Rebecca Ferguson wants to 'move on' from painful experiences in music industry

Rebecca Ferguson has said she ‘won’t hurt herself anymore’ trying to speak out against discrimination in the music industry after constantly being shut down.

The momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks has given stars the confidence to finally share their experience of systemic racism within the entertainment industry.

X Factor stars Misha B and Alexandra Burke have both spoken out about the treatment they received while competing on the show and while Rebecca says she is fully supportive of those calling out the music industry, she herself wants to move on from her own painful experiences.

Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Rebecca – who has teamed up with Nile Rodgers on new single Nothing Left But Family – explained that calling out injustices going on behind the scenes in music is nothing new to her.

The singer, 33, revealed that over the years she has tried to speak out against issues she faced in the industry but was always shut down and received no support.

‘The industry say they support you, but they don’t, they close doors. They don’t want to know, in my experience,’ Rebecca said.

She continued: ‘I support the stars speaking out, I’ve spoken out.

‘But, at this time in my life where I’m trying to be positive, and I’ve gone through quite a lot of pain in the industry, I’m not hurting myself anymore… because I’ve tried. That’s how I feel.’

Rebecca has previously said that she felt targeted by high-profile music executives because of her skin colour and she spoke out against ‘abuses of power’ she had to deal with in the industry.

In a statement she shared online in 2018 detailing ‘systematic bullying’ she was forced to endure, Rebecca revealed she was once told to do a gig because ‘they wanted a black face’.

She claims the same person – who she did not name – told her: ‘Black people are only good for entertaining and running, and not for sitting as CEOs of companies.’

Now, two years on, Rebecca tells us: ‘I tried to speak out and I set up a petition – that was years ago – I tried to get better rules and things in the music industry, but if I’m honest… I feel like every time I try and speak about those matters it hinders me.

‘I felt like doors just got closed for me. I had loads of interviews lined up and I was supposed to talk about these matters and every door got closed.’

Rebecca admits she fell out of love with showbiz following her experiences and turned her back on music for a couple of years – taking a break from the public eye to focus on her children.

Now back, and with a renewed positive outlook on her career, Rebecca says that she just wants to move on from the past.

‘Because I’m in such a positive place… the stuff that I went through, I’m just trying to move on from it,’ she admitted.

Although, she did point out that there is still ‘work to be done’ when it comes to instigating change within the music industry.

‘I’ve had issues with people in the industry that, part of me now, when I reflect, I’m like, “Was it racial? Or was it just that they were just not very nice people?” I don’t know,’ she said, adding: ‘There is definitely work to be done and there needs to be some improvements.’ 

Rebecca is now focusing on a ‘new chapter in her career’ that has seen her team up with music legend Nile Rodgers and she puts the pair joining forces down to a ‘bit of luck’ and ‘being in the right place at the right time’.

She credits Nile for ‘helping her’ revive her love of music, telling us: ‘I feel very lucky that I got to work with him and it feels like a new chapter in my career. He’s very easy to work with… I needed it.’

Nothing Left But Family is available to listen to now on Apple Music and Spotify.

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