Jesy Nelson blackfish row ‘overshadowed’ solo debut but ‘drama sells’

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Jesy Nelson Boyz video

Jesy Nelson’s solo debut was ‘overshadowed’ by the drama – but it might not be all bad (Picture: YouTube)

Jesy Nelson’s solo debut may have been somewhat overshadowed by allegations of ‘blackfishing’ and her apparent row with former Little Mix bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock, but the drama of the past week could work in her favour, experts say. 

The singer, 30, came under fire after it was claimed she was ‘blackfishing’ by having a dark tan and curly hair for her new music video Boyz, which was further heightened after a social media star exposed messages claiming to be from Leigh-Anne, 30, asking him to create a video about it. 

Things reached an even greater head when Nicki Minaj, 38, joined Jesy on an Instagram Live video to call Leigh-Anne out for her behaviour, which caused backlash from some fans after Jesy was seen laughing at Nicki’s comments.

PR expert Hayley Knight, of Boxed Out PR believes the drama has overshadowed the focus on Jesy’s solo debut, telling Metro.co.uk: ‘Jesy’s solo career launch wasn’t what she was hoping for, especially with the blackfishing backlash. 

‘There has been huge anticipation for her first solo single, but sadly, it seems to have only gathered momentum within the realms of Little Mix fans, and unfortunately, the drama between Jesy and the Little Mix members have overshadowed the release. 

‘The press seem more interested in pitting Jesy (and Nicki) against Little Mix, which goes completely against the mental health messaging that Jesy consistently relays.’

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Hayley believes that Jesy’s honesty will help her hold on to her fanbase, adding: ‘I think that Jesy’s honesty goes a long way, especially in her mental health journey. 

‘She is a relatable pop star and people want to see her do well, so they’re more likely to support and root for her. This honesty is reflected in her new music. She stated that this is the music she wants to make, and no one is telling her what to write. She’s embraced this fully, and you only really see that from a handful of artists nowadays.’

Hayley adds: ‘It’s a shame, as [the black fishing claims have] certainly overshadowed the release, and she certainly has come a long way already from her very recent Little Mix days. It’s almost like watching a different person. Her confidence is obviously blossoming and she’s feeling more in control.

‘Unfortunately, this isn’t what people are talking about. Everyone has been more concerned about her drama with Little Mix, and their response to her new single, than promoting, or supporting a young independent woman carving out a career for herself, on her own terms.

Leigh Anne Pinnock

A social media star leaked DMs allegedly from Leigh-Anne Pinnock, asking him to address Jesy’s ‘blackfishing’ (Picture: Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/REX/Shutterstock)

‘However, drama sells, and the drama attached to the single launch will encourage streams, and YouTube views, pushing the single up the charts. I think it just needs an extra push to ensure more people are reviewing the single and talking about the upcoming album, and how the new career is shaping her as an artist, than talking about the drama.

‘The blackfishing comments are also at risk of damaging her mental health messages, as well as the diversity messages that Little Mix worked so hard to promote.’

Hayley believes Jesy can weather the storm by remaining ‘as genuine and honest as possible’, while connecting and interacting with her fans. 

Despite the backlash, Hayley believes Jesy’s overall message is that of diversity and this is reflected in her solo music. 

She explains: ‘What I love about the Boyz video is that it promotes diversity. Something that Jesy has always had an active voice on. 

‘I think she would benefit from continuing to use her music and platform to promote mental health and body image, and it would really set her apart from other artists.

‘You can also see her inspirations within the video, and influences from other videos and artists, whilst making it her own. This will not only help her to continue to connect to her fanbase, but will also allow her to reach wider audiences.’

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