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Alice Gee | 30/06/2024

From vibing at the shoot for her Issue 16 Cover to the beaches of St Lucia, Chlöe Bailey has arrived at an era of ease. With the launch of her second album Trouble in Paradise imminent and the priority of self-care, love, boundaries and vulnerability at the forefront, Chlöe instantly answers "St Lucia," when I curiously lead the interview asking her ultimate happy place. Light years away from the name of her upcoming album, Chlöe has found moments of stillness in between the noise; St Lucia is somewhere that has quickly become her sanctuary.  "Amid my falling in love with St. Lucia, I wanted to write away my troubles in paradise." That's exactly what this album is about, Chlöe tells me, "It's what a summer flame feels like, encompassed in a summer record." Not short on talent, Chlöe mixed and wrote the album on the Island and beaches of St. Lucia with hope it transpired into an island album all about the art of letting go and freedom. 


I feel the album highlights the idea of giving yourself grace; I tell Chlöe, an assumption I quickly made whilst immersing myself in its music and something I assume Chlöe has encountered what can feel like an eternity of scrutiny in the public eye. "That's what I'm currently working on, giving myself grace. And I truly believe that I found my happy place. Whenever I feel that life is just a little overwhelming, I try to go to St Lucia, and then I'm okay, and I'm all better again." Unsure whether it's moving towards my late twenties, I wonder if Chlöe has found comfort in the compelling feeling of needing to put boundaries in place to support a more healthy and balanced space mentally. 


"It’s important to put boundaries in place, even with myself. I have to tell myself when to take a moment, breathe, and relax, and it's okay not always to be working. Sometimes, it's okay to put yourself first. It's important not to always blame everyone else for how we feel. Can we change how we feel? I'm learning to ask; how can I fix myself? Even if another person might have had input, making me feel a certain way, how can I help myself and put myself in a better position?"  


"When I swim in the water, I realise how small I am and how the problems that seem so big to me often really aren't that big in the grand scheme of things when it comes to life and being able to live and breathe." Whether swimming in the ocean or getting a massage, these little pockets of joy are essential to Chlöe, as she explains the joy and stillness they inject into her life. But more often than anything, joy comes from somewhere closer to home. “When I'm with my God Mum, we're always laughing hysterically." Each pocket of escapism filled with the laughter of her loved ones and the sounds of St Lucia's coastline, ‘Trouble in Paradise’ is more than just laughter and her new approach to giving herself grace; it is an album about monumental personal growth. "I can't wait for people to listen and to hear how happy I am within this music and the growth that I've made. This one is something I'm truly excited about". 


Chlöe's debut album, In Pieces, was a little different from the making of Trouble in Paradise; it was a process of vulnerability. Chlöe explains, "It was eye-opening. Anything that I was previously afraid to say out loud, I was able to put into the music. When I created the majority of the songs on that record, I was in a place where I was a little more broken, if I'm sincere, and it was about me putting the pieces back together. I feel it's essential to be honest with yourself in that way, and the best way I could do that was through the music." 



Not wanting anyone to be weighed down by the feeling of being in it alone, Chlöe strived to make sure those who listen and come across her music don't feel like they have to go through that journey by themselves. "I wanted them to know we could connect through the music with safe communities at the heart. That's really what ‘In Pieces’ (her debut solo album) was about. Even though I was going through these things, I didn't want to let it stop me slowly putting the pieces of myself back together."  



"During that time, I felt it was essential to speak up about it, especially if people saw me and my sister growing up in the limelight." Having grown up in the business since being so young, Chlöe addresses the assumption that that makes you bulletproof, with everything in your life made. "By talking about my experiences with mental health, I wanted to make sure, even if it was one person, that they feel less alone in their journey and to know that it's not wrong to feel that way. I am so happy that I am in a way better place. I think it's important to find places or people that you can escape to when life gets a little too crazy." 


Acting was Chlöe's first introduction to the creative industry. From the moment she stepped on set, Chlöe knew that she loved the arts and that it was what she was born to do. "I wanted to be a huge star on Broadway. That was my dream growing up as a little girl. I love to perform, dance, sing, and act. So, it was all kind of in tangent with one another."  


