Photos by Keith Major. Video by Boima Anderson.
Most people don’t get to their dream job in their twenties. But Chlöe Bailey isn’t most women. A singer, songwriter and actress, Bailey spent her early teen years belting out hits on YouTube and social media, and the latter teens touring the world. Her twenties brought a few changes. Specifically, she started tapping into her divine feminine energy—and it caused quite a buzz. “For some reason it’s abnormal to be yourself, to go against the grain, to break the box…the world tells us to do everything but be ourselves,” she tells EBONY. The songbird can’t help it if she is more panther than princess. And, after a bit of soul searching, she’s good with not hiding it.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, EBONY is highlighting a curated list of dynamic, badass women who are breaking boundaries— loudly and with pride. In Women Who Rule Break, a series of personal video essays, Black women share how they carved their own lanes, healed from disappointment and trauma, and found success while pursuing their passion by breaking the rules.
“Do what simply makes you happy. It’s so boring and suffocating when you have to stick to the status quo.”-Chlöe Bailey
Bailey is currently booked and busy. After releasing a string of hip-swaying singles, including 2021’s platinum chart-topper, “Have Mercy”, the singer’s solo album, “In Pieces” debuts at the end of March. And, in the midst of first album fever, the ATL native is showing off her leading lady chops with two big roles. “Praise This”, a Will Packer-produced film starring Bailey as a singer in the world of Atlanta’s competitive gospel youth choir scene, is slated to be released this month. On a mission to break into the music business by any means necessary, Bailey’s character learns that ambition can cost you and that praise is ultimately about gratitude. Bailey also dipped her perfectly polished toes in Horror Noire, co-starring in Amazon’s upcoming series “Swarm”(out March 18th), a Donald Glover produced project about a young woman’s dark obsession with a pop star.
“For some reason it’s abnormal to be yourself, to go against the grain, to break the box…the world tells us to do everything but be ourselves.”-Chlöe Bailey
Managing literally doing the most means pushing a few boundaries and breaking some rules — even the ones she made. “The path that I planned out in my head really doesn’t make any sense in comparison to the plan that God has for me,” she says. “I think my obsession with wanting everything to be perfect, sometimes it has its downside, and it can be a little unhealthy. So why I’ve been so happy these past few months is because I’ve completely let go of that control.”
Bailey’s transition from teen dream to sexy queen hasn’t been the easiest. It required her to anchor herself in confidence, disconnect from haters and truly chart her own course. There have been a lot of bumps, disappointments and wins along the way. In this episode of Women Who Rule Break, Bailey speaks to the vulnerability it takes to walk in your truth, advocate for your happiness, and cope with change. “Do what simply makes you happy,” she adds. “It’s so boring and suffocating when you have to stick to the status quo.”
Watch the latest episode of Women Who Rule Break featuring Chlöe Bailey here and check out more episodes of the series throughout March.
PHOTO DIRECTOR / PHOTOGRAPHER KEITH MAJOR
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER TRACEY WOODS
STYLIST TIMOTHY GARCIA
MAKEUP ARTIST DAVID VELASQUEZ
HAIR STYLIST KENYA O’NEIL
PHOTO ASSISTANT STEPHEN PANOSIAN
HEAD OF VIDEO / ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR STEVEN CORNELIO
DIRECTOR BOIMA ANDERSON
AD / SET MANAGER KIARA THE VOICE
SET DECORATOR KENDAL
SET DECORATOR PA OLIVIA EBLING
PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS NABIL KEYRO, KALIEGH SCHOEN
KEY GRIP KALIEGH SCHOEN
SOUND & BOOM ARTIST DAVE POLO
CREATIVE PRODUCER SABINE QUETANT