Chloe Bailey Suggests Her Music Would Be Classified as Pop If She Wasn’t a Black Woman

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In a revealing interview, Chloe Bailey discusses the challenges and triumphs she faces as a Black woman in the music industry. Bailey sheds light on the pervasive categorization of her music as R&B solely due to her racial identity, highlighting a double standard that sees similar music from non-Black artists labeled as pop.

Speaking to NYLON, the artist stated, “Any music I do will easily and quickly be categorized as R&B because I’m a Black woman,” Bailey asserts. “If someone who didn’t have my skin tone made the same music, it would be in the pop categories. That’s just the way it’s always been in life.”

Bailey draws inspiration from iconic figures like Whitney Houston and Beyoncé, reflecting on Beyoncé’s journey through criticism early in her career for branching into pop music. “To see how she persevered and has become one of the most iconic, legendary artists that we’ve ever seen, shows that music has no race, it has no genre, it has none of that,” Bailey observes. “It’s just a feeling and it’s a vibration.”

Discussing advice she received from Beyoncé, Bailey recalls being encouraged to stay ahead of the curve creatively and allow the world to catch up to her artistry. She reflects on the gradual appreciation her work receives over time, citing examples from her and her sister Halle’s musical repertoire.

“What I kind of love about my art is that it sneaks up on you,” Bailey shares. “When ‘In Pieces’ came out, not many people really got it. But now a year later, people are like, ‘Oh, it’s genius! It’s beautiful! It’s amazing!’ And if you think about it, that’s how it has been with me and my sister’s previous work as well. No one ever gets it when it first comes out.”

Addressing criticism of her evolving image and “sex appeal,” Bailey dismisses detractors who struggle to accept her transition from a child star to a confident, sensual artist. “People are so used to seeing me as a little girl,” she muses. “When I pose in what they would call sexy outfits, the quickest thing that a lot of haters would like to say is: She has no sex appeal.”

Bailey finds liberation in her body and self-expression, particularly after spending time in Saint Lucia. “Being in the Caribbean, everyone has their ass out, no bra…It’s so liberating,” she expresses. “I don’t know why celebrating yourself is so taboo.”


Reflecting on healthy competition and her competitive spirit from her track and field days, Bailey emphasizes the importance of pushing oneself to excel while celebrating the achievements of other women in the industry.

“It pushes you. It allows you to become better,” Bailey states. “It’s OK to celebrate other incredible women and also be like, ‘I’ve got to step my game up!’”

Bailey shares her unexpected passion for Lego, finding solace in its therapeutic nature and the creative process of building something tangible from scratch. “It’s very therapeutic and calming,” she remarks, recalling a visit to Alicia Keys’ studio adorned with Lego creations.

As Bailey delves into the themes of her latest album, “Trouble in Paradise,” she explains its inspiration from the bittersweet emotions of a summer fling. “The story of this album is like when you have a summer fling…You’re a hopeless romantic and you fall in love, deep,” she describes. “You know it won’t last forever, but it feels too good to really care.”

Collaborating with her sister Halle on the album holds a special significance for Bailey, bridging their individual lives and creative journeys. “I got in my sister’s head and was like, OK, what is going on in her life right now?” Bailey recounts. “We both have our own lives…And I was like, ‘Sis, we’re going to be in New York at the same time, I would love for you to be on the record.’ It just felt like old times.”

As Chloe Bailey continues to challenge norms and define her musical identity, her journey stands as a testament to resilience, creativity, and embracing personal growth in an evolving industry landscape. Her insights offer a glimpse into the complexities of fame, identity, and artistic expression, resonating with audiences navigating their own paths in a world of shifting perceptions and limitless possibilities.


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