Halsey appeared on Wednesday night’s Daily Show to discuss her new poetry book I Would Leave Me If I Could with host Trevor Noah. Their discussion ranged beyond that, though, with Noah asking Halsey about her continued work as an activist as well as an artist even as her fame continues to skyrocket.
“I witness a lot of that dichotomy living in L.A., because it has some of the most successful, comfortable, richest people, and then some of the most impoverished and displaced and unhomed,” she told him. “Watching those two walks of life coexist in this bubble is a real eye-opener because I’ve been on both sides of it.”
Halsey added that the resource center for disenfranchised youth where she currently volunteers in L.A. reminds her of the place where she used to go to seek help while she was displaced and in poverty in New York.
“I think it’s about keeping yourself immersed in your communities and interacting with those people, instead of…only interacting with people who are of your class or of your race or of your creed,” she said. “Broaden your horizons. Get to understand other walks of life, and that gives you perspective that I think is really valuable. And I’m still learning stuff every day that I don’t know about people, you know?”
In talking about her new book, for which she designed the cover, Halsey explained that she dabbles in so many different types of art as a way to have multiple connections to her fans, especially since live music is out of the question right now. Noah agreed, saying he felt the same way about writing his own book — “There are just some things that don’t work in standup, that don’t have a punchline.” In particular, he emphasized how she was able to write through her bipolar disorder and discuss it openly and honestly with fans in her work.
“I think the conversation around mental health is very supportive in theory, and then when someone actually starts displaying symptoms of psychosis or anxiety or depression, everyone kind of goes like, ‘Ugh! That’s a little too much, can we go back to just talking about all the good parts? The things you’ve overcome and how strong you are?’” she said. “I don’t always want to talk about how strong I am — sometimes I wanna talk about how weak I am because of it, too. It’s not about what I’ve overcome, it’s about what I’m still trying to overcome, and I think that’s really important.”