What's your favourite Broadway performance? I digress; mine's a little on the nose, but it's still Wicked. "But [Wicked] is so phenomenal! I saw MJ the Musical on Broadway recently, which was phenomenal. It's an amazing portrayal and a well-done story about Michael. It was just so stunning. I was left in tears." Who's inspired you and had a lasting effect recently whilst being on set in Atlanta for Fight Night? "I was in a scene alongside Taraji (P. Henson) at this time, and just seeing her care for the scene, how it's being told, and the respect she has for the director and how they want to tell the story left its mark. Seeing a legend doing an amazing job was cool, and I was impressed by her care and patience. That was inspiring for me to see. It honestly made me fall in love with her even more." 


Building a legacy takes time, but having built one alongside her sister, when the time came for her own legacy with her debut album, In Pieces, Chlöe explained that it can feel scary alongside thrilling. "It was scary. I feel it is for all of us. When we put our belief in something, which is our self, there are some days when we don't believe in ourselves. It felt it was a huge leap of faith. In truth, I was being by myself, and it was my first solo project. It was a lot for me, but I learned a lot in turn. I learned that I'm stronger than I ever thought I was. And that I am more brilliant than I ever thought I was."  


As for growth, it can feel all too consuming when considering others' opinions. But as nerve-wracking as it felt, Chlöe understood that vulnerability was essential to welcoming her team's suggestions. "Anytime I played it for anyone before I released it, I always got nervous. By myself, I could think to myself it was how I wanted it to be. But when you play anything you care about for people, you welcome their suggestions, thoughts and opinions you can start getting in your head like, 'Oh, man, is it as good as I think it is?' Maybe I was tripping?" 


Once it's out there, the vulnerability doesn't feel just yours anymore; it can often feel exposed in all the worst ways, but you must have learned a lot from the bravery I add to Chlöe. And as for the response from fans, what an almighty amount of positivity to take in. "Everything just happened so fast from its release because I went on the In Pieces tour a week later. I never allowed myself to feel the excitement of releasing it. I felt relieved but instinctively thought I wanted to put on an incredible show for my fans. I remember thinking, how do I do that in the best way? So that's where my nerves went to wreck. So, I didn’t really enjoy it being released into the world fully.”  


Once off the tour, the moment was all-consuming in the best ways for Chlöe, something she still seems to be absorbing. "I never got a chance to take it in, and that's what I'm trying to teach myself to do better, to live in the moment because you'll never get that same moment. No matter what that moment was trying to teach you or the lesson you’re meant to learn, it's important to thank the universe in whatever way it comes." 



How do you protect your space and well-being? I ask, "If the person serves no purpose to my life or joy, I don't deal with them. Especially if there's some negative weight attached. I have no problem using the block button or loving people from afar. If you are making yourself uncomfortable to make someone else comfortable, you are showing that they and their feelings are worth more to you than your own. I'm learning that I have self-worth and validation outside of what I do. I have people who love me more than I do for my job." 


It's important to protect your soul. I input, "People can be vampires and drain you of your spirit. I've learned that I can still be positive and love someone, but I do it from afar, so I protect myself and my wellbeing." 


Like for anyone, confidence isn't always a given, with self-love taking time and work, but it's something Chlöe has come to embrace when treating herself with kindness, honestly telling me some days it's easier than others. "Some days I wake up, and I'm like, wow, I feel beautiful, I love who I am. And then the next day, it will be the complete opposite." For those struggling, Chlöe reminds us, "I think we have to give ourselves grace going back to that word. It's okay that we don't feel 100% all of the time because we are human beings. And a lot of times, we're in denial about that. We think we have to be perfect all the time or that we're supposed always to be happy all the time. Or else we seem ungrateful. We can love ourselves. Just because we aren't doing okay doesn't mean we have to treat ourselves unkindly. Grace is a huge word; we should all apply it to our lives." 


Trouble in Paradise, the new album by Chlöe, coming soon.

Words Alice Gee

Photography Paris Mumpower

Styling Tabitha Sanchez

Hair Fesa Nu

MUA Kam Fardanesh

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