Hayley Kiyoko knows cars. Her dream rides have included a Bugatti Veyron — among the fastest production cars on Earth — and classics like a ’57 Chevy and an Austin-Healey. She can talk everything from torque curves to five-star safety ratings.
“I’m obsessed,” Kiyoko says as she pilots an Audi e-tron through the tree-lined streets of L.A.’s ritzy Bel Air neighborhood. “My dad used to keep auto magazines in the bathroom to browse, and we went to car shows for Father’s Day every year. Cars are my steez.”
Driving with music, on the other hand, is not. In her own car — an Audi Q5 — Kiyoko prefers listening to nothing at all. “I like driving in silence because it’s the only time I can collect my thoughts,” says the singer-songwriter crowned “Lesbian Jesus” by her fans. “Sometimes I’ll get home and just sit in my car for a while. It’s a safe space where no one can bother me. But it makes my friends nuts — after 30 minutes of driving they’ll be like, ‘Uh, can you turn on some music?’ ”
The roomy e-tron is a great pick for anyone who loves silence. The SUV, Audi’s first all-electric vehicle, offers a drive free of engine noise and road racket. And there’s still plenty of juice in the tank as Kiyoko swings south toward Beverly Hills, talking about the future. She’s working on an album she describes as “more daring and evolved” than her previous work — it will include her latest single, “I Wish,” a midtempo lament about a callous lover — and while her online popularity and status in the LGBTQ community mean the world to her, Kiyoko hopes for some old-school accolades.
“I want a platinum record!” she says. “That, to me, is a measure of mainstream success. Plus being played on the radio.” Which would be a pretty good reason to finally listen to music in her car.