Here’s a copy + paste quote from the interview. They low-key threw shade in the question (my opinion), but she handled it well.
Your last projects weren’t critical or commercial successes. Did that add any pressure while working on “Liberation”?
“Because I am a real vocalist, I have always heard, ‘Why don’t you just stand and do a bunch of ballads?’ That’s just one element of what I do, but it’s not everything,” she said.
“I would be so bored if I sat on the stage and just sang ballad after ballad. I’m an artist. The label was great in giving me the freedom to take my time and do what I wanted. I’m no stranger to knowing how to play the game.”
Christina adds: “It is an amazing thing whenever things are commercially received and successful. I’ve had those successes with ‘Genie in a Bottle’ and ‘What a Girl Wants,’ and I was still miserable because I wasn’t connected to the music and wasn’t being able to change it. I’ve done my share of that and I see a lot of artists get into that trap of chasing the charts.”
“After I’m dead and gone, I really want the music paid attention to and not because of where I charted or how commercially successful it was but because the quality has stood the test of time.”
My two cents? 100% agree. Chart success does not equal critical acclaim. I can’t even tell you how many songs I’ve fallen in love with that were nowhere near landing on the charts. On the flip side, there’s some real garbage on the Hot 100 / 200, but because streaming dominates how we consume music they grabbed a spot.