Melbourne band The Do Yo Thangs have changed their name following what they say was “the inappropriate use of African American vernacular” in their moniker.
The R&B outfit, who are predominantly Anglo-Saxon, have officially changed their name to Leisure Centre, while also delaying the release of their debut album, Mind Full.
“We recently received some feedback on the name of our band,” says bandleader Hugh Rabinovici.
“The feedback highlighted the inappropriate use of African American vernacular as branding by a predominantly Anglo Australian group.”
Rabinovici says it didn’t occur to him when he named the band that its name could be controversial, but has decided to make the change after a discussion with his bandmates.
“In the years since starting the band I’ve learnt more about the dynamics of power, privilege and identity, I evidently hadn’t reflected on this in relation to our band name. Rightly, this feedback made me uncomfortable,” he says.
“After some discussion we quickly acknowledged the name was out of line with our values and we needed to do something about it.
“I genuinely appreciate the feedback and the time and thought that was put into it. I’m grateful for this opportunity to grow and develop, to hold up a mirror to what we’ve been doing and make a change.”
Rabinovici says he’s “excited” about the new name, and believes Leisure Centre is “a much better fit” for who the band are as a group. The band members’ first single as Leisure Centre, ‘Don’t Let Go’, will be released on 20th April, before Mind Full arrives on the new date of 20th July.