I love the idea of R&B. The music is fun and has an amazing beat. But I have to say, I have a real problem with the lyrics in many popular R&B songs. Many are incredibly degrading to women, and the misogynistic lyrics almost turned me off to the genre completely. But then I found an artist who blended the sultry, soulful sound of R&B with lyrics that celebrate women rather than objectify them. Russell Elliot is not only a fantastic performer, he has something that many other artists don’t: a vision of inclusivity.
For a fabulous introduction to Russell, watch him remix Laffy Taffy and Flawless to create badass, misogyny-free music:
Russell Elliot has worked with Grammy Award-winning producers as well as experience performing in venues such as the Kennedy Center and Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN. Russell has years of experience in the music industry, but he has recently found his true calling as an artist: creating meaningful work that will affect change. Russell wants to continue the movement of challenging cultural scripts in R&B. Regarding feminism, Russell says:
“A male feminist’s place in the world is a tricky one. Let me reassure you: I do not aim to speak for anyone but myself—certainly not for the entirety of a gender with which I don’t identify. That would be silly. I seek only to utilize the tools the feminist movement has outfitted me with and to employ the lessons it’s taught me. Misogyny has got to go. I’m not writing the R&B feminist anthem… I think that should be a woman’s voice. I’m simply refusing to engage misogyny in my own writing and calling attention to the hurtful trend of its prevalence in today’s music. I think, as lyricists, we can write better. And I hope to. I think as listeners, we can challenge dominant cultural scripts. And I hope to.”
Russell is now focused on finishing his new EP and creating a music video for his brand new single “Around.” He has a Kickstarter page to reach that goal, and your support would be incredibly appreciated. Every dollar counts, so even small backers are incredibly necessary. And even if you can’t donate (many of us are poor college kids, I totally get it), please consider SHARING the Kickstarter link so that more can learn about Russell. I encourage everyone to support Russell in creating a better, more inclusive environment for all.
One artist with this vision is incredibly exciting, but what I’m most excited about is the promise of the future. Supporting Russell means supporting a movement, and hopefully more artists will embrace this inclusive outlook on music and life. I would love to be able to listen to some awesome R&B and feel empowered and excited, and Russell Elliot can help make that happen.