India Arie talks about why she quit Spotify

“I decided to pull my music and my podcast from Spotify but it’s dual,” Arie stated.

India Arie is speaking out on her decision to pull her music and “SongVersation” podcast from Spotify amid outcry over Joe Rogan having a voice on the platform.

The singer-songwriter appeared on the Feb. 4 episode of Tamron Hall Show and explained that her decision to pull her music from the popular music streaming app was also based on Spotify’s treatment of artists.

India Arie and Joe Rogan (Credit: Getty Images)

“I decided to pull my music and my podcast from Spotify but it’s dual,” Arie stated. “One is the Joe Rogan conversation and for me his language around race and some of the things I’ve seen and heard, but also coupled with that, there is the treatment of artists by Spotify. And so artists are underpaid and Joe Rogan gets paid all this money and it’s hard for me to, these days, just sit back and go, ‘Oh, well, that’s how it goes.’”

Arie announced on social media this week her decision to remove her music from Spotify following Rogan’s recent remarks about skin tone and race. 

In an Instagram post shared with her fans on Wednesday, the R&B songstress condemned Rogan’s “language around race,” deeming it “problematic.”

Rogan said the term Black was “weird” on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. As reported by The Daily Beast, he also said it was “very strange” that the word “Black” is used to describe people who are not from the “darkest place” of Africa.

Spotify, which platforms Rogan, is catching heat for not booting him amid recent backlash to his stance on the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Rogan has been accused of repeatedly making false claims about the vaccine. Several artists have responded by yanking their music from the platform, including singer Neil Young

“Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through,” Arie wrote in her IG post.

She also called attention to reports that Spotify inked a $100 million dollar deal with Rogan while “paying musicians a Fraction of a penny.”

“This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep,” she stated in the post. “I’m tired.”

Speaking to Tamron Hall, Arie said “it’s not always my job to educate people about how I feel, although I try.”

“I know people are gonna conflate the conversations and some people are gonna judge me and they’re gonna say it’s not my business and you know all these things because it is a little bit of a different reason than Joni [Mitchell] and Neil [Young],” she explained.  “But also, it’s my truth. And it’s not always my job to educate people about how I feel, although I try. I know that my truth is mine. And so I am working to have it [her music and podcast] pulled down.”

To further support her decision to part ways with Spotify, Arie took to social media to share some old clips of Rogan using the N-word and referring to Black neighborhoods as “Planet of the Apes.”

“He shouldn’t even be uttering the word. Don’t even say it, under any context,” she said. “Don’t say it. That’s where I stand. I have always stood there.”

In blasting Spotify, she said, “We have this person who is offensive to a lot of people and is paid $100 million. The backbone of Spotify is the music. You pay the musicians .003-.005 percent of a penny and take this money generated over here and use it to invest in this guy? Do you what you want, but take me off. Or pay me too. I mean us. Pay artists like me too. Pay podcasters of color too.”

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