7.2 C
New York
Friday, December 3, 2021

Beverley Knight: My career has been my own


Singer and actress Beverley Knight has said it is “so important” for female artists to speak up and maintain artistic control over their careers.

She told BBC Woman’s Hour that she has always been “determined” to maintain control, even if it has resulted in a “slow burn” success.

This included remaining steadfast in her stance on the sound of her 2002 single Gold.

Knight is currently starring in the West End production of The Drifters Girl as Faye Treadwell, one of the first black women in the United States to manage a group.

Following the death of her husband George in 1967, Treadwell decided to take control of the doo-wop and soul group, revitalising their popularity in the face of racism, sexism, and legal battles.

Knight described Treadwell as a “forthright woman” who was “not afraid to speak her mind” in a male-dominated music industry while playing her at the Garrick Theatre.

On Tuesday, Knight spoke with Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett about her own experiences defending her artistic vision.

“I knew from a young age that the music I was going to make would be… [what] I wanted to make.”

“It’s meant that my career has been a slow and long burn… but one that I’ve been able to control.”

The soul singer also revealed that male producers put significant pressure on her to abandon the “stripped back” sound she intended for her single Gold.

Warning: Third party content may contain adverts

“I certainly didn’t appreciate being blamed for the fact that the producer at the time was dissatisfied with being told what to do by the songwriter and artist… especially since he was the one who walked out of the session.” “I wasn’t having it,” she declared.

“I got my way, and I was pleased.”

Beyond her own experiences, Knight responded to a listener who stated that the theatre industry still fails to cater to the hair and make-up needs of black female performers.

“It’s insane that we still have a problem with make-up and hair for black women in 2021.” The darker you are, the more pronounced your problems are. It’s a farce. “It’s completely ridiculous,” Knight said.

It followed a Guardian investigation earlier this year in which multiple top stylists and black actors recounted discriminatory treatment and ignorance.

The singer, a multi-award winner who received an MBE for services to music in 2006, also gave her thoughts on the Brit Awards’ decision to scrap male and female categories for 2022.

She expressed concern that, while she “understood the thinking” behind removing gender, the change would “fall for men.”

Knight cited the greatest songwriter awards she was involved with at the turn of the millennium as proof, noting that “there wasn’t a woman among them,” despite the influence of Kate Bush and Carole King, among others.

“It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out,” she says.

- Advertisement -

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article