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Ex-'Idol' singer Allison Iraheta premieres new look, sound in Halo Circus’s electronic ‘Narcissist’ video

When Allison Iraheta competed on American Idol in 2009, she was known as the pink-haired rocker teen who covered classic rock songs such as Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” and Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in her distinctively raspy voice. Nine years later, her trademark rasp remains — but much else has changed. She’s now a married 25-year-old with a blunt, cobalt-blue bob … and Halo Circus, her band with her husband of five years, Matthew Hager, has evolved from a rock en español quartet to a sleek electronic duo.

Yahoo Entertainment is excited to premiere Iraheta’s bold new look and sound in the aggressive, road-raging video for Halo Circus’s industrial/techno-pop single, “Narcissist,” from their forthcoming sophomore album, Robots and Wranglers.

Halo Circus’s Matthew Hager and Allison Iraheta. (Photo: Michael Becker)
Halo Circus’s Matthew Hager and Allison Iraheta. (Photo: Michael Becker)

“Driving through Los Angeles at 2 a.m. in a 1962 Land Rover was one of the best experiences of my life, and probably one of the most dangerous,” Iraheta tells Yahoo. “I’m so glad we captured it on film. We wanted to show a side of us we’ve never shown before. I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce our new album. We probably broke about 10 laws in the making of this video, and the crew did an incredible job.”

Iraheta’s career has traveled quite a curvy path over the years. “I was 16 when I auditioned for American Idol. My one goal was to make it to Hollywood Week, and somehow, I did. … There definitely wasn’t enough time to figure out what kind of an artist I wanted to be. I had red hair and a raspy voice; therefore, I was the ‘rocker chick,’” she wrote in a candid personal essay for Yahoo in 2016. “I carried myself with a lot of humor back then, but also with a healthy degree of self-doubt.

“I had been singing my whole life and even won another televised competition in Mexico a year before [Telemundo’s Quinceañera: Mamá Quiero Ser Artista], but to me, that wasn’t enough to meet the expectations of the people around me. … It was confusing, terrifying, and over too soon. There was so much information all around me that the most I could take in was for the adult I was yet to become.”

Allison Iraheta in 2009. (Photo: C Cuffaro/American Idol 2009/Getty Images for Fox)
Allison Iraheta in 2009. (Photo: C Cuffaro/American Idol 2009/Getty Images for Fox)

However, in adulthood, Iraheta’s confidence grew, which led to her recording the major-label solo album Just Like You; writing songs with everyone from Duran Duran’s John Taylor to the legendary Paul Williams (who called her “one of the best singers you’ve ever heard” in a Yahoo interview); singing backup as a regular with the Tonight Show band (led by former Idol music director Rickey Minor), and touring the country with Halo Circus to support its debut album, Bunny. She also recently sang a duet with Luis Fonsi at Clive Davis’s 2018 pre-Grammy party, contributed vocals to Nine Inch Nails’s Add Violence EP, and served as a consultant for Fox’s new singing competition, The Four.

Robots and Wranglers and “Narcissist” represent another step in Allison Iraheta’s artistic evolution. The album, mixed by Grammy-winning Rihanna/Kanye West producer Craig Bauer, comes out March 16 (just five days after American Idol’s return on ABC) and is available for preorder at Iraheta and Hager’s U.S. tour kicks off March 22.

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