For this year’s annual Women Shaping the Future issue, we asked 12 of today’s top musical acts to talk about the women who have inspired them most in their lives and careers. Here, Chloe x Halle talk about their mentor, Beyoncé — who runs their label, Parkwood Entertainment — and share what they’ve learned from her example.
Beyoncé is the true definition of what it is to be yourself and work hard and give it your all. As young artists and as young black women who watch her, you automatically know your worth. You know to stand in your power, because you’re like, “Wow, look at this other black woman killing it. All she had to do was be herself, work hard, and push herself. That’s all she had to do. Let me try to do that.”
She understands what it means to be an artist, so when it’s us creating, it’s purely our own ideas, our own lyrics and melodies. We have complete and total creative freedom. She lets us spread our wings, experiment, do what we want. Of course, we love and appreciate her notes, and she has so much experience. When we sent our last album, Ungodly Hour, to her, she barely had any notes — which is rare, because she’s a Virgo queen. We were just floored and so happy and appreciative that she loved the project.
It’s a hard, hard journey to be in front of everyone, and have to be OK with them saying all these things about you. One little thing that you do can be overanalyzed by everyone. You have to be strong and not let that get to you. Watching Beyoncé do all of those things, rise above all of the madness and just be her talent, is so inspiring. She has taught us that it’s OK to be yourself. You could be that wholeheartedly and completely. You don’t have to dim your light. Shine. Be yourself. Be free with it. Stand strong in that power. Because she has done that, she has made us believe that we could do that.