American musician John Mayer has spoken out in defence of his new music video following allegations of cultural appropriation. Mayer’s video for ‘Still Feel Like Your Man’ features scenes with dancing pandas, geishas and samurai.
John Mayer is one of the most popular American pop singers of the 21st century, and has achieved worldwide commercial and critical success. Mayer released a new music for his most recent single ‘Still Feel Like Your Man’ earlier this month. The video features a prominent oriental theme that has been described by the singer as a ‘disco dojo’; however, a number of publications have accused Mayer of cultural appropriation and racism. One article written for Fusion.net even went as far as labelling the video an ‘orientalist’, ‘feverish wet dream’.
Mayer has now responded to critics in a new interview with the USA Today in which he explained: “I wasn’t anticipating any backlash. If I were anticipating backlash, I wouldn’t have made the video. Controversy does not inspire me. I wish I could say it did, but controversy does not inspire me. I would never have made something anticipating backlash, I would’ve changed it so I didn’t anticipate backlash.”
Mayer continued: “We anticipate that somebody’s going to have something to say about it, but that does not preclude you from creating something. You should not be an artist if your fear is that somebody, somewhere, if you Twitter-search it, is going to use the phrase. Anybody can use any phrase they want, but it’s not a good enough reason (to not make something). Otherwise, any idea would just be me walking up and down the beach kicking a can.”
The track is included on Mayer’s seventh studio album ‘The Search For Everything’, which was released on April 14. So far the album has received largely positive reviews.
As for the music video, we’ll let you be the judge.