Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft (/ˈheɪli kiˈjoʊkoʊ ˈælkrɒft/ HAY-lee kee-YOHK-oh AL-kroft; born April 3, 1991), known professionally as Hayley Kiyoko, is an American actress, singer and songwriter. She is best known for playing Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo The Mystery Begins and Curse of the Lake Monster, as well as Stella Yamada in the Disney Channel film Lemonade Mouth. In February 2015 she released her debut solo EP.
She currently portrays the role of Raven Ramirez in CSI: Cyber and has a main role on the spin-off web-series of The Fosters.
Kiyoko was born on April 3, 1991, in Los Angeles, California, to actor/comedian Jamie Alcroft and figure skater Sarah Kawahara. Her mother is from Canada, and is of Japanese ancestry, and her father is from Ohio, and has English and Scottish ancestry. She began acting at a young age, appearing in national commercials for companies such as GM Onstar, Slim Jim and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Insisting on drum lessons at age 6, she was writing drum charts for new releases and selling them in a local music store by age 11. She was elected President of her middle school and high school freshman classes school and Vice-president in her senior year. She was appointed Commissioner of Entertainment in her sophomore year and Commissioner of Pep Rallies in her junior year.
She created and choreographed "The Agoura High Step Team" that has now been faculty-approved as a school club under her direction. The team placed 3rd at a Nationals competition in 2005. Upon graduation, she was accepted into Clive Davis School of Recorded Music at New York University but initially deferred until eventually declining due to career opportunities.
Kiyoko was "discovered' at age five when she, for moral support, went with her friend to a photo shoot. The director asked her to step in front of the camera, and she ended up in a national print ad for KnowledgeWare. Nickelodeon spotted her at the Culver City Ice Rink, and she ended up featured in and narrating a short piece about children in sports called, "I'm Hayley, a Skater". Kiyoko continued to hone her skills in middle school plays, and in 7th grade she, after seeing Eurasian girls like herself act in J. C. Penney commercials, asked for an agent. She got her commercial agent and booked her first audition, claiming acting was always just something she did on the side to make money for college and music equipment. Formed in November 2007 and named after her grandfather, Kiyoko created the garage band Hede and released five songs on Myspace and a music video for "Warehouse". The band performed locally on several occasions and split in 2008.
2007–11: Career beginning
In 2007, Kiyoko was approached by former pop-star Vitamin C to join an all-girl singing and dancing group. She had guest-voiced a character on American Dragon, Jake Long on Cartoon Network. She joined Allie Gonino, Tinashe, Kelsey Sanders, later replaced by Lauren Hudson, and Marisol Esparza to form The Stunners. Six months after forming, the group signed with Columbia Records and released a single titled "Bubblegum" to iTunes along with the official video for the single and also contributed a song to the iCarly soundtrack. In 2009, the group left Columbia Records, signed a production deal with Lionsgate Entertainment, and shot a music video for their promo single "We Got It" which was released on February 22, 2010. After graduating highschool in 2009, Kiyoko booked her first big movie, starring as Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins. A role she almost did not audition for due to her image. The TV movie premiered on September 13, 2009 and was a huge success bringing in 6.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in Cartoon Network's history. She returned for the same role in the sequel, Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster which premiered on October 16, 2010. The sequel drew 3.4 million viewers. Kiyoko also guest starred in four episodes of Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place, which first aired between March and May 2010. She played the short lived, yet popular role of Stevie Nichols, an evil wizard.
With The Stunners, she signed to Universal Republic Records in 2010 and released their first single "Dancin' Around the Truth" which featured the New Boyz to iTunes as well as Top 40 radio stations. The music video premiered June 2, just before the group was announced as an opening act on Justin Bieber's My World Tour. A full album was planned, but cancelled when the group split in 2011. Kiyoko began work on the Disney Channel movie Lemonade Mouth in 2010. She starred as rebellious teenager Stella Yamada. The film premiered on April 15, 2011 and was watched by 5.7 million viewers, with DVR viewing included, its total was 7.1 million viewers. Kiyoko guest starred in one episode of Disney XD's Zeke and Luther titled, "Skater Girl Island" which aired May 23, 2011. She played a skater named Suzi Vandelintzer. The highly anticipated sequel to Lemonade Mouth was cancelled prior to pre-production. All actors, including Kiyoko, were on board for the project but Disney released a statement through the films co-stars saying "They felt the movie had completed its story within the first film."
2012–present: Television and music
Hayley's first time on television was voice acting for Cartoon Network. She played a brief appearance of a young girl in American Dragon, Jake Long. In February 2012, Kiyoko filmed Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, a Lifetime TV movie which is a remake of the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon. She played the small role of Helen. All scenes featuring the character were filmed in Los Angeles while a majority of the film was filmed in Puerto Rico. It premiered on June 16, 2012.
Kiyoko became a recurring character on ABC Family's The Fosters as an ex-cyberbully in Callie's all-girls group home.
She currently portrays the role of Raven Ramirez in CSI: Cyber which premiered on CBS March 4, 2015.
Kiyoko released an EP, titled A Belle to Remember, on March 12, 2013. Immediately following the release of her debut EP, Kiyoko started writing new music in London with British producer James Flannigan. She announced via Facebook on July 16, 2014 that the new EP was finished and should would be debuted the songs at a show later that month. The EP was recorded in her parent's garage in Los Angeles with British producer James Flannigan. Kiyoko also collaborated with Swedish producer Anders Grahn. The five-song EP, This Side of Paradise was released on February 3, 2015. The music video for her song "Girls Like Girls" was released on June 24, 2015. After co-directing the video for "Girls Like Girls", Kiyoko assumed full directorial responsibilities for the "Cliff's Edge" music video, which was released on YouTube on November 4, 2015.
Kiyoko's hobbies include hiking, ice skating, teaching dance, and taking karate. She performed as an ice skater in the 2007 film Blades of Glory and in the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, both of which were choreographed by her mother.