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Music / Hayley Kiyoko

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Saw your face, heard your name, gotta get with you
Girls like girls like boys do, nothing new
Isn't this why we came? Gotta get with you
Girls like girls, like boys do, nothing new
"Girls Like Girls"

Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft (born April 3, 1991 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress and singer-songwriter.

Hayley began acting at a young age, appearing in commercials for various brands, and also took an immediate liking to music, picking up drum lessons at age six. Her first major career opportunity came in 2007, when she became a founding member of The Stunners, an all-girl singing and dancing group. The group released a handful of singles and an EP before splitting in 2011. She also appeared in her first TV role in 2007, playing a bit part in several episodes of Unfabulous.

In 2009, Hayley starred as Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, a role she reprised for the film's 2010 sequel Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster. She then began acting in various Disney works, starting with a guest appearance in four episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place before starring in the Disney Channel Original Movie Lemonade Mouth. In 2015, she landed a leading role on the short-lived series CSI: Cyber.

Since then, Hayley has been focusing on her music. She released several EPs around the mid-2010s, the second of which (This Side of Paradise) contains the hit single "Girls Like Girls", whose video currently has over 152 million views on YouTube. Her debut album, Expectations, was released in March 2018 and reached the top 20 in the United States, Canada and Australia. Her fourth EP, I'm Too Sensitive For This Shit, was released in 2020; her second album, Panorama, came in 2022.

Hayley is also a lesbian, and her tendencies to sing about loving women, make music videos featuring girls falling in love, and publicly advocate for queer rights has gained her a large LGBT Fanbase. Several Affectionate Nicknames her fans have given her include "Lesbian Jesus" and "the Queen of the Gays". Since 2018, she has been dating former Bachelor contestant Becca Tilley.

In May 2023, Hayley published a young adult fiction book titled Girls Love Girls about a teenage lesbian girl (you guessed it) falling in love with another girl in a small town. Within a week of release, it debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list for hardcover young adult books.


  • A Belle to Remember EP (2013)
  • This Side of Paradise EP (2015)
  • Citrine EP (2016)
  • Expectations (2018)
  • I'm Too Sensitive For This Shit EP (2020)
  • Panorama (2022)

Selected filmography:

Hayley and her music contains examples of:

  • The '90s: Some of the aesthetics of her music videos are reminiscent of the 90s, particularly her outfit in the "Gravel to Tempo" video.
  • Album Intro Track: "Expectations/Overture".
  • All Love Is Unrequited: A common theme of her music:
    • "Pretty Girl" implies the crush is unrequited, since her crush doesn't like her "type".
    • "Sleepover" grapples with every lesbian's worst nightmare: crushing on your straight best friend.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: She has said that "Gravel to Tempo" is about feeling out of place around the girls she had crushes on in high school.
    "Catch my name for kicks, thinking I would be right by your side
    I don't feel adequate, thinking I'm a monster in disguise."
  • All There in the Manual: The protagonists in "Girls Like Girls" are listed in the credits as Sonya and Coley. Likewise, the description for "Sleepover" reveals that Hayley's crush is named Rose.
  • Ambiguous Ending:
    • In "Curious", the video for "Curious" ends implying that Kiyoko has moved on from their "toxic back-and-forth" relationship with her ex-girlfriend permanently before her question ("I'm just curious...Is it serious?") is answered. Kiyoko explained that "It took me a long time to" become comfortable walking away from situations similar to what her music video character encounters, but believes "Itís important to showcase ... because itís important to encourage learning self-respect. Games are fun, but at a certain point, itís like, ĎOkay, when am I compromising myself?".
  • Badass Boast: "Girls Like Girls" is basically one long badass boast of a more personal sort. It's the narrator becoming confident in her sexuality and affirming it to herself and to boys who are threatened by it.
    "Always gonna steal your thunder, watch me like a dark cloud
    On the move, collecting numbers, I'mma take your girl out
    We will be everything that we'd ever need."

