Exclusive: H.E.R. Says Black Creatives Have A 'Responsibility' To Be Truth-Tellers
The singer also told Blavity why she hasn't been rocking her signature shades as often.
June 16, 2021 at 7:08 pm
“I think it’s a responsibility that we have as Black creatives to continue to push the right narratives and continue to tell the truth,” she said.From the late 1920s to the early 1970s, the Dunbar Hotel stood as a bastion of Black excellence, accommodating the likes of W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Lena Horne and a plethora of other entertainers at a time when they would have been denied service at white establishments.
During the immersive June 17 musical event, H.E.R. will imagine a 2021 Dunbar Hotel. For the nearly 25-minute long music visual project, H.E.R said she and the creative team were focused on celebrating and elevating Black music.“Me and child, the director, we’ve been really cool since I was really young. And we both have a passion for Black music, right — the history of Black music, celebrating Black music, and it’s Black music month,” the Vallejo, California native said. “Just really [being] connected to our roots, that’s really important to me.”'
Inspired by past jazz greats and 1990s R&B stars alike, the “Fight For You” artist said many of the artists that frequented the Dunbar and contributed to its legacy helped pave the way for entertainers like herself.“Billie Holiday and how honest she was in her music. I think it allowed for artists like Lauryn Hill and even me to be honest and authentic in our music no matter what is going on,” H.E.R. said.
After recently winning the Oscars’ Best Original Song award for her contribution to the Judas soundtrack with the song, “Fight for You,” H.E.R. said she was not only drawn to the life of former Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, but the opportunity to have a Black story presented correctly.“I was just so thankful to be a part of a story like Fred Hampton’s. I watched the film and I didn’t know all the stuff that had went down," she reflected. "I kind of knew about Fred Hampton but I really didn’t know. And what really did it for me was that he was 21 years old and he was bringing all these communities together."
“I just try to seize every moment that I have and take every opportunity that I have to tell the truth and pave the way for the next storytellers,” she added.Making her major acting debut, the 23-year-old described the collaborative project as fun and “whimsical.”
With her highly anticipated Back Of My Mind album releasing Friday, H.E.R opened up about being excited that the country is opening up from COVID-19 restrictions, and that she has shows lined up as early as August.
When it comes to her signature shades, something she was notorious for in the earlier phases of her career, H.E.R. says she's "slowly but surely" allowing herself to be more visible.
"It's been organic," she said of sporting glasses less frequently. "I think the point of wearing the glasses in the beginning anyways was so that people could focus on the music. They say eyes are the windows to the soul. And for me, my music is the window to my soul."
"So I wanted that to be the focus and I feel like I've done that so slowly but surely you get to see more of me," the artist continued. "I don't know if it's ever going to leave the stage. I'm revealing more of myself but I'm always going to keep it about the music."You can view H.E.R.’s Prime Day Show episode starting on June 17 on Prime Video.
Do you prefer ‘The Temptations’ or ‘The Five Heartbeats’? Is Jamie Foxx in ‘Ray’ one of your favorite performances of all time? Do you watch BET all day when 'The Jacksons: An American Dream' comes on? If you can answer any of these questions, vote in our Black Music Bracket here! You won't be disappointed.