Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Music Caricatures & Generalizations

In today's world, people are trying to micro-manage everything. Classifications of musical genres are not exempt from this phenomena.
In my quest to understand where my music fits in, I have encountered many laughable obstacles.
Some internet radio & download sites have multiple genre subdivisions that attempt to pinpoint a musical sound.
Ironically, at the same time when we musical artists are being scrutinized for our exotic authenticity, DJ stylist are given carte blanche to mix and match any of the world's styles and rhythms.
What does that really mean to me and others like me?
If we are proud to be African or Caribbean but live in New York, Los Angeles, London or Paris are we any less authentic? Do we have to dress in a costume and paint our faces to authenticate our traditions?
I played hundreds of private party gigs in the required "white pants & island shirts" costume so that some former tourist could relive an idyllic island moment. There can't be a double standard. If DJs can use our exotic rhythms to spice up their Anglo-Euro grooves, then no one should call us world fusion because we incorporate a little hip-hop or electronics into traditional roots music!

Ultimately, I am proud to be an Afro-Caribbean person. I speak English, Spanish and Portuguese, I will continue to express myself in those languages. Proud to have been taught the African traditions that saturate my music.I have composed music in the tropical rainforest and on the streets of New York City. I am not alone, there are many artist like me.

"No matter where you come from, as long as your a Black man, your an African" (Peter Tosh)

1 comment:

  1. What's up, bro? I really like your blog.

    I'm glad I found it!