    Don't tell me, tell me what I feel-I'm real and I don't feel like boys!
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Coley from the "Girls Like Girls" video. She's shy and nice, but don't fuck with Sonya on her watch.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Sonya and Coley in the "Girls Like Girls" music video after Coley beats the crap out of Sonya's abusive boyfriend.
  • Bisexual Love Triangle:
    • Between Sonya, her abusive boyfriend and her female love interest Coley in "Girls Like Girls".
    • Between Tereza, her boyfriend and her ex-girlfriend Kiyoko in "Curious".
    • A brief one between Kehlani, Kiyoko and the creepy male hitchhiker in "What I Need".
    • Several songs on Expectations deal with Hayley falling for a girl with a boyfriend, most notably "Curious" and "He'll Never Love You (HNLY)".
  • Breakout Character: Headphones Girl from the "Gravel to Tempo" music video, the popular girl that looks very excited to have Hayley flirting with her. Fans have begged to have her back in another music video and have even made fanart of her.
  • Closet Gay: The song "Curious" details Kiyoko confronting an ex-girlfriend she believes is dating a man to mask her true feelings for Kiyoko.
  • Color Motif: She has said that all the songs off of Citrine represent a different color.
  • Color Wash: The "Cliff's Edge" music video is washed in pink lighting.
  • Destructive Romance: The two main characters in the "Cliff's Edge" music video, who are constantly fighting whenever they aren't making out.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Pretty Girl", referring to the narrator's crush and a line in the chorus, "I just wanna tell you that you're really pretty, girl".
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Feelings" continues on to "What I Need" as it fades out.
  • Gayngst:
    • "Gravel To Tempo" where Kiyoko's character is bullied at school for being a lesbian.
  • In "Curious", Kiyoko calls out her ex-girlfriend for ignoring her and dating a man to avoid dealing with being LGBT+.
  • Grief Song:
    • Unusually upbeat for the trope, but "Palace" is about losing a loved one and finding comfort in knowing they will live on forever in your memories.
    • "Molecules" is one of these too.
  • Happy Dance: One possible interpretation of Hayley's dancing in the "Gravel to Tempo" music video.
  • Held Gaze:
    • Between the protagonists in "Girls Like Girls".
    • Also Sonya and Coley in "Girls Like Girls".
    • Between the protagonists in "What I Need".
  • Hopeless Suitor: A rare unsympathetic variation in "Girls Like Girls". It's pretty clear Sonya isn't interested in the boy who's after her, but he keeps on at it, even shoving Coley away from her when he catches them in an Almost Kiss and yelling "Of all people, her?" at Sonya. Bad idea.
  • Hotter and Sexier:
    • The release of Expectations coincided with a more adult image.
    • The "Sleepover" music video is much more sexual than her previous videos, featuring Hayley making out with another girl, with camera close-ups on their underwear.
    • The "Curious" video was even sexier, featuring Hayley in her bra lying on the floor getting touched by a bunch of women, followed by her passionately making out with another girl.
  • Incompatible Orientation:
    • Implied in "Pretty Girl", as Hayley says the girl doesn't "like [her] type".
    • Same with "Sleepover", as it chronicles the attempts of a lesbian to show her friend how deeply she longs to be in a relationship with her. That friend, however, is unaware of her feelings.
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "One Bad Night" might be about this.
      "You make me feel like I wanna be bad
      Talk with your fingertips, don't stop the car, let's drive
      Suck on your amber lips, just give me one bad night."
    • "Cliff's Edge" is definitely about this.
      "Closing in closer to you
      This could take all night
      Caving and crumbling on your
      Hips, your lips, they're mine
      Cliff's edge, you turn me on
      You lead me on
      You got me on
      A cliff's edge, where I belong."
  • Lie Back and Think of England: Implied in "Curious" where Kiyoko thinks her ex-girlfriend fantasizes about her while she's in bed with her new boyfriend.
    "You think of me, I'm what you see, when you look at the sky."
  • Literary Allusion Title: "This Side of Paradise", obviously.
  • Love Is a Drug:
    • In "Feelings"
    "You spent the night, you got me high
    Oh what did you do?"
    • Shows up in a more disparaging way in "He'll Never Love You".
    "Yeah, I know, yeah, I know, I'm the drug you never did,
    Higher than you've ever been,
    Yeah, you know, yeah, you know, took me like I was a hit,
    Addicted but trying to quit."
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: "One Bad Night" is an Intercourse with You song. The video is about a valet stealing Hayley's car, going on a joyride, and saving a woman who was beaten up by muggers.
  • Maybe Ever After:
    • "Cliffs Edge". Hayley's love interest rescues her from the pond, symbolizing a potential hand up from their chaotic relationship, but we don't see the aftermath.
    • "Curious". The video ends with Hayley's love interest giving in to temptation and cheating on her boyfriend with Hayley. Hayley leaves the girl alone looking conflicted, and we never see what happens afterwards.
  • Method Acting: Under instructions from Hayley Kiyoko herself who directed the video for "What I Need", the opening dialogue between Kehlani and her homophobic aunt was completely improvised.
  • Motor Mouth: From "Curious", which became a mini Memetic Mutation in her fandom:
    "did you."
  • The Oner: The "Feelings" music video is all done in one take.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • The "One Bad Night" music video opens with someone yelling "You're always fucking late!" at one of the main characters. It's even more jarring when you consider that this is the first time any swearing has been featured in any of her videos.
    • Most of the spoken dialogue in the "What I Need" music video has this, especially in the opening.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Discussed in "Gravel to Tempo", as one of the many insecurities prompted by Internalized Categorism-the narrator feels predatory and like a betrayer for crushing on straight girls.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Sonya and Coley in the "Girls Like Girls" music video.
    • Hayley and Kehlani in the "What I Need" music video.
  • Retargeted Lust: Kiyoko's ex-girlfriend in "Curious" dates a man to avoid dealing with her feelings toward Kiyoko.
  • Rock-Star Song: "Palm Dreams", which is both this and an ode to California.
  • Smoking Is Cool: The two main characters of the "Girls Like Girls" video bond over sharing a cigarette.
  • Tomboy: Particularly in "Gravel to Tempo", where she has her hair pulled back and is wearing a t-shirt and loose denim shorts.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Coley in "Girls Like Girls". When Sonya's abusive boyfriend grabs her and yells at her, Coley just beats the living shit out of him. That was right after the dick hit Coley.