Talking Heads' David Byrne apologizes for no female collaborators on new album

Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne is undoubtedly one of the most forward-thinking and progressive artists of his generation. Now he's gone on to prove that he's probably one of the most socio-politically sensitive too. On Monday (5 March), Byrne issued an apology for not working with any women on his new album, 'American Utopia', reports The BBC.

David Byrne performs onstage during the WITNESS 25th Anniversary Gala at The Edison Ballroom on May 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

When promoting his new album last Thursday, Byrne thanked his long list of collaborators on Instagram— including the likes of Brian Eno, Dev Hynes, Sampha and Jack Penate — all of whom were co-incidentally male, something that of course did not go unnoticed on social media.

Byrne seemed shocked at the realization and took to Instagram where in a lengthy post, he apologized for being "part of the problem". 

“I’d like to thank those of you who wrote for calling attention to this — this matters a lot to me,” Byrne wrote in the statement which he shared on Instagram. 

“I regret not hiring and collaborating with women for this album — it’s ridiculous, it’s not who I am and it certainly doesn’t match how I’ve worked in the past. It doesn’t represent my current live show, which has a slew of diverse creators and collaborators, making this even more negligent on my part."

The 'Psycho Killer' singer added:“It’s hard to realize that no matter how much effort you spend nudging the world in what you hope is the right direction, sometimes you are part of the problem,” Byrne adds.

“I never thought of myself as being ‘one of those guys,’ but I guess to some extent I am. Your responses serve as a corrective. Thank you.”

It would be prudent to point out at this point that Byrne's previous studio album, 2012's 'Love This Giant' was a full fledged collaborative effort with one of the most explosive performers on the indie scene - St. Vincent.

Although the fact that there are zero female collaborators on the new album is a strange thing indeed, it is commendable that Byrne had the sensitivity to call himself out.

Due out this coming Friday, American Utopia boasts contributions from Brian Eno, Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), Sampha, Jam City, Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), and Jack Peñate. The album will be available for streaming on NPR.

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Suraj Prabhu


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