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Hayley Kiyoko’s “Girls Like Girls” Music Video Tops 3.8 Million Views on Vevo, Reveals Inspiration for Song

Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko

Girls like girls, like boys do! So says indie artist and Insidious: Chapter Three actress Hayley Kiyoko, who is giving a whole new meaning to female pop anthems with her latest single "Girls Like Girls” from her EP, This Side of Paradise

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"I loved the idea of how all these guys always are stealing other guys’ girls and I was like, ‘There’s no female anthem for a girl stealing another guy's girl,' and that is the coolest thing ever,” the singer-songwriter tells Us Weekly.

The former Disney star’s vision for the “Girls Like Girls” music video goes far beyond the cool factor. The video, which has already topped 3.8 million views on Vevo since its June 24 debut, sends a powerful message to young adults who might be struggling with sexual identity and self-acceptance, "It's become a universal video that brings out different kinds of emotions for different kinds of people,” she tells Us.

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Starring Kiyoko’s Jem and the Holograms costar Stefanie Scott and actress Kelsey Chow, the video tells the story of a teenage girl who realizes that she has feelings for her female friend who has a boyfriend, and is forced to deal with certain emotional and physical adversities as she comes to terms with her feelings.

“I wanted the song to be the inner monologue that Coley [as played by Stefanie Scott] has where she wishes she was that confident, and those are the thoughts she had in her mind… I really wanted to create a video that kind of gave that a platform and gave girls some representation in a positive way during a time like that when you’re just so fragile and innocent in that self-discovery moment.”

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The songstress also directed the video alongside her friend Austin S. Winchell. She admits getting behind the camera didn’t come easy at first, "I definitely was nervous because I was like, ‘Well I hope I’m good! I hope this turns out okay!’” But those nerves were short-lived thanks to her unwavering commitment to her art, and even credits her mother, Sarah Kawahara, a major-league figure skater and choreographer, for passing along her natural ability to direct. “My mom choreographed the top Olympians, she’s really the queen of ice in her world so I kind of get my directorial bug from her because she’s really good at telling people what to do!” Kiyoko tells Us. 

In terms of inspiration, Kiyoko didn't have to search too far, having bonded on set with another Jem co-star and fellow female rocker Juliette Lewis, who is the lead singer of her own band called Juliette Lewis & The Licks. According to Kiyoko, “[Juliette's] like the female Mick Jagger! She’s a big role model of mine, we’ve become close.”

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