Nick Cave says he still a huge fan of Kanye’s music

‘I don’t care what Kanye has to say’: Nick Cave says he’s still a big fan of controversial rapper’s music and insists it’s ‘a personal choice’ to separate the art from the artist

Nick Cave has insisted it is possible to separate Kanye West’s work from the rapper, following the American artist’s anti-Semitic rants.

The Australian singer-songwriter talks to Newsnight co-host Kirsty Wark this week about his new memoir, Faith, Hope and Carnage, which marks his first BBC interview since 2009.

The rare interview sees Nick explain why he refuses to keep his own music by declaring that he doesn’t want to ‘deny my music to certain people because of where they stand politically.’

Spokesman: Nick Cave has insisted it is possible to separate Kanye West's work from the rapper, following the US artist's anti-Semitic rants

Spokesman: Nick Cave has insisted it is possible to separate Kanye West’s work from the rapper, following the US artist’s anti-Semitic rants

‘I don’t want my music to ever be used as a form of punishment. I mean, where do you even begin with something like this? So where do you draw the line?’ says the musician.

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When it’s pointed out that the issue of separating art from artists could be applied to the Kanye controversy, Nick reflects that it’s ‘a personal choice’ to avoid his music.

‘On some level I don’t care what Kanye has to say about things, but I love Kanye. His music,’ explains the singer.

“I find anti-Semitism particularly distasteful. And so it’s very disappointing to hear these remarks and such kind of obvious, boring kind of reductive tropes that he’s actually trampling.’

Scandal: When it's pointed out that the issue of separating art from artists can be applied to the Kanye controversy, Nick reflects that it's 'a personal choice' to avoid his music

Scandal: When it’s pointed out that the issue of separating art from artists can be applied to the Kanye controversy, Nick reflects that it’s ‘a personal choice’ to avoid his music

‘However, it is a personal choice whether you can keep listening to that person’s music,’ he continues.

‘I can do that personally. I love Kanye’s music. I feel like he’s made the best music of anyone in a while, the most interesting, challenging, bold music.’

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Kanye has shared a number of anti-Semitic comments in recent interviews and social media posts, including a Twitter post earlier this month that declared he would soon go ‘deathmatch 3 on JEWS’, an apparent reference to the US defense readiness scale known as DEFCON .

He was suspended from both Twitter and Instagram, while major brands such as Adidas have stopped their lucrative partnerships with the rapper.

Still a fan: 'I find anti-Semitism particularly distasteful.  And so it's very disappointing to hear these remarks and such kind of obvious, boring kind of reductive tropes,

Still a fan: ‘I find anti-Semitism particularly distasteful. And so it’s very disappointing to hear these remarks and such kind of obvious, boring kind of reductive tropes,” adds Nick

Last week, Kanye said he lost $2 billion in a single day as business partners rushed to dump him over his anti-Semitic outburst.

Nick previously discussed the separation of an artist and their work in a 2019 blog post about his love of Morrissey’s music.

Nick responded via his The Red Hand Files website when a fan asked if it’s possible to separate the final days [Morrissey] from his earlier art? More specifically, what’s your take on Morrissey, both early days and his more recent nastier persona?’

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“Personally, when I write a song and release it to the public, I feel like it stops being my song,” he wrote.

‘It has been offered to my audience, and they, if they care to, will take possession of that song and become its custodians.’

‘The integrity of the song now lies not with the artist, but with the listener.’ He added that an artist’s ‘view and behavior are separate matters.’

‘Morrissey’s political opinion becomes irrelevant. Whatever insanities he might postulate, we cannot overlook the fact that he has written a vast and extraordinary catalog which has improved the lives of his many fans beyond recognition.’

‘This is not a small thing. He has created original and distinctive works of unparalleled beauty that will long outlast his abusive political alliances.

BBC Newsnight is broadcast at 10.30pm, BBC Two, Thursday 10 November 2022.

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