Chloe x Halle On 'Ungodly Hour,' 'The Little Mermaid' And Creative Control The R&B duo Chloe and Halle Bailey talk about their sophomore album, Ungodly Hour, named after a phrase that describes insecurity, inner turmoil and a crisis of self-confidence.
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Chloe x Halle On Releasing Their New Album During America's 'Ungodly Hour'

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Chloe x Halle On Releasing Their New Album During America's 'Ungodly Hour'

Chloe x Halle On Releasing Their New Album During America's 'Ungodly Hour'

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

When Queen B deems your music flawless, well, you know, you probably made it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DO IT")

CHLOE X HALLE: (Singing) Oh, oh, that's just what I do, do, do. And that's just how we do it, do it, do it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This sister R&B duo Chloe x Halle's latest album is called "Ungodly Hour," and it was the subject of Beyonce's greatest compliment. Chloe and Halle Bailey signed with Beyonce's label Parkwood Entertainment after their cover of the star's song "Pretty Hurts" went viral and caught the star's attention. Chloe and Halle Bailey join me now. Welcome.

HALLE BAILEY: Hi.

CHLOE BAILEY: Hi.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. I'm going to start with you, Halle. Apparently, Beyonce they had no notes for you - no notes - when you sent this album to her for review. That must have been amazing.

H BAILEY: (Laughter) Yes. Well, we love Beyonce so much, so whenever we can get her feedback on something, it's very much appreciated. But for this album, we only heard positive things and that she loved it. So that really made us happy and feel proud.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. Chloe, this album was actually supposed to be released last week. Why did you decide to postpone it?

C BAILEY: With everything going on in the world right now, we just didn't want the attention to be on us, you know? We wanted the attention to be on getting justice for our brothers and sisters who have lost their lives to police brutality. And we felt that was more important to use our platform for that.

H BAILEY: You know, the past few weeks have been actually very heavy for the both of us because when we see what happened to George Floyd, I mean, we think of our father, and we think of our little brother and how that could happen to them any day. I mean, so we are just so happy to be a part of this generation who are not afraid to use our voices to speak up for what we believe in.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I was about to say so many of the protesters have been young people your age.

H BAILEY: Absolutely. It's a beautiful thing to see.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Let's listen to some of the music. I want to listen to the title song, the "Ungodly Hour."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UNGODLY HOUR")

CHLOE X HALLE: (Singing) When you decide you like yourself, holler. When you decide you need someone, call up on me. When you don't have to think about it, love me at the ungodly hour. When you decide you like yourself...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Tell me about this song. Where does the name come from?

H BAILEY: Yes. Well, the "Ungodly Hour" was an absolutely amazing session that was actually with this amazing duo who are also brothers, and their names are Disclosure. And my sister actually had written in her notes this beautiful phrase, the ungodly hour. And we used it because we basically feel like during the ungodly hour, you're thinking of all of the insecurities that you have, the ups and downs of your life, everything. So we feel like the title track of this album really is going with the times of what's happening right now because, truly, this does feel like the ungodly hour. And we just hope that our music can be a healer right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UNGODLY HOUR")

CHLOE X HALLE: (Singing) Love me. Love me, love me, love me, love me. Love me. Love me, love me, love me, love me. Love me. Love me, love me, love me, love me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Chloe, you and Halle made sure that you were at the center of this album's creation. You both co-wrote every track on the album. Chloe, you have, I think, production credits on 10 of the 13 songs, three of which you produced alone. I mean, the album is clearly central to your vision. I just want to know, how'd you two get started as siblings (laughter), you know, being able to produce all that? Tell me your backstory.

C BAILEY: Yeah. Well, we have to give, like, all of that credit to our parents. And Halle and I being around 10 and 8, living in Atlanta, going to producer to producer and songwriters and, you know, singing for them - no one really wanted to write music for us at that time because we were so young. So that's when dad sat us down at the table. He's like, look. You all can create your own music, as well. And so that's exactly what we did. Halle is the best music partner I could ever have. I appreciate how we bring two completely different perspectives - because we are two different people - to the music. We did most of this album in our garage here at our home.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's amazing.

C BAILEY: And we put a bunch of carpet down. We have our mic and our speakers and keyboard and guitars in there. And it's always such a good vibe.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BABY GIRL")

CHLOE X HALLE: (Singing) They make it look so easy. One day, I'm talking to Jesus.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Chloe, I want to ask you about another song on the album. Let's listen to "Baby Girl."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BABY GIRL")

CHLOE X HALLE: (Singing) Do it for the girls all around the world. Do it for the girls all around the world. Full of love, full of love, full of love, hey, hey.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This song feels like a rallying cry to other young women like yourself. Tell me about it.

C BAILEY: Yes. So it was really fun creating this one. A few days after Christmas of 2018, my sister and I and our little brother - we all went to Malibu, and we rented an Airbnb, and we brought all of our equipment there. And I played some pretty chords on the synth, like, on my MIDI keyboard. And my beautiful sister just got on the mic and flowed out beautiful melodies. And she kept singing baby girl, baby girl. And it felt so comforting in a way.

And I love this song because whenever I'm starting to feel not truly confident in myself or my ability to what I have to offer to this world, I play this song. And it helps me feel better because it reminds me that no matter what challenges, no matter what obstacles there are, it's your world. You will get over it like you always have. You will succeed. You will rise above. And yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Halle, speaking of rising above, congratulations. You've been cast in the upcoming live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid" as Ariel. I've got a daughter. And she's dying to see this adaptation. What did it mean to you when you heard that you were going to be the new Ariel?

H BAILEY: Wow. Well, I was definitely shocked. You know, "The Little Mermaid" has always been one of my favorite movies since I was a little girl. So being able to make Ariel mine in a sort of way has been a beautiful process. And, you know, I definitely just hope that a lot of beautiful young black girls can know that they can be princesses, too, and that they are beautiful in every single way. And I just hope people love it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Chloe and Halle Bailey's new album is "Ungodly Hour." You can listen to it now wherever you get your music. Thank you both so very much.

C BAILEY: Thank you so much.

H BAILEY: Have a beautiful day.

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