English singer Adele admits she doesn’t always get things right, including that time last year when she wore African Bantu knots while celebrating London’s Notting Hill Carnival during a vacation in Jamaica.
In a new interview with British Vogue, published yesterday, the 33-year-old heartbreak queen said, “I didn’t read the f–king room” when she attended an outdoor party on the island wearing a bikini top made out of Jamaican flags with a shoulder piece blooming yellow feathers along with Bantu knots—a protective style for Black hair.
She posted the photo on social media with the caption, “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London
In an unexpected turn of events, however, the image went viral and drew a stream of backlash, many of which accused her of cultural appropriation.
At the time she thought, “If you don’t go dressed to celebrate the Jamaican culture – and in so many ways we’re so entwined in that part of London – then it’s a little bit like, ‘What you coming for, then?’”
“I could see comments being like, ‘the nerve to not take it down,’ which I totally get,” Adele added.
The Hello singer chose to leave the photo on her page despite the outrage, in a way to take responsibility for her mistake. “If I take it down, it’s me acting like it never happened…And it did,” she explained.
“I totally get why people felt like it was appropriating. I was wearing a hairstyle that is actually to protect Afro hair. Ruined mine, obviously,” she said, admitting she had no business wearing that style.
Adele’s feature on Vogue was the first time speaking with a journalist in 5 years, ahead of an upcoming single and a new album.
While her comeback is expectedly predisposed to completely disturb the emotional wellbeing of a billion music fans, on the contrary, the single mom and divorcee is in a different state of mind these days. “I feel like this album is self-destruction,” she said, “then self-reflection and then sort of self-redemption. But I feel ready. I really want people to hear my side of the story this time.”
Adele’s upcoming album will be her fourth, and already rumors are circulating that she may call it “30.” The Grammy winner’s albums have all been titled after the age she started working on them, beginning with 19 in 2008, 21 in 2011, and thirdly 2015’s 25.