Iconic singer also mentions Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and FKA Twigs in new book
Grace Jones has lamented the state of modern pop music in an extract from her new book I’ll Never Write My Memoirs.
The singer, actress and fashion icon will publish her autobiography on September 29. Before then, she has released an extract from it via Time Out.
In the snippet, Jones states how trends “come along” and go and how she’s been copied by modern stars who have no “long-term vision”.
Jones writes, “Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce (Beyonce). Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them – except to the extent that they are already being like me.”
“I have been so copied by those people who have made fortunes that people assume I am that rich. But I did things for the excitement, the dare, the fact that it was new, not for the money, and too many times I was the first, not the beneficiary.”
Jones adds, “The problem with… the Nicki Minajes and Mileys is that they reach their goal very quickly. There is no long-term vision, and they forget that once you get into that whirlpool then you have to fight the system that solidifies around you in order to keep being the outsider you claim you represent. There will always be a replacement coming along very soon – a newer version, a crazier version, a louder version. So if you haven’t got a long-term plan, then you are merely a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.”
“They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats – that is the status quo. You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road. You are really in Vegas wearing the sparkly full-length gown singing to people who are paying to see you but are not really paying attention. If that is what you want, fine, but it’s a road to nowhere.”
The singer later cites the likes of Kanye West, Katy Perry and FKA Twigs as her “pupils”, offering the advice: “This is what I would say to my pupil: you have become only your fame, and left behind most of who you were. How are you going to deal with that? Will you lose that person forever? Have you become someone else, without really knowing it? Do you always have to stay in character for people to like you? Do you know that you are in character?
“I would say fame is all well and good if you want to take it to another level. If you have some greater purpose. Me, I am just a singer, on one sort of stage or another, who likes to have an audience, but not all the time. Listen to my advice; I have some experience. In a way, it is me being a teacher, which is what I wanted to be. I still feel I could go into teaching. What is teaching but passing on your knowledge to those who are at the beginning? Some people are born with that gift. With me, the teaching side morphed into the performing side. It’s in there.”
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I’ll Never Write My Memoirs spans Jones’ beginnings as a model, her emergence as an icon of disco, her work with Andy Warhol and appearances on the silver screen opposite Roger Moore and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Jones famously claimed she would “never write my memoirs” in the song ‘Art Groupie’ but has now said she needs to write the book or “someone else would”.
See the book’s cover below.