Rising “It Girl” Helen Celebrates Her Identity As A Black Woman On New EP ‘Ubiquitous’

If you’re looking for a new music obsession to warm you out of the winter blues, it’s time to get hooked on rising R&B star and “It Girl” Helen, whose new EP ‘Ubiquitous’, out April 7, is giving us a heavy dose of empowerment that we need right now.

Helen accumulated well-deserved attention in 2022 with her song “Bitter Bitch” featured in the hit Netflix Original film “Do Revenge,” not to mention the fast growing success of her autumn single, “Talk,” which garnered the attention of esteemed tastemakers like Early Rising and found itself on Spotify’s Fresh Finds, Fresh Finds Pop, and night pop playlists.

Helen’s creative, poignant lyricism touches on a variety of topics from micro-aggressions and performative activism to playfully sexy body positivity anthems that ultimately come together to tell her story and use her voice as a platform celebrating all black woman-identifying individuals. ‘Ubiquitous’ encapsulates a sound reminiscent of icons like FKA Twigs, Doja Cat, and PinkPantheress.

Ubiquitous can be defined as omnipresent or found everywhere, which for Helen speaks to the profound, oftentimes unrecognized influence black women have had that irrefutably permeates countless facets of society and pop culture. New tracks like “qt,” along with fan favorites like “Talk” and “Bitter Bitch” are infectiously empowering anthems bolstering unapologetic confidence that encourages listeners to look inward for validation rather than seeking approval from others.

“Mediocre Hoe” and “Copycats” delve into complex topics like microaggressions, performative activism, cultural appropriation, reclamation, and dismantling social constructs. Helen also examines the female experience through a feminist lens on “Ick” where she channels her frustration towards double standards imposed on women and confronts it with a bold, girl boss attitude. This EP exists at the culmination of blackness and womanhood, ultimately coming together to showcase different parts of the vibrant, expansive puzzle that is the black woman’s experience.

We had a chance to speak with the rising it girl about ‘Ubiquitous’ and what she wants all listeners to feel after listening to her EP.

How are you feeling in the lead up to the release of your EP ‘Ubiquitous’?

I’m super excited about the release! It feels really good to have a full collection of songs ready; it was something new and fun to complete.

In 2022 your single ‘Bitter Bitch’ was featured in the Netflix film ‘Do Revenge’. What was it like to see your music reach a wider audience this way

If you told me a year ago that a song of mine would be in a Netflix movie I wouldn’t have believed you; it’s one of the biggest blessings in my life and career so far so I’m just super grateful for it.

Let’s talk about some of the topics you interweave in your lyrics: micro aggressions – what has been your experience with this?

I grew up in an area that is predominantly white, I’ve worked in jobs that are majority white, and now I’m in the music industry where it’s also very white. Being in spaces where I am one of the few or the only Black women comes with backhanded compliments, people talking to me differently than they would their other peers, asking offensive questions, and commenting on or touching my hair. 

We’re all familiar with “performative activism” or “slactivism” as it’s also known. Why did you want to discuss this in your music?

The songs in this project stem from my own personal experiences. I’ve come across people who would post about Black struggles and be “woke” online but then would go and treat the actual Black people in their lives with the same aggression and tone as an oppressor. It’s frustrating seeing your own community and people struggle daily just to have someone go and make it a trend or a personality that they can just wash off and ignore later.

The amount of privilege you must hold to be able to speak about these issues online and then just go on about your day like nothing is going on. It’s belittling to the people that have to face racism daily without any means of escape. 

You also sing about body positivity. Why is this important to you?

Women are constantly under a lens and our bodies are always judged or picked apart. It’s difficult to love yourself when the world makes you feel like an inconvenience so I just wanted to write music that would allow us to be unapologetically ourselves. 

Your focus on Black womanhood is timely, given the discussion about cultural appropriation and how Black creators and artists are often having their work co-opted and not credited. Can you talk more about this and why you wanted to call it out? 

Kayra is the hairstylist that did my hair for the cover of this EP and we actually met because I came across a TikTok of hers where she was discussing how someone stole the hair credit for a photoshoot she had done. Kayra is also a model who does her own hair for the shoots she’s cast in and her styles are so unique and beautiful.

As you mentioned, there have been multiple occasions where a white person profits off of the labor of someone Black and it’s crazy because it’s really like a manifestation of the past. For artists/creators one of the biggest ways to get your name out there is through credit, so it’s extremely disheartening to see opportunities and literal monetary gain being taken away from someone that deserved it and from someone that often times has to work ten times harder to get their work recognized. 

Who are some of the artists you admire and gather inspiration from today? 

I love Solange, Beyonce, and Lizzo! 

What brings you joy and confidence? 

Lately, my new puppy has been my main source of joy, she’s literally my whole world. My mom, my aunts, and my best friends all give me the confidence I need by just being such inspirations to me every day. 

Stream ‘Ubiquitous’ on all major streaming platforms on April 7th. Connect with Helen via her Website | Spotify | Instagram | TikTok.