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  • Justice Petersen

Chloe Star Holds Nothing Back On New Single “Happy Place”

On January 5, alt-pop artist Chloe Star released her latest single, “Happy Place,” where she writes of the optimistic aftermath following a toxic relationship. In the new release, the rising pop star continues to provide catharsis for both listeners and herself through her music, all while establishing herself as a defiant and unapologetic advocate.

With “Happy Place,” a catchy and comforting alternative track, Star has finished her trilogy of singles, along with "Fool"  and "Found My Peace."  Through these three songs and their accompanying music videos, Star conveys the sequence of events during a breakup: the initial heartbreak, the awakening and the peace that follows.

“There was no intention of doing a proper trilogy when I first wrote the very first song ‘Fool,’ it all just happened so organically,” Star says. 

While ‘Fool’ portrays the confusion from being stuck in a poor relationship’s vicious cycle, ‘Found My Peace’ is written about how you feel once you’re out of that relationship and you’re at peace with the other person. ‘Happy Place’ represents the stage when you’re finally thriving once again.

“‘Happy Place’ is like…I want everyone else to see my happy place, and you are welcome to join and you're also welcome to see, post-breakup, what can happen,” Star says.

Star first got into music through journaling. At a young age, Star practiced journaling and writing poetry to help express and process her emotions. Her written words soon led to a desire for songwriting, which then led to Star wanting to pick up an instrument.

“I feel like everything didn't smoothly fall into place, like it has now,” Star says. “I'm just so grateful that I kept on with that when I was younger, because I honestly couldn't imagine myself doing anything else today.”

An indigenous singer songwriter, Star’s childhood was split between Los Angeles and her family’s reservation in San Bernardino. Music and the arts were always encouraged in Star’s home, as these were core values within her community.

“Growing up out there, I was raised with our native traditions and our traditions involve arts,” Star says. “They involve music, and in our native traditions, music is all about storytelling. I was raised with my great grandmother, singing songs constantly to me and my siblings or my cousins, and everything had some story to it. That's kind of what I want to do now and take from that, which is storytelling.”

With Star’s unique sense of storytelling comes a vulnerability. While she sings about the heartbreaking struggles that come with relationships, Star was initially hesitant to put such honest music out there.

“I was so scared that people would judge me,” Star says. “But in reality, you're not okay. And that's also what someone else, some listener needs to hear because they'll be able to relate to it. I'm not the only person on this planet having these crazy thoughts or going through these crazy experiences. so it kind of balanced out and it made sense for me. It makes sense now. Now I could fucking care less...Once you break through that fear, then everything just makes sense.”

Not only is Star a rebellious new artist releasing one fiery single after the next, but she’s also an empathetic advocate for feminism and tribal activism. Also an openly queer artist, Star represents the great things that can happen when one isn’t afraid to be who they are.

“I tell myself constantly, just be your most authentic self,” she says. “Stay in your truth and at the end of it all, I'm not going to change who I am for anybody or for any label or for anything like that. That's not my vibe.”

When it comes to incorporating these beliefs into her music, women empowerment is a prominent theme in Star’s work. There are so many double standards between men and women, and Star hopes to support women and give them the confidence to be themselves despite these odds.

“It's okay to walk how you want to walk. It's okay to talk how you want to talk. It's okay to wear what you wanna wear,” she says. “We are just as strong as anybody else on this planet, if not maybe a little bit stronger.”

Along with bold lyrical content, Star also possesses a unique alternative sound. Combining pop, punk, rock and hip-hop together, Star combines the raspy croon of Amy Winehouse and the strong character of Janis Joplin with the alt-pop sound of Billie Eilish.

It took a few years for Star to find this sound, and it wasn’t until the pandemic that she was able to experiment without any pressure or expectations.

“Not leaving the house and being trapped - it’s not good for someone like me who has a hard time feeling stuck,” she says. “But it allowed me to really find myself as a creative, and it allowed me to get uncomfortable with different sounds.”

With her recent trilogy of singles, including “Happy Place,” Star shares her iconic sound with the world as she portrays the highs and lows that come after a bad relationship. “Happy Place” is an optimistic end to the trilogy, but it didn’t start out this way in the songwriting process.

“I, for whatever reason, will always go to a dark place in sessions,” she says. “It just pulls me there. The darkness just comes crawling under the couch…you feel all these different emotions and it's really not this fairy tale, sunshine and rainbows after a breakup.”

The songwriting came from a much darker place, until fellow artist Drew Chadwick convinced Star to focus on the happiness she felt instead.

“He actually put it into perspective,” she says. “But definitely I can go dark. And I did with this in the beginning.”

Looking back on the relationship she wrote her trilogy about, Star says it’s interesting when you reflect on a toxic relationship and realize just how easy it is to get stuck.

“When you're in that moment, it just feels like there's no way out, “ Star says. “There's nothing else you can do. You just have to keep going. If you keep trying, it's going to change. If you keep trying, something different will happen - but nothing different happens and then you're just stuck…looking back, it was unhealthy. And I allowed myself to be in that, and the other person did too. We both enabled each other in that way.”

For those sitting in anticipation for some more angsty, punk brutality from Star - don’t worry. Her upcoming EP, set to come out later this year, has got you covered.

“Expect a body of work that is just me,” Star says. “It's just my most authentic self. A lot of storytelling, a lot of punk, a lot of heavy guitar, a lot of heavy drums. And a lot of not giving a fuck.”

Above all, whether it's through tribal activism, empowering women, or being a proud queer artist, Chloe Star hopes to offer one thing in her music: security.

“And to be honest, it's not just for the listener, it's also for me too,” she says. “It makes me feel better, makes me feel good when someone says, ‘hey, I just want to say thank you for putting out this song, this is something I'm going through.’ It makes me feel not alone too, so we can both relate on a certain level. The message too is just like, who gives a fuck? We live such a short life. What do you have to lose at the end of it?...I don't want anyone to ever hold back, and I say that because I don't ever want to hold back.”

Listen to “Happy Place” here.


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