Estelle’s Anger over Race in the Music Industry


UK singer and songwriter Estelle(88nine has her song “Wait a Minute” in rotation) whose “American Boy feat. Kanye West” reach #1 in the UK charts this past week, discussed her disapproval and anger with the UK music industry and its blindness to black talent.

…the singer Estelle has hit out what she sees as blindness in the British media and music industry to black talent. In today’s Film and Music, the 28-year-old, originally from west London, questions the promotion of an overwhelmingly white generation of young British singers, even those performing “black” soul music….

…Singling out Adele and Duffy, who she knocked off the number one spot at the weekend, she says: “I’m not mad at them, but I’m wondering – how the hell is there not a single black person in the press singing soul? Adele ain’t soul. She sounds like she heard some Aretha records once, and she’s got a deeper voice – that don’t mean she’s soul. That don’t mean nothing to me in the grand scheme of my life as a black person. As a songwriter, I get what they do. As a black person, I’m like: you’re telling me this is my music? &@!# that!”

note: Adele & Duffy are new artists that are similar to Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone. I do think Adele is pretty cool.

Those are some strong words, and I didn’t realize the music industry in the UK has the same problems as we do in the States. Honestly, I have to agree with her. You can even go beyond soul music to even rock. I am always curious if an artist such as Santogold who is black. If she was white, would she even have a bigger buzz and even crossover to commercial. There are some amazing black rock bands, but none of them have ever been huge like their white counterparts. Whatever happened to just promoting good music and not an image? (thanks MTv)

What are your thoughts on this article? Do you agree or is she overblowning it?  Check out my ealier post on “What is Black Music”.

Estelle – American Boy feat. Kanye West


4 Responses

  1. […] Peterson Worldwide radio show on the BBC. According to the email, this track is a dedication to Estelle’s American Boy which reach #1 on the UK Charts which is an amazing because it is rare to see a black woman reach […]

  2. […] is lacking the buzz that M.I.A. got, which is cause for concern (could race be a factor?). If you’re digging this though, make sure to cop her album on April 29th. (And […]

  3. […] preconceived notions, I finally checked it out, and I have to say it is very catchy. I still like Estelle […]

  4. I was checking out this awesome bit on KIISFM.COM. Really good clips of her along with an interview.

    Here’s the direct link if you’d like to check it out for yourself:

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