Chlöe is a star — and that’s the sentence. Denying her talent, effervescence, and effortless beauty would be a disservice to Black women, girls, and the entertainment industry at large, as we’ve all watched her blossom from the younger version of her Parkwood Entertainment mentor Beyoncé in The Fighting Temptations to gearing up for her first headlining tour.
As she continues to rise to the top and establish her brand in addition to being one-half of 5x Grammy-nominated duo Chloe x Halle with her sister and The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey, Chlöe uses her platform to normalize conversations around body image, sexuality, self-esteem, and self-love while showing the world she can stand on her own. However, as with anything worth having, nothing comes easy, and Miss Bailey is no exception to the rule when it comes to her climb to the top of the entertainment industry tackling singing, songwriting, performing, producing, and now starring in two upcoming projects.
Ahead of the premiere of Peacock’s Praise This and Prime Video’s Swarm, in which Chlöe nabbed a starring role in both, xoNecole spoke with the “Surprise” singer about being rooted in her faith in God, how crying helps her creativity, and how God’s timing allowed her to land a role with Donald Glover.
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Chlöe Is Keeping It Together — At Least She’s Trying
In an effort to keep herself balanced and in tune with the highest version of herself, the “Have Mercy” singer retains a strong relationship with her faith. “Without God, I probably would’ve run amuck by now. It definitely helps my mental health, that’s for sure,” she told xoNecole openly and honestly. “All of the days where I feel like I can’t carry on, I just pray and it just helps me believe in something greater than myself because when you take yourself out of your own thoughts, and your own mind, and how people might see you, just kind of think about, How can I give back? How can I let people see my heart? and really start thinking about the deeper and greater message.”
Keeping her mental health in order is absolutely a priority for the “For The Night” singer, especially as she takes on difficult characters and challenging storylines such as Donald Glover and Janine Nabers’ forthcoming horror series Swarm. As the show surrounds topics of cult-like fandom behavior, suicidal ideations, anxiety, and depression, the Atlanta-bred singer noted that taking on the storyline wasn’t as difficult as she envisioned because of her empathy for her character Marissa.
«All of the days where I feel like I can’t carry on, I just pray and it just helps me believe in something greater than myself.»
“It wasn’t difficult at all. It wasn’t hard at all. I think it was almost healing in a way, for me to portray Marissa because a lot of Marissa [is] Chlöe, and what I love about her is she is the glue that keeps everyone together,” she added, as she noted her Swarm character as “positive” and “optimistic,” who plays the love interest of Snowfall’s Damson Idris.
Though the show is categorized as thriller-suspense-horror, Marissa serves as the light that balances out Dominique Fishback’s character Dre through their bond and love of music. “I read the first episode and I broke down crying. It’s such a unique and artistic way to talk about mental health. I think in today’s society, the only way people really pay attention is when there’s shock value, but when you peel back the layers, it’s a story about sisterhood and mental health and how they hold each other up. I saw so much of myself in Marissa’s character, and I want to do it, just from the first episode, because I saw myself in her.”
On the flip side, Chlöe’s character Sam in Peacock’s original film Praise This, which is set for release on April 7, is on the rise to superstardom with the support of her cousin (played by Moxie actress Anjelika Washington) while balancing her love for music and her faith in God. Similar to Sam, the former grown-ish star notes that her faith and spirituality play a large part in her discernment as she navigates through the industry as a 25-year-old multi-hyphenated icon in the making.
It’s All In His Timing
“I feel like knowing that I can rely [on] and lay all my troubles on God, it helps take the stress and the pressure off of myself. I can only speak for myself personally, but I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect and to make minimal mistakes, and things of that nature, but when I relinquish that control and give it up to a higher power, it makes me beat up on myself less, and it makes me trust God’s timing,” Chlöe admitted to xoNecole.
The “Treat Me” singer also noted that she’s learned about the external workings of God’s timing, especially when she tries to piece things together and they do not work out the way that she may have intended. «A prime example of that is the album, In Pieces; it’s coming out March 31st. I began the project three years ago, and I could not pick a more perfect timing,” she said reassuring herself aloud. “It’s a week apart from Praise This, and a week and a half away from my first headlining tour, so it’s something that I couldn’t have put together myself, or even thought of, or dreamt of. Seeing how everything is falling into place and working out, that is truly God.”
«Seeing how everything is falling into place and working out, that is truly God.»
In the same vein of divine timing, Chlöe noted how her latest role in Prime Video’s Swarm series as Marissa was the perfect example of manifesting and trusting in God. After receiving an email in her inbox about an untitled Donald Glover project, the singer instantly geeked out as she’s been a fan of the Atlanta star and his Childish Gambino musical alias for years prior to the offer.
“On all of my vision boards, he was on them, which is crazy. I just put that together as I’m saying it out loud. Wow, that’s crazy,” she said while smiling as she noted the same instance for her co-star Dominique Fishback who plays Dre. “Dom told me the same thing when we were filming it. He was on her vision board for the year before that she got this role, so it’s crazy. Everything’s meant to be in its right timing.”
Let Go and Let God
Admitting to Chlöe that her response about divine intervention and God’s timing made me emotional, she encouraged me that our conversation between me, her, and Praise This director Tina Gordon was a safe space for tears to be shed. “I’m a crier. I be crying, I cry at least one times a day. One to 20 times a day,” she said, joking but serious. In fact, she shared that some of her most creative ideas stem from a good ole fashioned Mariah Carey “We Belong Together” shower cry.
“You feel like you’re in the music video, and then you feel like you’re just getting it all out. You can cry out. Also, that’s the best place for ideas,” Chlöe shared. “The second place for me to get ideas is the bathroom. There’d be so many times I’m in the studio and I’m stuck, I’m like, Okay, I need to go pee, use the restroom, and next thing you know, I’m sitting there and the idea pops in my head. Now because of that, I always bring my phone with me so I can record it on my phone because that’s where the ideas will come.”
Gordon chimed in, “They say the reason for that is [the] shower is a sensory deprivation because you’re not taking in so much. It’s like the quiet idea again, you’re in an encapsulated area. The water has a lot to do with it too, so you’re able to listen more without distraction.” Chlöe and I both nodded in agreement that the small factoid made a large amount of sense.
If You All Would Turn Your Pages To…
In times of doubt, fear, or insecurity, Chlöe is no stranger to leaning on the man upstairs, but there are certain quotes and bible verses that she turns to for reassurance. While the quote, “to whom much is given, much is expected” lives rent-free in her head as a motto by which she frequently lives by, the “Do It” singer’s favorite Bible verses are in fact, Isaiah 54:17 — “No weapon formed against me shall prosper” — and Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“When I feel like the world and life kind of takes me down and tears me down, that’s what I tell myself. God gave me this [gift]. God put this message in my heart and this purpose in my soul. It’s up to me to pay it forward and give it back, and hopefully heal through the music, and let God’s light shine through me,” Chlöe shared. “Every time I go on stage, what I say in my prayer, I’m like, God, please let people see your light shining through me. It just allows me to just release, and have fun, and let Him do the work.”
Gordon noted that Isaiah 54:17 is featured in the Peacock original film, which co-stars Quavo, Loren Lott, and Mack Wilds, because it serves as a “quick confidence boost” for her in dark times. “Whether I come out with what I envisioned or didn’t, I can say that and go into the room,” she said. “By testing my own faith and knowing that there are things that I can actually relinquish control over, things that I can’t control anyway, and I can watch God move in my life on my behalf.”
Chlöe stars in Praise This, which premieres on Peacock on April 7. Swarm premieres on March 7 on Prime Video.
Featured image by Monica Schipper/Getty Images