Hayley Kiyoko review – tongue-twisters from teen pop rebel

O2 Academy, Islington
She was once a wannabe teen star, and Kiyoko’s training shows through with expert dance breaks and elastic electropop

Superficially, Hayley Kiyoko has followed a tried-and-tested route to pop stardom. A child star, she was on the payroll for Nickelodeon and Disney in her teens, and supported Justin Bieber as one-fifth of now-defunct girl band the Stunners. So far, so familiar. However, after a creative breakthrough in 2015 inspired by Tegan and Sara, Kiyoko started writing candidly about her sexuality and, via the springy, self-explanatory bop Girls Like Girls, was hailed “lesbian Jesus” by her fans. It’s a moniker she feels passionate about; earlier this year she dismissed Rita Ora’s leaden, male gaze-inviting Girls as invalidating “the very pure feelings of an entire community”.

Related: How Hayley Kiyoko became pop's 'lesbian Jesus'

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