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Music has no Color, only Culture.

Music for many people is an aspect of our cultures that is as important to us as any other aspect that we find important. For me having been raised in SW Louisiana, Zydeco is a part of my culture that I’m always proud to share with others, even if they aren’t familiar with it. Apart from that genre, genres such as R&B, Blues and Hip Hop were our got music.

My daughter reminded me of this R&B gem from my childhood while creating videos for our family business' social media platform. That song stayed in my head for the rest of that day, and I naturally did what most of us do when that happens. My first step was to go to YouTube and watch the video. My family had never discussed Bobby Caldwell's ethnicity, and I had never realized it myself. For much of my youth, and without ever being asked, I assumed he was African American. It intrigued me this fact, while not essentially important, was that Bobby's ethnicity was also a source of controversy for TK Records in that while executives were confident the song "What You Won't Do for Love" was a hit, they weren't satisfied that African American listeners of the early 1980s would feel the same.  Bobby Caldwell's music holds significant cultural significance in the R&B genre as it challenges stereotypes and defies traditional expectations. Despite being a white artist, his soulful voice and mastery of the genre garnered him a dedicated fanbase and solidified his place in R&B history. His success showcased music's power to transcend racial boundaries and sparked meaningful conversations about representation and inclusivity in the industry.

 

 

Music, as a cultural aspect of who we are and how we process and express our experiences of the world around us, doesn't always have to express ethnicity per se; it can when such expression carries with it a message the artist wishes to speak on social problems such as discrimination or inequality for example. Some expressions transcend culture and the social issues prevalent in a particular culture. It wasn't until Bobbie Caldwell, known for his smooth sound, toured with Natalie Cole that African American audiences could finally put a face to this unique musical style. This sound would further influence other genres of music, such as big band arrangements performing music by different artists like Frank Sinatra, leading to a fusion of styles and a broader musical landscape.

The innovative music of  Lil Nas X's Old Town Road and Beyonce's Texas Hold 'em isn't just prevalent amongst American artist, but extends worldwide. 

The name of Tatsuro Yamashita might not be one that rings a bell, however his influence on City Pop is undeniable in Japanese culture. Widely considered the King of City Pop  during the 1970's and 80's that comprised of elements of funk, disco, R&B and Soft Rock. 

When it comes to music, every culture has a story to tell and share with others. And as we share our stories we are also reminded that there are few limits to music's cultural power to move us and make us feel human.

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