Could I Be a Lead Singer in a Rock Band? and how to fight racism. (Music Monday)
**Remember my iTunes giveaway contest ends a week from today!**
Our world has made great strides in regards to race issues but as you may know, we still have a long ways to go.
I saw a funny youtube post in which the guy mentions jokingly that intermarriage is a good way to combat racism since there’s no clear way to be racist toward a person of mixed heritage. Pretty funny but I also think there’s something there. Hmmm… intermarriage, huh? Makes me think of another word along that same vein: Integration.
I believe that one of the most powerful yet untapped race-uniting forces in the world is the medium of music.
When I look at the musical landscape in a country like the States, I see a vast ocean of talent (and lucky wannabes with the right connections) who are influencing the next generation with their lyrics and style.
Though there have been exceptions over the years, one really important piece is missing: Integration.
When was the last time you saw a rock band comprised of dudes from different ethnic backgrounds? You usually have a frontman with really cool hair and edgy tattoos, along with a melancholy bassist, an eccentric electric guitarist, and an easily-excitable drummer . . . all of whom are usually white.
Hip hop? With the exception of Eminem, this is a genre of music that is dominated by our African American brothers.
Again, I know there are more exceptions but I mention those two genres because they are a couple of my favorites and I want to make a point.
We can’t have ethnic enclaves within music. Not if we want to move forward.
To my Asian folk, I’m seeing that you’re talented. Really talented. But set the bar higher and stop just performing for each other. Maybe you do this because 1) you’re scared that you won’t make it into the mainstream so 2) you settle into what’s comfortable and 3) never explore the greater world outside. You are committing musical incest.
I’m proud of Far East Movement for proving to the world that a bunch of Asians can bust out into the music scene. However, I think there’s a lot more work to be done. I don’t believe it’s enough to say “See! We’re awesome too!” The question is, can you work under diversity and produce something great? I believe this is the goal for any artist seeking to bring about a greater sense of unity across cultures.
If I were to start a band, I would be intentional about working with a variety of people of different backgrounds. This is different from affirmative action. This is me believing that I would be able to find the best people for my band outside (but not excluding) my own culture.
Imagine what our world would be like if a few bands with a global following similar to the likes of U2 and Coldplay would rise up, comprised of an Asian lead singer (because this is my dream and I would gladly take this role), a Black bassist, a Hispanic drummer, and a White electric guitarist (or any combination)? Our world would be a different place.
As crazy as it sounds, I believe that we could achieve greater inter-racial harmony through musical representation in this manner. What if the Beatles were a diverse band of brothers?
Check this video out. I thought it was really well done and illustrates an aspect of what I’m trying to convey.
As with most things I write about, more on this later.
Am I the only one who thinks this is important? Or that it’s even possible?