Unless you’ve been actively avoiding listening to new music lately, then you know—and are obsessed with—”Love Myself,” Hailee Steinfeld’s new jam that may or may not be about masturbation. (Hailee’s leaving that up to your interpretation, which means it probably is.) But she’s not here to be a one-hit wonder: Every song on Hailee’s new EP, Haiz (out Friday, November 13) is just as addictive to listen to. It’s a super solid start for an actress transitioning into the pop game, and we can’t wait to see where she takes her music career next. So we caught up with Hailee about her music ambitions, Pitch Perfect 3 plans, and her upcoming tour with Jingle Ball.
Glamour: I love the EP—it’s so fun. So what inspired you to get into music? Why make that transition?
Hailee Steinfeld: Music has always been something I wanted to do. I think just the idea of performing and entertaining and being in the studio is really what I wanted to know how that felt. I started to get into it around the same time I got into acting, but it turned into a side project because my movies were taking up most of my time. But a little over a year ago, I was in Pitch Perfect 2 and that was basically the perfect segue into professionally recording music. I met a man named Charlie Walk after I had finished shooting the movie, and he did the soundtrack for the first Pitch Perfect. We got to talking, and I played him some of my original music and signed through the label eventually. The first single came, and now I have an EP. It’s quite insane!
Glamour: And now you’re going to be in Pitch Perfect 3…
HS: I am!
Glamour: Will we get to hear some of your original music in the movie?
HS: I would absolutely love that. I obviously haven’t seen a script or anything at all, but I’m working on it.
Glamour: So what inspired you to get into pop music specifically?
HS: In the beginning, when I started meeting with writers and producers, I knew what I wanted my sound to be, but I had the hardest time articulating it. It wasn’t until I met Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels, and Mattman and Robin, who have written and produced everything that’s on the EP, that I…it was never a matter of me trying to explain what I wanted it to be, it just sort of happened. Now I can talk about what it is, and it’s a sort of edgy pop that I heard it being from the beginning. It’s amazing and so insane that I’ve been able to work with people that have been able to help make that happen for me and with me.
Glamour: Listening to the EP, I felt like the songs have a lot of empowerment messages. It seemed to be an overall theme. Was that your goal going in?
HS: It’s definitely important to me, but in the order that it happened, it’s just been coincidental in a way. I do feel that in the EP the first two songs, “Love Myself” and “You’re Such A” are just super fun, sassy, more empowering songs. “Rock Bottom” and “Hell No’s and Headphones” are on the other side of the spectrum line—in the more vulnerable side of things. I do feel like the four songs that are on the EP capture a different feel in each song.
Glamour: “Love Yourself” has been a huge hit already, and I know there’s been some chatter online about what the lyrics of the song mean. You’ve said it’s left to be interpreted by the listener, but what’s your reaction to the stir it’s created online?
HS: I mean, I wasn’t surprised by it at all, but I do think it is interesting how some people take it. I’m always interested to see how people interpret any art form, so it was interesting that it was my song specifically. It was interesting to see what people thought, but for me in realizing that even with its double meaning, the level of importance only goes deeper to the meaning that it holds.
Glamour: And the EP’s title, Haiz—is that a nickname for you?
HS: It is. It’s what my fans have been calling me, and my friends actually for a little while. My fans have been calling me that long enough to where I thought that if I titled this EP it would feel as though they named it. It’s kind of a tribute to them.
Glamour: I noticed a lot of female stars have been tweeting about the EP coming out. You posted a picture of Elizabeth Banks holding up a sign for your album, and Abigail Breslin had tweeted about it. It’s so great that there are so many supportive women in the industry. Do you think that’s a little bit of the Taylor Swift squad effect happening?
HS: Yeah, I really do feel like I’m in a generation where women are empowering and supporting each other. It’s so amazing to feel a part of that. I think Taylor has done such an incredible job of making that known and showing that it is real and it does exist. And it does within our group of friends and within me and my group of friends that I’ve grown up with and people that I’ve worked with in the last couple of years, Elizabeth being one of them. I really do think it’s amazing that it is a thing. Just personally, the support I’m receiving from my friends is just…I’m very thankful for [it].
Glamour: I think it’s a great message for young fans.
Glamour: Joey King posted a sign of all the things she loves about you, and she says you do a great Miranda impression. Which Miranda?!
HS: Miranda Sings on YouTube. I went as her for Halloween last year, and it’s a weird thing I go in.
Glamour: Do you have any other impressions that you pull out for fun?
HS: No, I don’t, but I am not bad at them. I can pick up on something someone does and try and impersonate it, but I don’t have any that I can say, “I can do a really great so-and-so.”
Glamour: You’re also going on tour with the Jingle Ball, are there any acts you’re most excited about seeing?
HS: Oh my gosh, yes! So many! And I have to honestly say I’m so incredibly lucky and honored to be able to call some of the people in this lineup my friends. I’m so excited to see Selena [Gomez] perform songs off of Revival because its one of my favorite albums at the moment. And the Weeknd, Tove Lo, Alessia Cara is one of my favorite artists of the moment. It’s a really great lineup. I’m so excited to be a part of it.
Glamour: It’s definitely a good time to be in pop music. Speaking of, your EP comes out the same day as Justin Bieber and One Direction’s new albums. Are you excited to be in that group? Who would you want to collaborate with one day if that happened?
HS: Well, first of all, Friday the 13th is going to be one hell of a day. Alessia’s album comes out that day too, so I’m in incredible company. I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait to hear Justin’s album—everything so far off the album I’m so in love with, and he’s worked with some people on the album that I’m huge fans of as well. 1D and Alessia’s albums I cant wait for, and I would love to collaborate. If I could choose, well any of them, but I’m excited it’s all happening. It’ll be a great Friday the 13th!