When it comes to Hayley Kiyoko, there are two important facts you need to know: She’s gay and she’s a proud member of Bachelor Nation. With the self-directed new video for her catchy new single “For the Girls,” Kiyoko imagines what a lesbian Bachelorette would look like. It’s a concept she can’t believe she didn’t try sooner.
“I love The Bachelor franchise. Honestly, reality TV is what gets me through everyday stress,” Kiyoko tells Rolling Stone while en route to the White House’s AAPI Heritage Month festivities. “I just love the kind of mindless drama, but it’s also just so fun that you get invested into their lives and world. I wanted a queer version of that.”
When casting the video, she prioritized an entirely queer cast, barring of course her dad who makes a cameo as a limo driver for the contestants while they’re en route to meet Kiyoko. “I was honestly yelling at him to get off the set,” she jokes. “The shot took like two seconds! He’s there for 10 minutes and knows every single person and is talking to the contestants.”
The video grabs all the type of drama and romance one expects from The Bachelorette: There are screaming, tearful fights and lots of kissing leading up to the rose ceremony. At the end, however, Kiyoko is greeted by a surprise match who appears to be Kiyoko’s chosen winner — none other than two-time Bachelor contestant Becca Tilley. Tilley was the runner-up on Season 19 of the show and then was eliminated in Week Seven of Season 20.
“I had to have a Bachelor alum in the video, so we talked about having her involved,” Kiyoko says, choosing her words carefully. Kiyoko and Tilley have been spotted spending time together frequently over the last few years and are rumored to be in a relationship.
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“Third time’s the charm,” the singer teases. “And that’s what I’m going to say about it.”
Kiyoko’s debut album Expectations was released in 2018. While beginning to work on her sophomore album, she dropped an EP in 2020 titled I’m Too Sensitive for This Shit. Last year, she began rolling out her upcoming LP Panorama with singles “Found My Friends” and “Chance.” Panorama is out on July 29 and for the star, it’s an opportunity to provide a more intimate portrait of where she’s at in her life.
“I felt like I was catching up with my authentic self [on my debut album],” she explains of the difference between the two. “I feel like it happens a lot with queer people. Once you come out, it’s like catching up with time. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can share who I love! I wanna tell this story! I wanna tell that story.’”
Panorama, in some ways, feels like a proper debut since it’s capturing her present self. She titled it after a panoramic view, the type she was able to experience in her life once she overcame some mental and physical health struggles during the Expectations era. “It feels like a more refined version of myself. Everything I’ve been through the past couple years, I feel like I know myself more than I ever did during the Expectations era.”
Kiyoko has a busy summer ahead of her. In June, she’ll co-headline the 50th anniversary of London Pride at Royal Albert Hall. Later, she’ll open for Lauv on tour. She’s excited to be on the road with a whole project of new music.
“I hope my fans feel empowered by these records,” she continues. “I was able to really utilize Panorama to help me redefine myself, my power, and my confidence. I’m hoping it will do the same for my fans.”