ESSENCE's Future 15 list spotlights Black millennial disruptors who are creating a new definition for success. Meet tomorrow’s greatest influencers today.
Chloe and Halle Bailey, the teenage sisters who are signed to Beyonce’s label and have done everything from opening for former First Lady, Michelle Obama, to appearing in Queen Bey’s visual album, Lemonade, initially resisted posting a video of themselves singing on YouTube.
“We had a lot of people around Atlanta, where we are from, telling us we should upload videos of ourselves on YouTube. At first, we were not so sure about doing that. One day we were bored and decided, ‘let’s do it.’ We loved the song ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ by Beyonce, so we found a quick instrumental and uploaded it. We were happy with 100 views because we just wanted to share our love for music. Never in our wildest dreams did we think that all these beautiful things would happen, just from that initial video,” Chloe, who is almost 18, told ESSENCE.
Their YouTube channel has grown to almost 800 000 followers since they launched it when they were just 13 and 11, respectively. Their cover of “Pretty Hurts” went viral and landed on Beyonce’s screen. She shared it on Facebook and that was when things took off in a big way. The duo was signed to Beyonce’s label, Parkwood Entertainment, for a reported $1-million in 2015. Last year they released an EP called Sugar Symphony.
Halle, 17, said that even though their music career was not launched in the conventional way that musicians in other generations have done, they had not set out to be trailblazers. “Our lifelong goal is to inspire people, especially young people,” she said.
The Bailey sisters cannot imagine going through this journey without each other. “We are best friends,” said Halle. “I like that we can be honest with each other, especially when we are doing our music. I like having someone next to me who can tell me what’s working and what’s not and I know with no doubt that she has my best interests at heart.”
Chloe and Halle have just released a mixtape called The Two Of Us, which is available for free on their website because they “anted to treat our beautiful incredible supporters.” The sisters said this body of work was so close to their hearts because they had done everything on it themselves, from songwriting to production.
They are currently working on their first album and look forward to meeting fans at the ESSENCE Festival.
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