Fiona Apple Speaks Out About Justin Bieber ‘Gaming the System’
In a new interview with Vulture, the singer explained that she does not plan to do a "crazy amount of promo" for her upcoming album and questioned how the music industry came to the point that it is today. "The climate of art and the music industry is so ridiculous," the singer shared. "I feel terrible that anybody would want to be No. 1 as badly as Justin Bieber wants to be No. 1."
The "Criminal" singer compared the music industry to a video game with artists now "checking their scores" to see who's made it to the top of the charts. "He was upfront about gaming the system, and I think a lot of people do that," Apple continued. "And I just want to be like, 'Why? Why is it so important?' And I’m not gonna be, like, getting influencers to promote my s--t. That’s not gonna happen," she concluded.
Apple is referencing Bieber's viral social media post where he asked fans to use manipulative streaming and purchasing practices to attempt to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The post suggested that international fans use a VPN (virtual private network) to make it seem as though that they're listening to the song from America, the only country that the chart takes into consideration for chart placement. It also suggested that fans listen to the music with ads and on repeat at a low volume even while they are sleeping.
In the end, Bieber reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 behind Roddy Ricch's "The Box."