on point.
Back to talking about their upcoming show — the name and start date of which they’re intent on keeping on the DL — the girls do share that they’ll be dropping original tracks in March or April. And as Chloe says, the show will “consist of us creating the songs on stage and just really giving the audience a look into how we create.”
“We really just wanna show that live instrumentation on stage because that’s our fave,” shares Halle.
Besides a new show and new music, Chloe and Halle will be debuting a brand new sound, too. A sound that Halle calls “unique and a little bit alternative.”
“We love to combine all the types of genres that we truly love as artists,” Halle says. “I truly am a jazz fan. I love Billie Holiday. I love Sarah Vaughan. And elements of that come into our music at times.”
“I don’t think anyone’s expecting what will come out,” says Chloe.
While we might not be all the way clued in to their new direction, we know one thing: It’s gonna be dope. It’s not just the fact that these two slay multi-part harmonies —‘cause they do — that has us believing their upcoming cuts will be just as lit as the sound we’re used to hearing from them, but it’s also the fact that these two are so authentic and unapologetically creative. No perpetratin’ here. And not only on the music tip, either. Their energy is truly upbeat and cheerful, their bond is unmistakably genuine — shoot, the fierceness is evident even down to their look. Those locs, tho.
“From a young age, we have always had our little locs,” shares Halle. “We just really love our hair. It makes us who we are.”
“It’s really easy to deal with,” Chloe chimes in. “We just have to get up in the morning and bail.”
Whether that’ll be bailing off to a concert, off to a movie set, off to another country, or off to all of the above, we’ll just have to wait and see.
“The possibilities are endless, you know,” says Chloe. “We love to do anything in the form of entertaining and we’re open to any and everything. We never say never.”
On a mission to fill that void in mainstream media, in which Black girls are virtually invisible, Sesi (a quarterly, print magazine for Black teen girls) celebrates them. As an independent magazine with very little advertising, we rely on the support of our community to continue publishing. You can show your support by subscribing or donating. Subscriptions are $15 a year and you can donate any amount you’d like.