Skin believes racism was the reason Skunk Anansie’s 1999 Glastonbury set wasn’t a big talking point.
The 54-year-old bandleader was the first black female to headline the world-famous festival with the British rock band and she is of the belief that the history-making performance didn’t get the attention it deserved because racism was rife in the 90s.
Since then, Beyonce and Stormzy have headlined the Pyramid Stage and wrongly claimed to be the first black artists to do so, and Skin was particularly annoyed at the former for doing so.
She told the July issue of Retro Pop magazine – of which Skin is the cover star – that: “I can claim being the first Black woman. I’ll tell you what, it wasn’t f****** Beyoncé!”
Skin went on: “Now, when you do something and you’re the first Black person to do it, it’s expected that everybody talks about it and you shout it from the top of the hill. You make as much noise about it as possible. But in those days, the racism was that, ‘You’re just like every other band and we’re just gonna treat you like the other band’. But then they don’t treat you like every other band, because every other band gets the TV shows and radio and stuff.”
The ‘Brazen’ rocker revealed racism was much more overt toward her in the US, while in her native Britain, they would pull apart her talent instead.
She said: “In America, the racism is just out there. They’re like, ‘Well, we don’t like bands with a Black lead singer.’ They said that to us in America. In England, they did this whole thing like, ‘Oh, we just don’t like her voice,’ or, ‘Oh, we just don’t like the single’. They won’t actually come out and say, ‘We don’t like Black people playing rock mu.’ They’ll just pretend that there are other reasons and it’s not their problem. That’s the British way.”
Retro Pop Issue 5/July 2022 is out now on newsstands across the UK and online internationally.