Beyoncé once said: “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation.”
Now, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Bey’s protégé Chlöe Bailey is definitely doing that and so much more, thanks in large part to her single “Have Mercy,” which she performed on the 2021 MTV VMAs and most recently on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. As with almost anything Bailey does as of late, that performance led to her becoming a trending topic on Twitter, with many online conversing once again about whether or not the singer “does too much” or is “overly sexual” in her performances.
Per a press release sent to The Root, Bailey recently talked about her journey to owning her sexuality during a recent interview on SiriusXM Urban View’s The Mike Muse Show.
“The reaction towards you, and how you have embraced your body, during this time period for me, has been shocking. Because I think about the feminist movement, in particular within the arts space,” host Mike Muse began in part. “I think about women like Madonna and Janet [Jackson]. I think about Grace Jones, I think about all these dynamic black women. Even Tina Turner has this sexuality to her that she embraced, Donna Summer.”
He continued: “I thought we dealt with all of those things prior to, and here we are, in this age of identity, and definitions and terms and the freedom of all the things, but yet people still feel un-comfortability with how you are owning your sexuality and your body...I’m just wondering, how did that feel for you? Were you shocked by that?”
“Well, take me out of the equation. It’s always shocking when a black woman is confident in the skin that she’s in and isn’t afraid to show it. So all of those women that you named even though, if that was years ago, that will continue to happen even way after me because the world isn’t comfortable with that. And I think as long as women who have inspired me and my peers continue to break down those walls and those barriers and say, screw what anyone else has to think, I will love who I am, and I will be proud about it and speak up loudly about it, then no one can really hold us back.”
When Muse complimented Bailey and her sister Halle Bailey (aka our Black Ariel) on their intentionality to be their authentic selves, she noted: “Sometimes, some days, it’s more easier than others, because what you mentioned when you hear the outside opinions of others, and even though you are doing your very best to own up to who you are completely, there’s a lot of people who still have a lot of things to say about it. So then it starts where you’re looking in the mirror and it’s like, is who I am right? Like, is there something wrong with me? Why don’t certain people accept me?”
She continued, “So of course, you know, I haven’t mastered it, but I will say I’m learning that my voice matters. And I have to believe in myself before anyone else will because they won’t, And no one will fight for you unless you fight for yourself. So that’s one of the biggest lessons I have learned these past two years for myself. And I’m learning it’s okay to be who I am. And if anyone has anything to say about it, it does not matter. It’s irrelevant because who I am is not who they are.”
Additionally, when asked about her forthcoming debut solo album, Bailey confirmed that what people will hear will be “completely Chloe 360.”
“I can’t wait for people to hear it whenever it’s ready, because they’ll get me completely Chloe 360. People just see one side of me, even ‘Have Mercy,’ I love it so much. That’s the song I wanted to come out first and I love it, but that song is just the tip of the iceberg. Like people don’t really, I don’t think if someone was like, ‘oh, this would be the next song that I hear from Chlöe,’ I don’t think they’d be able to pinpoint it. And I never want to be predictable ever. I’m such a huge fan and lover of music that it’s not right, and it’s not fair to just do one sound.”