India Arie has always been about doing what feels right.
Arie has shook the music industry since the very beginning, defying beauty standards with her hit song, “Video,” and always making it known that she will not conform to fit into what the world wants her to be. And, in 2022, nothing is changing.
Rolling Stone reports that Arie is among the latest musicians set to remove music from Spotify in support of Neil Young, who first demanded action against the streaming platform’s failure to address the COVID-19 misinformation shared by Joe Rogan via his podcast.
While misinformation about viruses and vaccines sparked the protest by musicians on the platform, Arie says it’s much more than that.
“Neil Young opened a door that I must walk through,” Arie wrote via Instagram. “I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons other than his Covid interviews. For me, it’s also his language around race.”
During an episode of Rogan’s podcast last week, the commentator was joined by a self-proclaimed philosopher by the name of Jordan Peterson to discuss what it means to be Black.
The discussion sparked outrage as neither Rogan nor Peterson identifies as Black. However, Rogan expected to get a pass due to his Italian roots.
Despite Rogan’s antics, Spotify continues to pay him top dollars, which Arie alludes to being a part of the problem.
“What I am talking about is respect – who gets it and who doesn’t,” the singer continued in an Instagram post. “Paying musicians a fraction of a penny? And him $100 [million]? This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep. I’m tired.”
While the audio streaming platform has yet to respond to details surrounding equal pay for musicians, Spotify did announce plans to add content advisory warnings to all podcasts that feature discussion around COVID-19.
“There are plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly,” said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in a statement. “[But] it is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor.”
Other artists joining Young and India Arie’s decision to remove their catalogs from the platform include Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren.