Denise Chaila was widely praised on social media on Friday night, after she opened up about dealing with racism in Ireland on The Late Late Show.
The Zambian-born singer appeared on the show for the first time to perform her hit single Chaila, and spoke about being targeted by online trolls during a chat with Ryan Tubridy.
The rapper, who was raised in Limerick, said she received death threats following her performance in the National Gallery for Other Voices earlier this year.
Denise said: “I’ve only been able to enjoy that performance in the last few weeks actually, in its entirety.”
“The reaction was very polarised. There were a lot of people who loved and embraced what I was doing, and there were a lot of people who saw it as a direct challenge to their Irishness.”
When asked how she felt about those comments, Denise replied: “That we need to do better.”
“My gut reaction was that I did not become a musician and sacrificed all the things that I worked for in order to stand here and read death threats to my parents.”
“I felt like it was actually a moment for me to realise I needed to be more responsible about how I navigated my blackness in this country, because up until that point and with all of the Black Lives Matter protests, we had been talking.”
“You know, we had been vocal, we had been doing it, but it took a very long time for white people in this country to see the reality of the trauma and the wound that black Irish people deal with.”
Denise admitted the racist comments made her scared to leave her home for a month.
She said: “I spent a month at home. I didn’t want to leave. I think this comes back to what you’re saying about comments online.”
“I think we dismiss the power of those comments too quickly because they have to be generated by a person.”
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) September 18, 2020
“I think there’s a tendency for people to dismiss the power of the far right in this country,” she continued.
“I think what you see on Twitter is a microcosm of what someone is willing to do when they see me on the street, when they’re walking to Tesco. A nasty comment online is barely the tip of the iceberg.”
Following her appearance on The Late Late Show, Denise was praised on social media for speaking so eloquently about racism in Ireland.
Denise Chaila is remarkable. What an interesting point about her experience not being a barometer of Ireland’s race relations because her accent might be less targetable & her parents jobs seen as respectable. Hope her twitter is a hum of positivity @DeniseChaila #latelate
— Eoghan McDermott (@eoghanmcdermo) September 18, 2020
The RADIANCE. You are glowing, don’t let anyone dim your shine ✨ again, we LOVEEE to see it!! Young black Irish QUEEN we love you @DeniseChaila ????@RTELateLateShow #latelate pic.twitter.com/Z9wa6hsuxY
— Airwrecka Codeine (@ItsEricaCody) September 18, 2020
Watching @DeniseChaila on the late late show. Talented, fresh, stunning, articulate, inspiring, Irish. We’re bleedin BLESSED to have ye!! SO proud! So happy to see you fill my timelines tonight. @GodKnowsRF and @MuRliMuRl making me wanna jump on stage too. Top energy ???? pic.twitter.com/9GjElK8tTv
— gemma dunleavy (@gemmadunleavy1) September 18, 2020
— Zara King (@ZaraKing) September 18, 2020
“Not everyone has to speak because not everyone is safe to speak. However I feel compelled to because I don’t want my music without my soul in it.”@DeniseChaila is the best of us.
— OONAGH (@oonaghmurphy) September 18, 2020
Great to see @DeniseChaila making her first appearance on the #LateLate show. And she got an interview after her performance, which is rare for such a young artist, but totally warranted. Brilliant on so many levels. #LateLateShow
— Nadine O’Regan (@NadineORegan) September 18, 2020
— Fintan Walsh (@FintanYTWalsh) September 18, 2020
— Andrea Horan (@AndreaHoran) September 18, 2020
We need to speak out with Denise Chaila, stand with all people from black Irish and diverse backgrounds and take seriously the rise of racism and the far right in Ireland. These are dangerous times. All it takes for evil to prosper is to stay silent #LateLateShow https://t.co/42fUk1CAaJ
— Mary Carolan (@MaryCarolanIT) September 18, 2020
On this week’s episode of Goss Chats, Goss.ie CEO Ali Ryan chats with award-winning makeup artist and MRS Glam creator, Michelle Regazolli Stone.
The celebrity MUA opens up about the ups and downs of living through the pandemic, and how her makeup range saved her.
#GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic Haus of JeJuve.
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On this week’s episode of #GossChats @itsalirose chats with award-winning makeup artist and @mrsglambymichelle creator @mrsmakeup_ie The celebrity MUA opens up about the ups and downs of living through the pandemic and how her makeup range saved her. #GossChats is sponsored by @haus_of_jejuve