June 9, 2021

Mind Life TV

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Sharleen Spiteri, singer from Texas: “Men thought I was a lesbian because of the way I looked, is her brain so small?”

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Sharleen Spiteri, singer from Texas, performs on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2017.
Sharleen Spiteri, singer from Texas, performs on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2017.Brian Rasic / WireImage

No matter what argument is used, Sharleen Spiteri is not going to change her mind. The artist has sung it since 1997 in Say what you want (Say what you want) with his group Texas, and maintains it at 53 years of age. The Scottish artist would like to spread that determination and abolish labels so that the world is freer. It is one of his maxims, and he has also defended it with his androgynous clothes and short hair. “When I started to dress like that I looked very attractive,” she said in a video call this Tuesday. Although the male perception exasperates him: “Men thought I was a lesbian because of my appearance, who says that? Who thinks like that? Is his brain so small? Or his penis?”

As a woman who has been in the music industry for 35 years, I think we are wanted, not admired. I don’t think we get the respect, the accolades, and the prestige that we deserve

The Texas vocalist gets wet with the answers, swears when referring to machismo in music, or how society mitigates female ambition. All that injustice does not stop her, it wakes her up. “As a woman who has been in the music industry for 35 years, I think we are wanted, not admired. I don’t think we receive the respect, the accolades, and the prestige that we deserve ”, he denounces.

Last Friday the Scottish band presented their tenth album, Hi, with 14 themes by rock soul that were born from the discards of previous recordings. In 2018 Spiteri and bassist Johnny McElhone found original sessions and initially thought about publishing them, but listening to them awakened new melodies in them. The unreleased ones they found were from his album White on Blonde, that the singer remembers with special affection, not only because of the music: “I remember when I did the cover, where you see my sweater and my eyes, and I felt incredibly sexy. It all depends on how you look at it and I think that when we are young we do not fully understand it ”.

She didn’t want a boyfriend, she wanted a friend. “It took me a long time to find him, I got married for the first time three years ago, at 51,” he says. She realized that everything was pushing her to have to choose the classic path or rebellion: “Women are expected to give up everything to succeed, but we can have children, raise them, take care of them, have a great life and a lot of success” . She is glad that her band supported her to stand firm, and she knows that it is a collective work: “It is not about them fighting for us, nor about saving us; it is about them being by our side ”. She is hopeful for the new generations and the institutions disappoint her. “I don’t think they have changed. I still think they are arrogant, ignorant, sexist, racist and bullies, ”he criticizes.

This unpleasant part of humanity is perceived on social networks, a breeding ground for bullies. “I would only tell young people that, if they are suffering, turn off the device. Let them stay away from that hatred ”, advises in reference to virtual harassment. Although there is discrimination that is not solved by disconnection, such as racism: “We cannot forget that the white man treated the black man as a slave. And historically there are still people who live in that ignorant, racist and disgusting time. Being a bad person and having cruel thoughts is the worst thing about being human ”.

Against cynicism, real affection. “There is a song on the new album, Just Want To Be Liked, which is loaded with sarcasm ”. Love is the most important word for Spiteri: “It is the intimacy I have with my family and friends, and the affection of the audience when we play our music, and that lights up the concert. Also that we love the people of the planet we live on, that we take care of each other ”. On Hi they present a romantic ballad, something that the group does not use. “Unbelievable It came very naturally. I don’t like to record something cheesy at random. Anyway, it all depends on who hears it, Should I stay or should I go, of The Clash, for me it is a romantic song ”.

Spiteri speaks to her first, but has her daughter in mind. “I have always educated her to be very clear about what she wants. So if you feel like something is wrong, say, ‘Thank you very much, it’s not for me’ and move on. ” She considers that this ability is acquired over time: “As you get older, you are more open to showing yourself and talking about the things in which you were wrong, the things that have hurt you, the confusion you have felt . Now I look at myself as a woman and I am freer than I have ever been in my entire life. My God, I love it ”.