Biting the Forbidden Fruit: Why You Should Listen to Fiona Apple | フィオナ・アップル

If you recall the late 90s, it-girls were Chloe Sevigny, Kate Moss, and the like. Fiona Apple did not stand far from these women, but the American singer-songwriter had much more to say than just being cool. 

90年代後半の “it girl(世間を魅了する女性)” といえば、クロエ・セヴィニーやケイト・モス。さらにアメリカのシンガーソングライター、フィオナ・アップルもそのうちの1人であるが、ただ美しいだけでなかった。彼女は、音楽やメディアを通して物申す力強い女性として注目を浴びる。

Born as Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart on September 13th, 1977, music was quickly embedded into her life as a young girl. Apple started composing songs on her piano at age eight, consequently fueling the creativity that will award her first Grammy at the release of her debut album, “Tidal”, in 1996. It’s safe to say that she was in the claws of fame before she could even consider it: it wore her down like a knitted dress on a conveyor belt. 

フィオナは、1977年9月13日にアメリカ・ニューヨークで生まれる。物心ついた頃から音楽は彼女の一部であり、8歳の頃からピアノの演奏、作曲を行っていた。1996年にグラミー賞の初受賞を果たしたデビューアルバム “Tidal” に匹敵するほどの作品を大量に生み出した。気づけば多くの人が彼女の存在を良くも悪くも知っていた状態だった。

The media often portrays her career as strange, chaotic, and tragic: though there is some truth to it, Fiona Apple was a visionary and a pioneer for female figures in the music industry. Before she even hit the stage, Apple has been a victim of bullying and abuse relentlessly, resulting in even further seclusion. Turning her bleeding wounds into raw and poignant lyrics, creating hits like “Sullen Girl” and “Paper Bag”, her talent was rapidly noticed by the crowd. However, Fiona Apple was like a scapegoat for critics: already being picked at for her looks, she was assaulted by the media for her speech while receiving an MTV award in 1997. She said, “This world is bullshit”, calling out Hollywood for falsifying artists’ lives and authenticity, all while pleading with her fans to forget about being trendy and fitting in. 

さまざまなメディアはフィオナのキャリアを “奇妙でカオス、そして悲劇的” と取り上げていた。音楽業界で一足先をいっていた女性アーティストがフィオナであった。ステージに立つ前から彼女は罵声を浴びるターゲットとなっていたのも事実だ。しばらくした後、傷口を自ら癒すかのように生々しく哀切に歌詞に落としていった。そして “Sullen Girl” や “Paper Bag” といったヒット曲を生み出したのだ。数々の優れた楽曲や世間からも評価されていたのにもかかわらず、彼女はいつも批判の的。彼女のルックスでさえ人々から反感を買っていたが、MTVアワードの授賞式で行ったスピーチはメディア上で問題視され話題となった。彼女が放った一言 “The wolrd is bullshit” には、アーティストがもつ真の力を折り曲げるハリウッドの権力を非難する意味が込められていた。トレンドになることや世間にフィットすることが全てでないと。

Regardless of the turbulence of her life under the spotlight, Apple has never abandoned her ingenuity. Deliberately creating aching and shocking songs, she has amassed tons of fans throughout the years. Above all, people consider her ahead of her time, since she has been open with topics such as mental health, surviving abuse, and dismantling the patriarchy when it was still taboo in the world of music and pop culture. Languorous at times, Fiona Apple is witty and ironic as she is enchanting. To many, Fiona Apple offers a space for femininity and masculinity to be explored regardless of binary norms, and also a space for lamentations and, consequently, solace.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s