Jesy Nelson has found solace in the recording studio after getting caught up in a blackfishing row following the release of her debut solo single Boyz last week.
The singer, 30, was slammed by her former Little Mix co-star Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 30, who accused her of ‘blackfishing’ – a term used to describe a white person attempting to appear to have black heritage – in leaked Instagram messages.
But, despite a difficult week, Jesy is delighted with the chart performance and is ‘pouring her heart into writing new music’ with the studio becoming a ‘sanctuary’.
Sanctuary: Jesy Nelson has found solace in the recording studio after getting caught up in a blackfishing row following the release of her debut solo single Boyz last week
An insider told MailOnline: ‘It’s been a tough week for Jesy, but a top 5 debut solo single is a massive achievement; there hasn’t been any other UK female solo artist to do that this year.
‘Olivia Rodrigo is the only international female solo artist to have debuted in the top 5, so Jesy is in good company.
‘She’s is grateful to all her fans who have supported her and the single.’
Jesy left Little Mix in December last year, saying being part of the pop group had taken a toll on her mental health. She released her first solo single Boyz featuring Nicki Minaj on Friday last week and has been focusing on her music following the row.
Claims: The singer, 30, was slammed by her former Little Mix co-star Leigh-Anne Pinnock , 30, who accused her of ‘blackfishing’ in leaked Instagram messages.
Content: An insider said: ‘It’s been a tough week for Jesy, but a top 5 debut solo single is a massive achievement; there hasn’t been any other UK female solo artist to do that this year’
A source told MailOnline: ‘Jesy has spent the last couple of days in the recording studio.
‘The studio has become a sanctuary for her; and she’s been pouring her heart and soul into writing new songs.
‘Jesy wants to focus solely on her music and solo career and not get caught up in any further feuds with other artists; she’s got some big plans for the future and upcoming music.’
The row between the former bandmates hit headlines this week when leaked messages between Leigh-Anne and influencer NoHun saw the singer accuse Jesy of blackfishing in the music video for Boyz.
Departure: Jesy left Little Mix in December last year, saying being part of the pop group had taken a toll on her mental health (L-R Leigh-Anne, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards in April)
Leigh-Anne also claimed that and her bandmates did not unfollow the star on Instagram as has been widely reported but were instead blocked by Jesy.
A slew of messages to NoHun saw Leigh-Anne insist that ‘no one knows anything’ when it comes to the fallout and that she was ‘raging’.
The leaked messages showed Leigh-Anne replying to NoHun’s poll, asking whether he should create a dance routine to Jesy’s debut solo single Boyz.
Jesy then took part in an Instagram livestream with Boyz collaborator Nicki, who accused Leigh-Anne of trying to ruin Jesy’s new solo career and branded the new mother and the rest of the group ‘jealous miserable clowns’.
The songstress was then said to be ‘devastated’ Leigh-Anne had ‘sparked racial hatred’ and a new wave of intense trolling towards her, telling pals she couldn’t believe ‘someone she once called family could be so cruel.’
However, a source clarified to MailOnline: ‘It’s not fair to criticise Leigh-Anne over this. She was just upset as were others over blackfishing, and social media is awash with it.’
Blackfishing? Jesy was accused of blackfishing after releasing the music video to her single, Boyz – a remake of Diddy’s 2001 video Bad Boy For Life, which she samples in her new track
What is ‘blackfishing’?
A newly coined phrase in 2018, ‘blackfishing’ describes someone who pretends to be black on social media for social or financial gain – using make-up, hairstyles, or even surgery to alter their appearance and adopt characteristics typically associated with women of colour.
The term came to prominence after a post calling out the ‘alarming’ amount of ‘white girls cosplaying as black women on Instagram’ was liked nearly 50,000 times on Twitter.
It prompted users to flood the thread with before and after snaps revealing drastic changes to certain influencers’ appearance.
Jesy has spoken candidly about her mental health battles in the past, and revealed in her 2019 BBC documentary, Odd One Out, that she attempted suicide after being subjected to vicious trolling.
Following a backlash over the livestream chat, Trinidadian-born rapper Nicki noted Jesy’s mental state as she tweeted: ‘JeLeigh btchs actin real messy. ~ if you know someone has been suicidal from bullying in the past, why try to get a bunch of ppl to bully them again about smthng else, on an even bigger scale?
‘Shame on you— that’s rlly sad. You don’t know what ppl can deal with. Mental Health [sic].’
‘You know she was suicidal, shame on you!’: The blackfishing row showed no sign of dying down this week after Nicki Minaj (left) doubled down on her row with Leigh-Anne
Not holding back: After lashing out at Leigh-Anne on Instagram live, Nicki then took aim at Leigh-Anne’s ‘messy fans’, accusing them of having a negative impact on Jesy’s mental health
The post came after Nicki also took a not-so subtle swipe at Leigh-Anne in which she accused the singer of only speaking out about blackfishing now that Jesy is no longer helping the band make money.
Nicki posted: ‘Don’t call things out when they benefit your personal vendetta to ppl. Call them out immediately once you see it chile. Don’t wait a decade after you’ve made millions with the person #BoyzOutNow.
‘When ppl can’t get money with you they always try to stop your bag. Well only the corny ones chile #BoyzOutNow going live in one hour.
‘Jesy! We got all these #Jelly btchs actin real MESSY!!!!! Stop it miss gorl Flag of United Kingdom going live in one hour on IG to get into sum thangz [sic]’.
Painful: Jesy has spoken candidly about her mental health battles and revealed in her 2019 BBC documentary, Odd One Out, that she attempted suicide after being subjected to trolling
Three years ago Jesy was first accused of cultural appropriation when she sported braids in her hair in a photo posted to Instagram, which was later deleted.
She came under fire yet again after releasing the music video to her new single, Boyz – a remake of Diddy’s 2001 video Bad Boy For Life, which she samples in her new track.
Addressing the claims in an interview with Vulture, Jesy claimed that she was never targeted with ‘blackfishing’ claims while she was in Little Mix and has only faced such criticism following her departure from the girlband.
‘I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t,’ she said, defended herself from the accusations.
‘But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on.’
Eek: The post came after Nicki took a swipe at Leigh-Anne in which she accused the singer of only speaking out about blackfishing now that Jesy is no longer helping the band make money
Shock swipe: Jesy’s Boyz collaborator Nicki stood up for Jesy amid the blackfishing row during an Instagram live stream on Monday
Speaking out: Leigh-Anne allegedly accused Jesy of blackfishing in messages to influencer NoHun – who shared the exchange on his Instagram Story