K. Michelle has always been vocal about how she thinks the industry treats black artists, especially those in the R&B genre. Just last month, during a Q&A with fans, Michelle was very candid in her feelings about how Adele’s “Hello” was received. “It’s a great song, great artist, but if a black girl was to sing that very song, it would not get played on the radio,” she said.
Now in a recent interview with HuffPost, Michelle is expounding on her feelings, saying its discouraging when her soulful style of singing is overlooked but praised and promoted when it’s a white artist singing the same type of song.
“There’s certain formats and radio stations and certain things we can’t sing as African American women,” she said. “For instance, if I’m to do a ballad, it’s going to go to Urban [Adult Contemporary] — a very small audience. But if other artists, of other ethnicities are to do a ballad, it’ll be played on Top 40 and it’ll be played on Rhythmic.”
“R&B is the core of all music. They don’t even announce our category at the Grammy’s live. At this point, it’s very disrespectful to the African-American artists who can sing,” she continued. “I’m very fair when it comes to singing….if you’re talented, you’re talented. I love it and I listen to it, I don’t care what color you are,” she said. “But that is not the industry that I’m working in. I can sing the same song as a white artist and they’re going to ship me off to never be heard … but they’re not going to do that to white artists.”
She even reveals that her own label Atlantic Records was honest with her enough to tell her that one of the tracks on her upcoming album, More Issues Than Vogue, titled “If It Ain’t Love” would be easier to get placed at radio if it were recorded by a white artist.
“They were like, ‘If this record was from a white girl, it would be number one,’” she said. “They know that the people who [run] these stations are going to give them a hard time about playing it. They are in the fight with me to get this music out there. …It’s very discouraging. It doesn’t matter how great of a song it is.”
K. Michelle was discredited when she expressed the same sentiments a month ago due to her tone, which was from a frustrated, angry place. Glad she had a chance to explain the issue in more depth and more clearly. Watch below and sound off on your thoughts, Roomies.
More Issues Than Vogue will arrive on March 25th. Pre-order HERE.