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View Full Version : Can a minority experience US / European mainstream success?


Azonic
May 21st, 2011, 12:28 PM
We've yet to see a mainstream pop star in the US from a minority like Asian or Middle Eastern. Pop is still generally ruled by african-americans and caucasians still.

Several Japanese and Korean artists who have experienced success in Asia have attempted to move to the American markets and failed to reach commercial success like BoA.

We've seen the occasional one-hit wonder, like M.I.A. her Paper Planes but she didn't last.

Recently we've seen Far East Movement and their two hit songs Like A G6 and Rocketeer, both which feature a caucasian artist. But will they have longevity or is their ethnicity just another gimmick? Can a minority make it in the US / Europe music markets? What do they need to do differently?

Avey
May 21st, 2011, 12:39 PM
The thing is that the culture towards music in places apart from Europe and America is very different to how its directed over here by the recording players. Here, it's all about making money. While there's some of that around (see k-pop etc.), a lot foreign music is very intimate, similar to Sufjan Stevens or it's experimental, like the Flaming Lips and so on and so on. And tbh I'd rather they be minorities making good music from the soul rather than selling themselves out so the stockholders and board of the directors of recording companies are kept happy.

batmon
May 21st, 2011, 12:54 PM
J-Lo and Enrique Ingleias are the first two Hispanic pop stars I can think of that have had a pretty long lasting effect on the American Mainstream

And Black is still a minority in America and I'm pretty sure it's the same in Europe

Mr Cat Dog
May 21st, 2011, 02:27 PM
Even M.I.A. has her Anglicized background as well...

Language barriers are probably the main concern, to be honest. As much as the casual music listener may not pay massive attention to lyrics, he or she probably would be a bit cautious if they weren't in English. As well as this, as a Anglo-American culture, we've almost been programmed to accept 'Western' forms of music; unless 'minority' artists have some sort of hook that can identify themselves with such a mainstream audience, they'll probably be not too accepted, which is a shame.

Forever
May 21st, 2011, 02:34 PM
Charice seems to be doing pretty well for herself after releasing Pyramid, sure she hasn't released anything else I notice in the charts, but now she's on Glee instead and generally well recieved by the public.

tbh I think when she's done with Glee she'll go back to releasing songs on the charts. The same goes for anyone imo, it doesn't matter where they come from, what matters is how the music sounds really.

Azonic
May 21st, 2011, 04:06 PM
Even M.I.A. has her Anglicized background as well...

Language barriers are probably the main concern, to be honest. As much as the casual music listener may not pay massive attention to lyrics, he or she probably would be a bit cautious if they weren't in English. As well as this, as a Anglo-American culture, we've almost been programmed to accept 'Western' forms of music; unless 'minority' artists have some sort of hook that can identify themselves with such a mainstream audience, they'll probably be not too accepted, which is a shame.Yeah, I would agree with this. The public wouldn't receive a song sung in a heavy Asian accent really well and wouldn't take it seriously. + I get what you mean by the hook thing. I can see that African-Americans did have their own signature sound with heavy R&B beats and melodies, along with rap. Far East Movement saw success in more of a playful laid-back but extremely techno rap style in their two hits. Perhaps the Asian artists will see success in a very techno sound. Especially when the mainstream radio has converted to heavy electronic dance songs, but the competition for this sound is high when Gaga, Kesha and Britney are already going for this.

Charice seems to be doing pretty well for herself after releasing Pyramid, sure she hasn't released anything else I notice in the charts, but now she's on Glee instead and generally well recieved by the public.

tbh I think when she's done with Glee she'll go back to releasing songs on the charts. The same goes for anyone imo, it doesn't matter where they come from, what matters is how the music sounds really.

I wouldn't call Charice a success story just yet. She hasn't had a hit yet and no one really notices her. Great voice, but as an artist, no. She couldn't be further away from the likes of Rihanna, Katy, Kesha, etc. as of now. I feel like she's too conservative.

Perhaps they'll get attention once they pull a Gaga or something. :s

Esper
May 22nd, 2011, 09:59 PM
It won't happen if an artist can't be seen to mix into Western culture. No matter how good you are, if you aren't accessible - doing interviews, making appearances, generally making yourself known and showing you have a connection or similarities to your fans - you won't make it to the top. I don't know if Western audiences are willing to take the effort to look past the fact that someone's foreign long enough, or that they'll have the patience. Some artists have done fairly well, like Shakira, but she wasn't from a culture that was as foreign as, say, someone who grew up in the Middle East.

Eliminator Jr.
June 7th, 2011, 07:31 AM
I don't think many foreign people will majorly break the mainstream market as more than a gimmick, the record labels in most cases decide what will be popular or not and they look for people that the the masses will relate to and who'll make them the most money, not somebody who makes good music (whether they be foreign or local).