How Hayley Kiyoko’s Album “Expectations,” Exceeded My Expectations


Between the 18 units worth of courses that increase my blood pressure, the minimal hours of retail work that for some odd reason seems to be never-ending and the excruciating yet tiresome moments of procrastination, or what I call writers block, I often forget to exhale.

Like many individuals who navigate themselves through the continuously fast patterns of life, I can never find the time to take a breath. The only moments where I manage to release the built up oxygen infused with all of the external forces and responsibilities that drown me out, is through music.

With the recent release of her new album, “Expectations”, artist Hayley Kiyoko has been topping the pop charts and paving the way for more gay performers to enter the mainstream music industry. Kyoko’s smooth ballads and bump-n-grind pop music gives a statement of her originality as an artist within today’s representation of the music industry.

Unlike any female artist of 2018, she is one of the few openly gay performers, and her music and lyrics stem from the narratives of female to female love interests and the conflicts that follow. Labeled as “Lesbian Jesus,” she paves the way towards more openly gay artists to enter the mainstream music industry. As a result, barriers are broken and Kiyoko stands triumphant.

A good fraction of the tracks off her album explain the complications that come with wanting to be more than an individual’s a experiment towards their sexual curiosities (a feeling that every queer person, myself included, has unfortunately faced or eventually will).

While disclosing these narratives, Kiyoko moreover, explains the uncontrollable stages of mixed emotions that follow. Kiyoko’s curiosity turns to lust, then her lust eventually takes a form of love,until love turns to heartbreak and heartbreak forms jealousy and eventually jealousy becomes overshadowed by a storm of anger. Once the rain of anger has finished then a premature acceptance arises.

Somewhere along the way of this illusioned acceptance comes a final relapse of emotions that misguide you as you desperately yearn for a nostalgic past that is no longer there, until you finally find acceptance. It’s always refreshing to see the vulnerability of artists and the expressions found within their creations.

She binds a connection to her fans and in “Expectations” we see this vulnerable side of the artist, while she reveals her truth impeded into each track.

With Kiyoko what you see is what you get. There is no censorship with this artist. We need more queer narratives told. Specifically, we need those narratives told by people of the queer community.

This honesty is what makes Kiyoko relatable to her fans and her genuineness is what separates her from other young artists. When I listen to Expectations I’m immediately taken back to my early years of self identity and the traumas that can only occur when you’re young and in love.

Kiyoko’s series of party anthems and tear jerkers become any young persons vice, it became mine as well.

Inevitably I encounter that long awaited exhale and in that moment I’m wrapped in silk blanket of rose petals and euphoria.