Jesy Nelson wants to address the rumors surrounding her seemingly darker complexion in her debut solo video “Boyz” with Nicki Minaj.
“I personally want to say that my intention was never, ever to offend people of color with this video and my song because like I said, growing up as a young girl, this is the music that I listened to,” Nelson, 30, told Minaj, 38, during an Instagram Live on Monday per Page Six.
“These are the videos that I watched and thought were the best,” she continued. “For me personally, ’90s R&B were the best years in music. I just wanted to celebrate that.”
Not only does the Little Mix alum look darker in the video, but the song also contains lyrics that fans found offensive. The singer says “So hood, so good, so damn taboo” with “tattoos and them gold teeth.”
“My intention was never, ever, ever want to offend anyone, and genuinely it actually does really hurt me that may have offended people and actually, like, hurt people’s feelings just by genuinely celebrating something that I love,” she added.
She then explains why her skin looks darker in the video because of tanning and not due to using darker makeup.
“I’m just really lucky as a white girl that when I’m in the sun, I tan so dark. Like, so many people have said to me before, like Leigh-Anne [Pinnock] in the group, has said, ‘You sure you’re, like, not mixed race? Because you’ve gotten darker than me in the sun. That’s crazy.”
The singer then began to explain that her hair has always been curly and wasn’t made to be that way for the video.
“I wanted to come on this live today as well and show everyone my hair is naturally curly. I’ve always had curly hair. I got it from my dad.”
She continued, “I genuinely didn’t think I was doing anything wrong because I’ve got naturally curly hair.”
Former bandmates Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, and Jade Thirlwall all unfollowed Nelson on social media following the alleged blackfishing. Nicki however came to the singer’s defense.
“Let her enjoy this time. If you was in this group and haven’t talked about this s— for 10 years … if you want a solo career, baby girl, just say that. … If that’s how you felt, why were you kiki’ing with her and being in videos with her for 10 years?”
Nelson quit Little Mix after a decade with the group after she decided she wanted to pursue a solo career. She said that the group was beginning to take a toll on her mental health per the outlet.
Watch the video here: