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On her new album, Chlöe Bailey gathers the many parts of her 'In Pieces'

Chlöe Bailey has arrived with a record that showcases her personal side, diving deep into relationships, heartbreak and vulnerability.
Julian Dadouk
Chlöe Bailey has arrived with a record that showcases her personal side, diving deep into relationships, heartbreak and vulnerability.

Chloe Bailey may still be rising through the pop ranks, but 2023 has the Atlanta artist taking center stage for her debut album, In Pieces, released March 31. After dropping certified singles like "Have Mercy" (which made NPR Music's top ten favorite songs of 2021 list) and "For The Night," not to mention weathering online trolls who seem to always have something to say about her, Bailey has arrived with a record that showcases her personal side, diving deep into relationships, heartbreak and vulnerability.

Bailey caught up with NPR's Scott Detrow for All Things Considered to talk about her new music, her role in Swarm on Amazon and what Queen Bey thought of her first project. Below are highlights from the interview, which have been edited for clarity and length.

On why she named the album In Pieces.

In Pieces represents the pieces of my heart from breaking time and time again. But I continue to pick myself back up, put myself back together. That's what's in pieces: my heart. What's also in pieces is the box that people try to put me in — who they think Chloe is. All the people who told me I can't do what I'm currently doing now, all of the people who only think I should just be one type of way, what they expect me to be.

On how she reacted to her new show Swarm going viral:

I was just so honored to be a part of that incredible group of people. I just knew it was going to be special the second I saw Donald Glover's name attached to it. I've always been one of his biggest fans. ... And to just know how creative and free-flowing shooting went, it made me fall in love with acting even more. That was the turning point for me, where my love grew with it.

Seeing [Swarm star] Dominique [Fishback] and how incredibly talented she is and seeing [actor] Damson [Idris], how he was Khalid those two weeks and he didn't even speak in his U.K. accent. No matter if we had lunch break, if we were in the trailer chilling or even on the bus, he kept his Houston drawl the entire time until they said, and that's a wrap. To pick up on all these incredible skills from my peers and scene partners and being in the midst of that atmosphere, it really just heightened my love for acting.

On what Beyoncé told her about releasing her new album:

I had loads of encouragement from her pertaining to this solo body of work, and I've probably played her, like, three different versions of the album. It just means so much to me knowing that I have her in my corner. When I sent the final sequence and everything of the album to her, I was just ecstatic with her response. She was just really happy ... her genius little detailed notes, it's just pretty cool to witness how her mind works.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jamila Huxtable
Jamila Huxtable is an assistant producer for NPR's daily economics podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money.
Scott Detrow is a White House correspondent for NPR and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast.
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