“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.”
Grace Jones’ memoir I’ll Never Write My Memoirs hits shelves on September 29. In a new excerpt of the book published in Time Out, the shapeshifting disco icon criticises some of the world’s biggest pop stars from Nicki Minaj to Miley Cyrus.
In the excerpt, Jones says that she’s “never comfortable in the middle of the stream, flowing in the same direction as everyone else” and says her instinct is “to resist the pull of the obvious”. Jones continues by claiming that she has been “copied” by several music superstars.
“Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce. 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,” Jones writes.
The actress and former supermodel reveals that she was offered to collaborate with an unnamed artist “on the list of those who came after me,” but refused despite those around her saying it would be a good career move. “No! It will be good for her; she will draw from everything I have built and add it to her brand, and I will get nothing back except for a little temporary attention.”
She also says that “the Nicki Minajes and Mileys” of the pop world have “no long-term vision”.
“…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,” Jones writes.
“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.”
Jones closes the piece by saying that she is a “teacher” and namechecks a few of her “pupils”: Kanye West, FKA twigs, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Miley Cyrus.