Halsey’s third studio album, Manic, released on January 17, and whether you’re still on your first listen or you're fully deciphering the meaning behind the 16 tracks, Halsey herself is opening up about Manic’s message and the collaborators who made the album — in particular, BTS member Suga.
In a new interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music's Beats 1, Halsey opened up about collaborating with Suga (aka Min Yoongi) on the introspective “SUGA’s Interlude.” Explaining her rationale for picking the collaborators on Manic, Halsey told Zane about her long-standing relationship with the Bangtan Boys and why she felt Suga was a perfect fit for her new album.
“I hung out with them on a bunch of different occasions, just wanting to get to know them and understand them on a personal level,” Halsey said. “We came together to do ‘Boy With Luv’ and it was really incredible because it was the last song anyone would have expected us to do, seeing [as] they have some really dark stuff in their catalog and so do I.”
“I spent time with them and got to know a lot of them on an individual level,” she continued, later revealing it was Yoongi’s solo music (released under his Agust D moniker) that immediately struck a chord with her own sensibilities. “I was looking up lyric translations and I was blown away. I was like, 'This stuff is so introspective.' The content is about mental health and his inner turmoil, and he's a really quiet guy in real life, and I was just moved.”
Halsey went on to explain that though she’s “really good friends” with RM in particular, and though some of the other members “have singing voices that are kind of similar” to hers, it was Suga’s approach to lyricism that made her want to collaborate with him immediately.
“Suga probably was the last member of BTS that anyone would have expected me to collaborate with and the one whose lyrical approach I felt the most connected to,” Halsey admitted. “I knew I had to have him be a part of this record. I knew that he would get what it feels like to be manic, to be introspective.”
Released in August of 2016, the self-titled Agust D is Min Yoongi’s first and only solo mixtape to date. In the 10-track EP, the introspective rapper tackles themes such as depression, pressure, and success. With mental health as one of the record's main focuses, songs like “The Last” are rife with vulnerability. Entirely self-produced and with a rap-heavy base, Agust D showcases Yoongi’s way with words. In songs like "Tony Montana," he narrates how success, fame, and money — things struggling artists often strive for — can easily become double-edged swords. “Success and happiness look alike but they’re different,” he voraciously proclaims, per Genius’s translation. Prefaced by the ominous "Interlude ; Dream, Reality," he also ponders over the meaning of one’s dreams in "So Far Away."
Since its release, fans have been eagerly awaiting a potential sophomore release from Agust D, which many speculated could be on its way sooner rather than later after Agust D’s official bio got an unexpected update back in November.
In the interview with Zane Lowe, Halsey also discussed the larger significance behind her album’s title, which relates back to Suga’s inclusion. “I think the sonic nature of the album is very fleeting. Track to track, I think I approach subjects the way you’d least expect me to. A lot of it for me it’s my own experiences of mania versus the public’s perception of mania. Manic to us in the media is this self-destructive, unsure, irresponsible kind of panicked mentality,” she revealed.
“I had to sit down and do a real self-reflection, a self-inventory, about what am I really like when I’m manic,” she continued. “The answer is I’m loving, passionate, open to anyone who wants to come into my life and be a part of it. I can be a bit irresponsible, yeah, I can be impulsive but mostly I’m going through every second of my day being entirely led by emotion rather than logic.”
Halsey also took the time to discuss the two other featured artists in Manic: Dominic Fike and Canadian icon Alanis Morissette, whom she described as “the first artist I ever felt in my belly.”
Speaking of her collaborators, Halsey weighed in on the significance of the three interludes for the album’s narrative saying, “The interludes all kind of represent relationships in my life. Dom is this brotherly figure. Alanis is the reverse of that, she is the powerful women in my life that have led me to an adulthood where I’m sexually empowered and professionally empowered.”
Halsey did not explicitly disclose what relationship Suga represented this time, but in a past IG live, she did mention she’d teamed up with him for his “really intelligent perspective on where we are and what we are doing in our unique lifestyles.”
Check out Halsey’s full interview with Zane Lowe below:
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue