Billie Eilish slams music industry for pigeon-holing artists
Billie Eilish has criticised the music industry for pigeon-holing artists based on their race or image.
The 18—year—old picked up five awards at this year’s Grammys becoming the youngest solo artist to win Album of the Year but said “I have always hated categories.”
Following the awards, Tyler the Creator questioned the categories after his album Igor, won best rap album.
“On one side, 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. To me, it’s just a politically correct way to say the N-word. Why can’t we just be in pop?,” Tyler the Creator said.
Speaking to British GQ, Eilish said she agreed with Tyler the Creator and that the music industry called white artists’ music pop while people of colour were categorised as rap artists.
“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,” Eilish said.
“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.”
Camera IconTyler, The Creator performs in Perth. Credit: Alan Chau/The West Australian
Eilish added that her race kept her from out of the rap category.
“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,” she said.
“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?”
Eilish also responded to comments that said she only won her Grammy because of the colour of her skin.
“Then there’s the other side of this whole thing: people shitting on me because I am white. ‘Oh, she’s white, that’s why she won.’ You know what? I agree with the sentiment; I get why people say that,” she said.
“Truth is, they can say whatever they like, but don’t undermine all the hard work it took for me to
Earlier in the year, Eilish admitted that she felt other artists were more deserving of winning.
“I was dead surprised. And I was embarrassed, dude, I was f***in’ embarrassed,” she said.
“I was in front of Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey and f***in’ Beyoncé is nominated, and I win. I was like, Noooo … I don’t deserve it. They deserve it.”