Hayley Kiyoko: Opening for Justin Bieber and Living to Tell

Hayley Kiyoko Disney Channel photo

Serving as the opening act for Justin Bieber — the female opening act, mind you — might seem to be one of the most thankless jobs on the planet right now when you think of all those thousands of tween girls breathlessly awaiting their teen idol crush.  But Hayley Kiyoko, who’ll be seen starring in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Lemonade Mouth” come April 15,  insists that she and her bandmates in the girl pop band The Stunners had a great time.
 “A lot of times when you’re an opening act, you play to 20 per cent full arenas,” points out the guitarist and drummer, who’s been seen on “Wizards of Waverly Place.  But with the Beib, she says, “We’d see girls lined up outside the venues at 2 o’clock for a seven o’clock show.  By the time the lights went up and we came out, they were so anxious to see anything they were happy.”

 Touring with Bieber was truly a baptism by fire.  As Hayley notes, she and her band “went from playing for 20 people at City Walk to playing for crowds of 17,000 — no warm up, nothing in between.”  Fortunately, “Everyone in Justin Bieber’s camp is wonderful,” she says.  “He’s extremely talented and a really nice kid.”

Kiyoko, who’s been accepted into the Clive Davis School of Recorded Music at New York University, just loves to perform.  Going out in front of arena crowds, she says, “The best analogy I can come up with is, it’s like that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster, at the very top, when it slows down, and you know you’re about to go down, but you don’t know when.  I was like, ‘This is it.  This is what I love to do.'”

And as if doing 20 concerts with Bieber wasn’t enough of a rush, she was also getting ready to film the “Lemonade Mouth” movie about a group of less-than-popular high schoolers comes together to form a powerhouse band.  “The great thing was that, in-between the travel days, I would fly to New Mexico for preproduction on ‘Lemonade Mouth.’  It was pretty rock star.”