Jesy Nelson has responded to the criticism of the music video for her Nicki Minaj-assisted debut single, “Boyz,” in which many fans believe she is “Blackfishing.” It’s far from the first time the British singer has been accused of cultural appropriation, as fans have been calling her out since 2018.
“The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that,” Nelson told Vulture, referencing the girl group Nelson is best known for being a member of.
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She continued: “And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it. I wasn’t on social media around that time, so I let my team [deal with it], because that was when I’d just left. But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on. I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t.”
When asked if she has “changed the way she acts or dresses,” Nelson denied doing so.
“Not at all. I’m just 100 percent being myself,” she explained. “If you look at me on X Factor with my big curly hair, I was wearing trainers and combats — that’s who I am as an artist and as Jesy. Now I’m out of Little Mix, I’ve gone back to being who I am. Like I said, I don’t ever want to be an artist who’s being told what to wear or what music to make. I want to be authentic and true to myself, and if people don’t like that, don’t be my fan. Don’t be a part of my journey.”