Amid recent protests, stars Billie Eilish and Justin Bieber are using their platforms to address the connection between race and music, and why it is especially important to talk about these things right now.
How Black Culture Inspires Justin Bieber's Music
On June 7, Justin Bieber spoke out about how black culture has greatly influenced his music. In the note above, he addresses how he has specifically benefited and, therefore, profited off black culture because of how it inspires all of the aspects of his performances, music, style, and sound. From now on, he vows to use his platform as a celebrity and important figure in music to speak up about racism, injustice, and how people can influence change.
Billie Eilish Addresses Link Between Music Labelling and Race
Grammy award winner and pop sensation Billie Eilish has been vocal ever since the beginning of protests. In a recent interview with British GQ, Eilish addresses her place in the music industry as a white woman and how the industry categorizes genres of music differently between black and white artists:
"Look, if I wasn't white I would probably be in 'rap'. Why? They just judge from what you look like and what they know. I think that is weird. The world wants to put you into a box; I've had it my whole career. Just because I am a white teenage female I am pop. Where am I pop? What part of my music sounds like pop?"
She says this in relation to how Tyler, The Creator responded to winning Best Rap Album at the Grammys when a reporter asked him about categorization in music, and he responded:
"I'm very grateful that what I made could just be acknowledged in a world like this, but, also, it sucks that whenever we – and I mean guys that look like me – do anything that's genre-bending, they always put it in a 'rap' or 'urban' category. I don't like that 'urban' word – it's just a politically correct way to say the n-word, to me. Why can't we just be in pop?"
Eilish says how she "hates" these types of labels created by the music industry, even noting that Lizzo's music sounds more like pop than hers does. She says:
"I hate when people say, 'Oh, you look like "blank". You sound like "blank".' It was such a cool thing Tyler said. I agree with him about that term. Don't judge an artist off the way someone looks or the way someone dresses. Wasn't Lizzo in the Best R&B category that night? I mean, she's more pop than I am."
You can read the Eilish's entire interview with British GQ here.
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