[ September 5, 2023 by amber.downie@sabaltd.org.uk 0 Comments ]

Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Keisha Buchanan Reflect on Racism in the Music Industry

This week, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Keisha Buchanan have garnered headlines for speaking on their experiences within the music industry. In separate interviews, Leigh-Anne and Keisha reflect on the racism they experienced within their careers as part of girl groups, Little Mix and Sugababes, respectively. These conversations carry on from the topics explored in Leigh-Anne’s own BBC documentary – ‘Race, Pop & Power’ – where both herself and fellow artists, including Keisha, shared their own treatment within the industry.

In recent interview with Channel 4 News to speak on how women are treated in the industry, Buchanan said: “Women in general – the magnifying glass on their relationships is actually quite odd to me… I think it’s especially harsh if you’re a person of colour. God forbid if you make a mistake.” This sentiment echoes her previous revelation in Leigh-Anne’s 2021 documentary where she was often labelled as a ”bully” and as a result often had her opinions disregarded. These comments are made even more notable when taking into account that she was the only black member of the girl group, Sugababes.

This experience has also been shared by Leigh-Anne as the only black member of the girl group, Little Mix. Now on hiatus and making music as solo artists, Leigh-Anne recently sat down with Rolling Stones to share that she is on a personal journey to heal from the racism she experienced within the industry, and even with Little Mix fans. In the interview, Leigh-Anne shared that her experiences with racism were often subtle where there were “little things [she] was questioning, but also feeling quite alone with it… [She] just pushed it down and down and down.”

Despite the issues they faced throughout their careers, both Buchanan and Pinnock demonstrate their determination and clear talent in new career moves within music as Keisha has an upcoming concert with her Sugababes band members next Friday at the O2. Equally, Leigh-Anne will continue her success in her solo career as her new single ‘My Love’ is set for release on Thursday 7th September.

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