As conversations about Black culture have been hot topics in recent weeks, some record labels have announced that they’re doing away with the word “urban.” While many see this is a small triumph at the categorization of music styles, Rolling Stone recently shared an article regarding the term “pop” and how it has been an obstacle for Black artists in the industry. Singer Tinashe responded to the Rolling Stone piece by sharing her struggles as she reportedly battled for her label to promote her as a pop artist.
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“As a black woman I fought HARD AF , for years, to be considered ‘pop’ by my label without changing my sound because of the inevitable ceiling I felt was put on the urban and rhythmic departments…. then the pop department didn’t find my music acceptable so I molded it for them,” Tinashe tweeted. “[And] in an attempt to make my sound more pop department friendly, the public rejected it, I lost my spirit/ inspiration as a creative, &had to part ways with the label entirely. Luckily I’ve thrived as an independent artist, but I know first hand how insidious & traumatizing this is.”
“I want to add to this that it wasn’t fully their ‘fault’ as it is also the responsibility of radio programmers, iheartradio, steaming service playlists, and people who book award shows performances and talk show performances that systemically play a part in this,” she continued. A fan asked about her album Aquarius, and Tinashe said that it wasn’t given much promotion, the song she wanted to move forward with as a single was rejected, and the singles that were released weren’t properly handled. Check out her tweets below.