On Aug. 27, Halsey released If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, her fourth studio album. The record explores the singer-songwriter’s experience with pregnancy and motherhood, and it was produced by Academy Award winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. In an interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music, Halsey revealed that If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is the “easiest album” she’s “ever written.”
What writing ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ was like for Halsey
Halsey previously made three albums before releasing If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. Badlands, the singer’s first studio album, dropped in 2015. Halsey released Hopeless Fountain Kingdom in 2017. The singer-songwriter released an album called Manic in 2020.
“… I felt like in the first couple of albums you were searching for ‘What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me? Why am I like this?’ And then in Manic it’s like ‘Oh, I’ve got the answer,’” Lowe said in Halsey’s interview with Apple Music.
He continued, “But is this album to some degree about acceptance as much as it is about realization?”
“Yeah, it’s the easiest album I’ve ever written,” Halsey said of If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.
Why did Halsey write ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’?
Halsey gave birth to her first child Ender in July 2021. A great deal of If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power was written while the singer-songwriter was pregnant. During the interview with Apple Music, Lowe asked Halsey why they decided to create the album at this time in their life.
“Because it was the easiest album I’ve ever written,” she said. “In true Halsey fashion, the writing of the album always manifests itself in like a complete juxtaposition to how I feel in my real life.”
Halsey told Lowe that when she wrote Manic, she set out to write an “angry” album. However, when she began writing, the album transformed into something else.
“I was pissed when I made that album, but it, you know, it manifested itself in a different way,” she said of Manic.
When it came time to write If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, the album’s sound did not represent how Halsey felt in real life.
“Here comes me like totally in love… I’m pregnant and everything’s amazing, and then out comes this…” Halsey explained.
“Fury,” Lowe said.
The singer collaborated with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
To go along with the album, Halsey released an IMAX film called If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. The movie featured a number of songs from the record and helped convey the message of the album.
Speaking with Lowe, Halsey shared what it was like working with Reznor and Ross on the album while also filming an IMAX movie.
“We were producing the album and filming the movie in tandem at the same time,” Halsey said. “It was crazy but it was awesome because I could send them like production stills, and like ‘This is the vibe, this is what we’re shooting.’”
If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is out now.
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