Dublin Native AIS releases her second single, ‘Labels’. This song is an honest account of her experience growing up as a mixed race girl in Ireland. She has felt labelled since she was a young child because of the colour of her skin. People would say things such as she’s acting “too white” or “too black”. She grew up with her mother Sinead (who is from county Laois) and her sister Miriam (who is half Irish and half Algerian). People would constantly point out to her that her family didn’t look like her. Some of these comments made her feel like she didn’t belong anywhere, not even to her own family.
The song name ‘Labels’ was inspired by the human tendency to make judgements about others before they know them. Presumptions are made in the form of labels such as “different”, “exotic”, “too white” or “foreign” to name a few! In this song AIS sings;
“If you think you already know me, how can I win?”
Ireland is becoming more and more diverse. Being Irish in 2020 is so different compared to twenty years ago.
The song goes through some people’s expectations of mixed people’s mannerisms.
“Why do you try be sassy with me
Why do you try to be posh with me?
Just be normal like a normal person is”
In AIS’s experience of being labelled, she has grown to understand that there is a misunderstanding around the fact that race and culture are two separate things. Race is genetically determined whereas culture refers to ideas , behaviours, beliefs and the traditions shared within a large group of people and transmitted between generations.
“Assume I act this way, I act that.
That I just switch from white to black”
This song seeks to educate the reality of what being Irish means today and the challenges that bi-racial and black people feel living in Ireland. Many of the black and bi-racial community were born here. All they know is being Irish.
“I could be more Irish than you, but you dont see through
The color of my skin”