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Kehlani and Hayley Kiyoko Talk 'What I Need' & Being Queer Women in Music

Kehlani and Hayley Kiyoko Talk 'What I Need' & Being Queer Women in Music

Kehlani and Hayley Kiyoko Talk 'What I Need' & Being Queer Women in Music
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"Every single queer person in the industry has this natural pull to each other."

Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani's music video "What I Need" subverts pop music's male gaze, presenting a queer femme love story with, you know, actual queer women. The pair recently chatted with The Fader about the power of two gay artists collaborating and what it means to be queer women in the music industry.

Related | Hayley Kiyoko & Kehlani Run Away Together in 'What I Need' Music Video (Watch)

"I felt really amazing about working with another queer woman," says Kehlani. "People have this stigma about women in the industry really not fucking with each other. To some extent it's true, but every single queer person in the industry has this natural pull to each other, this natural incentive to really want to support and work with each other. It's been a blessing to not only meet you but work with you and build with you and make something that really inspired a lot of people.

"People watch the opening scene of this video and go, 'I remember my mom or my dad telling me those exact words,'" adds Kiyoko. "When I watch that opening scene, it really hits me, because I'm like, 'Wow, I've heard that said to me.' To be able to share that with other people is such a beautiful thing. I never really had that community growing up. I really just want to continue to focus on the art. I think that's my responsibility and that's where the pressure is: constantly putting out good work and being truthful and honest with everyone."

Kehlani adds: "I love that it came out right for Pride. I think the reception has been absolutely insane. I think we deserve a Netflix special. I think we deserve a short film. We're getting requests to continue the story, because the people want to know what happened to these characters after. Wherever that takes us, I hope that we get to expand this project. I think we have a lot more in store to do together. We have the same message and the same end goal. We're fighting the same fight. I definitely don't think this is a one-time thing."

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