Kehlani highlights the unreasonable expectations placed on artists.
The 25-year-old covers the May 2020 issue of Teen Vogue. Inside, the “Nights Like This” singer expresses her frustration with cancel culture and shares the lessons she has learned from fame.
“Fans put so much pressure on artists, sometimes more than the industry,” Kehlani says. “I’ve never been compared more in my life than last year and this year, and now it seems like every day I see a ‘SZA, Kehlani, H.E.R., or Summer Walker — one of them has to go.'”
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“We have to start appreciating multiple people at the same time,” Kehlani continues. “I’m not annoyed [with fame]. It’s more like I pick and choose my battles. I get scrutinized so much.”
Kehlani says her candidness has fuelled social media bullies. She also objects to the expectation that young artists should or can be like Beyonce and Aaliyah when it comes to the internet.
“It’s one of those things where I think I’ve been so open with how much it’s affected me that people know I can be poked at, so they continue to poke,” she explains.
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“Aaliyah didn’t have an Instagram! It didn’t exist,” Kehlani states. “Beyoncé was a whole grown adult before Instagram came out.’ You can’t compare us. We grew up getting dissected.”
The California native also intends to give back to her Oakland community.
“What’s kept me going is knowing that if I do music and make as much money as I can, then I can open childcare centres,” she says. “I can make a difference in the foster care system. I can open art centres and summer programs for underprivileged kids.”