This Side of Paradise

Multi-talented Actor-Singer Hayley Kiyoko Speaks Starring Roles and Making Music

Juggling her talents as a singer and songwriter, who also acts and dances, Hayley Kiyoko certainly has many strings to her bow. She makes no qualms, however, about where her true passion lies. ‘Music is where my heart is,’ she told The Plus. ‘I love all facets of performing and their individual challenges. I love pursuing both, but my focus and end goal has always been about music.’

2015 is set to be a huge year for Hayley, with upcoming roles in CSI: Cyber, Insidious 3, and with a starring role in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Jem and The Holograms, as well as the release of her EP. But Hayley is already making waves this side of the New Year, with the release of her latest video, This Side of Paradise.

‘My music has some electronic elements combined with a live element as well. I’m a hip hop dancer so I try to implement heavy drums and grooves with every record.’

Inspired by moments in her youth when all she wanted to do was ‘crawl into bed and dream about the one I loved, escape reality,’ Hayley told us that the video used windows as a symbolic barrier between the struggle with reality and ideal paradise. We spoke to Hayley about acting in Vampire Diaries, staring in movies, and real life paradise.

The Plus: How was it working on Vampire Diaries?
Hayley Kiyoko:
It was short but sweet! The cast was so much fun. My first week there we all went to a Beyoncé concert, which was amazing. And the handsome guy in my video, Kendrick, I actually met him through vampire diaries.

TP: Speaking about acting, we know you are going to play Raven in CSI, who’s an expert in social media.
My brother teased me when I first got the role and was like, ‘why do you always get cast as the smart one?’ Oh brotherly love. It was a dream to work on this show. I grew up watching alias and 24 so I love crime-solving shows. The set blew me away. So many computer screens and tech stuff, it’s been a challenge but a blast!

TP: And how about acting in Jem and the Holograms and Insidious 3?
I loved dying my hair blue for Jem! The director Jon M.Chu is incredible and I think everyone is going to really enjoy the film! The cherry on top was that after we wrapped Jem, I got to work with one of co-stars, Stefanie Scott, in Insidious 3! And that was a very different experience! That movie is going to make you pee your pants.

TP: What is your most memorable moment of shooting the This Side of Paradise video?
The opening shot of the music video was out in sunken city by San Pedro. We all had to wake up at 3am to make sure we got the money shot with the sun rising. We were climbing down mountains with equipment. When we got there we saw the rock in the middle of the ocean and I asked the director how we were going to ever get out there. That’s when he just walked straight through the ocean like a boss. Haha! So Kendrick and I had water up to our knees, trying to time out each wave. It was an adventure to say the least.

TP: Where do you consider to be your paradise?
When I was in Japan, my friend took me to Cape Manazuru and it took my breath away. If you look it up, it’s a long rock pathway to the middle of the ocean where a shrine meets you at the end. That was the paradise I was inspired by for the music video.