"I Can Look Myself In The Mirror And Know I Did The Right Thing": Kehlani Said Artists Refused To Collaborate With Them After Her Support For Palestine

Kehlani is opening up about the pushback she's faced for her outspoken support for Palestine.

Kehlani on the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards, wearing a red sequin strapless top and matching red shawl, with visible chest and arm tattoos
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During a recent conversation with The Breakfast Club, the singer, who uses she/they pronouns, revealed the ways her career has suffered for her advocacy.

Kehlani at SiriusXM event, wearing a patterned dress with lace detailing and long, wavy hair
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"I have experienced a lot of pushback," they shared. "I’ve experienced a lot of loss. I've experienced a lot of things that were promised and set up for this rollout and album to happen that were supposed to be a lot of firsts."

Kehlani at The Breakfast Club radio interview, speaking into a microphone. Background shows The Breakfast Club logo and iHeart Media pillow
The Breakfast Club / Via youtube.com

"Magazines and these things...brand deals and opportunities that we're sad to lose, but at the end of the day, I don't regret doing something that I — I can go to sleep at night. I can go to sleep knowing that what I learned to be as an artist I'm aligned with."

Kehlani performing on stage, wearing a stylish outfit featuring intricate tattoos, a short-sleeve top, and a decorative belt, holding a microphone
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The 29-year-old said she grew up understanding "the role of art in liberation." While she clarified that she doesn't put herself in the same category as the revolutionaries of the past, Kehlani highlighted the responsibility that comes along with having a platform. "I can look myself in the mirror and know I did the right thing."

Kehlani smiles at an event, wearing a sleeveless turtleneck, large gold earrings, and sporting a detailed arm tattoo
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They also explained a previous comment during an Instagram Live about artists deciding not to collaborate with them on their new album, Crash.

Group of people, including singer Kehlani, wearing patterned outfits and holding flags while posing confidently in what appears to be a music video scene

"There are a lot of more people involved on artist teams than just the artist. It also wasn’t every single feature. There were certain people who didn't get it back in time, or it wasn’t aligned with the timing of their album. I didn't mean every single artist, but there were artists that I reached out to, and someone on the team was like, 'We don't fuck with her,' or they said this, and another thing made its way to me."

Kehlani with wavy hair in a black blazer, showing visible tattoos on her neck and chest
Dominique Charriau / WireImage

"I would never sit here and name names because it's not about that. It's more about how insidious the industries are, and we can be so afraid to lose what we've built because so many of us have come from nothing."

Closeup of Kehlani onstage
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Kehlani explained that many artists develop a "scarcity mindset" because they're so afraid of losing everything when they need to support their families. "It's sad because that does get dangled in front of our faces when it comes to really important political matters that people don't align with. It's sad, it's unfortunate."

Kehlani poses in front of a patterned backdrop, wearing a black cut-out dress, layered necklaces, tinted glasses, and showcasing full-arm tattoos
Joe Scarnici / Getty Images for Warner Music

"I really do believe in our power as people with influence," she emphasized, noting that even presidents seek the support of artists during campaigns. While some young people might not know specific policy details, they do know their favorite artists and will open themselves to learning if those rappers and singers talk about it.

Kehlani poses on the red carpet wearing a graphic t-shirt, displaying long, straight hair with rainbow accents. She is holding up a peace sign
Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

"They wouldn't be able to hold us back anymore if we all banded together. They can't cancel all of us... If everybody spoke up? That power imbalance wouldn't exist anymore. The people united, that's the quote. So we have to stand on that," she concluded.

Kehlani speaking into a microphone during an interview at The Breakfast Club radio show
The Breakfast Club / Via youtube.com

You can watch their full interview with The Breakfast Club here.

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