Chlöe Bailey Talks Musical Reunion With Sister Halle for Sophomore Album and Advice From Beyoncé

As Chlöe Bailey prepares to release her second album, she opens up about working with her sister Halle again and advice from Beyoncé.

Chloë Bailey is gearing up to release her second studio album, Trouble in Paradise, and she's getting inspiration from some iconic singers, including her mentorBeyoncé.

Talking with NYLON in a wide-ranging interview, the 25-year-old shares that her sophomore album has a markedly different sound from her 2023 debut project, In Pieces. The former was about "appreciating the sadness of heartache," whereas Trouble in Paradise is "a coming-of-age celebration of being a woman and having fun, not taking life too seriously."

"The story of this album is like when you have a summer fling," Chloë tells the outlet about Trouble in Paradise. "You're a hopeless romantic and you fall in love, deep. You know it won't last forever, but it feels too good to really care."

As an artist who was very candid about how she's struggled with the public's reaction to her shedding the kid-friendly image she established early in her career and how comparisons to her younger sister, Halle Bailey, added to her frustration, Chloë explains how she's looked to barrier-breaking Black artists that came before her as inspiration for her new era.

Chloë Bailey for NYLON's June cover story - Danielle Levitt for NYLON

Her GRAMMY-record-breaking mentor is an obvious inspiration, but so is the late Whitney Houston, still known for having one of the best voices in the music industry

Chloë notes that, similar to Whitney, she's caught flak from those questioning her musical direction. An experience that her mentor, Beyoncé, has experienced as well, most recently with the release of her eighth studio album, Cowboy Carter. The Houston-born musician infamously received pushback for tapping into her country roots because she's traditionally viewed as an R&B/Pop artist.

"Early on in [Houston's] career, when she was doing the big pop records, she got a lot of flak for that: being told she wasn't Black enough and wasn't catering to the base that made her," Chloë points out. "To see how she persevered and has become one of the most iconic, legendary artists that we've ever seen, shows that music has no race, it has no genre, it has none of that. It's just a feeling and it's a vibration. And that's why I was really proud of Beyoncé doing Cowboy Carter, because Black people originated country music. It's just showing that possibilities are endless."

During an appearance on Latto's Apple Music 1 show, 777 Radio in March 2023, Chloë admitted that people's reactions to her sexy solo singles that differ from her previous work as part of Chloe x Halle, left her "confused."

"It's like, if I do it, it's forced, it's contrived. But… I've come to the conclusion it's because they're not used to seeing me in that light," she said. "They've grown up with my sister and I since we had our little short baby locks on YouTube and everything. But it's like, this has been me. When I perform, that's when I feel the most confident and the most sexy. It's nothing contrived or forced about it. That's just passion coming out."

Chloë Bailey confirms that her sophomore album, Trouble in Paradise, will feature a Chloe x Halle reunion. - Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella

She noted that while the criticism can sometimes "get under my skin," she's ultimately glad that "people are talking."

"I'm like, 'Damn it, y'all just don't let me be. You let everybody else be and not me,'" she said. "But it's OK."

When it comes to her 42-year-old, chart-topping mentor, Beyoncé, Chloë says that gave her and her younger sister, Halle, advice that sometimes they have to "let the world catch up because you're always ahead of the curve."

Back in 2023, Chloë told ET that the "Break My Soul" singer gave similar help when she was working on In Pieces.  

"Yes, I know she listened to the album," Bailey shared when asked if Bey had heard In Pieces yet. "She gave me notes on it before I released it."

She continued, gushing over having the mega pop star's support, "I love her so much. Dearly, dearly, and I'm so grateful to her for everything."

And it's with her mentor's advice in mind that Chloë says she's excited for fans to consume Trouble in Paradise. "What I kind of love about my art is that it sneaks up on you. When In Pieces came out, not many people really got it. But now a year later, people are like, 'Oh, it's genius! It's beautiful! It's amazing!'" she tells NYLON. "And if you think about it, that's how it has been with me and my sister's previous work as well. No one ever gets it when it first comes out."

And the singer has a sweet treat for fans who have been hungering for the sisters to work together again since they released various solo projects after their second studio album, Ungodly Hour, dropped in June 2020.

Chloë revealed that Halle is featured on a Trouble in Paradise track, although she didn't share the song title. "I got in my sister's head and was like, 'OK, what is going on in her life right now?' We both have our own lives," the singer said, a nod to her sister having her hands full with the arrival of her son with boyfriend DDG in January. "I was like, 'Sis, we're going to be in New York at the same time, I would love for you to be on the record.' It just felt like old times."