Within the past year, there has been a significant rise in music coming into America from a across the globe.. Similar to the well-known, “British Invasion” phenomenon in the 60s, music from different parts of Asia, Africa and Spanish speaking countries have showed themselves as a force to be reckoned with in terms of popularity among American listeners.
In an age of globalization, media coming from all over the world is at our fingertips. As for music, streaming services like Spotify offer curated playlists such as, “Viva Latino,” “Afropop” and “Essential K-Pop,” to satisfy audiences with the popularity of global music.
Spotify is available in over 60 countries, leaving listeners with a vast selection of music from around the world in the palm of our hand.
People may be curious as to why music in foreign languages could make such an incredible impact on America, especially in the political climate we are in. However, international music racking up popularity in the states might be the epitome of what music has the capability of doing— bringing people together.
Music is a universal language, with some people simply enjoy music for the quality of sounds, beats and in turn how the song affects their mood.
“Music can have a profound effect on your mood as it creates the potential for the production of beneficial hormones, neurotransmitters, and other molecules in your body,” said Barry Goldstein in a piece by Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.
Frankly, there are a number of songs that come on the radio in America that are remarkably challenging to decipher—and they are in English. But even though people still have that issue with certain English songs, not necessarily understanding the lyrics or their meaning, people still enjoy them. People’s love for music doesn’t necessarily have to go deeper than simply appreciating the sound of a song.
It may come as no surprise to some as to why Spanish music has seen such an increase in popularity and air-time on major radio stations across the country in recent years.
“An estimated 52.6 million people in the US who can speak the worldwide romance language, which is second only to Mexico’s 121 million,” as calculated by the Instituto Cervantes research center mentioned in an article in the New York Times.
Due to the Spanish language presence in America, this gives way for songs like, “Mi Gente” and “Despacito” air-time, and exposure to people unfamiliar with Spanish music.
The confusion that arises when people discuss listening to music in other languages mostly involves the, language-barrier that comes with it. International music may be bringing something incredibly positive and beneficial America specifically.
Due to there being an unfamiliarity with the languages and cultures these international recording artists originate from. In turn there is a spark of interest in learning more about where these artists are coming from and sometimes, even the desire to learn a new language.
This change could be seen with the influx of language learning apps being offered such as, “Duolingo” and “FluentU.”
How much of a hand international music has with people wanting to learn a new language is unknown, but just mere the exposure of cultures from around the world through music is an incredible phenomenon itself.
The exposure allows people to possibly obtain a more open mind towards different aspects of life around the world. With globalization on the rise, having an open mind powered by acceptance and curiosity is extraordinarily important for the world to in some way move forward in a positive direction.
Macey Rose is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @maceyrae9.