When people can’t travel, music can.
If there is anything in this world that has moved me more, or impacted me more, it would be this series. A beautiful documentary split into episodes of collaborations between two artists from two worlds. The US travel ban restricted 6 countries to come to this country, but music will not let that happen. Watch above.
Spotify decided to give President Trump a backhanded slap for the absurdity and disgusting Travel Ban he put in place, which is intended to keep citizens of Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Yemen, and Libya out of the U.S. completely. Spotify’s idea? Using what they do best, which is discover and share new music. With Spotify, beginning to enter the video realms of the digital industry, they produced their very own documentary series titled “I’m With the Banned“, in which they take an emerging artist from each one of those forbidden countries, and fly them over to Toronto, Canada (a safe zone), where they would collaborate with an American artist. The message relayed is that “Music has no boundaries”, “Music without borders”.
In each of the 5 episodes so far produced, we get a glimpse into the worlds of each artist both from the U.S. perspective and from the third world country viewpoint, and we have the chance to learn how different their musical backgrounds are.
The U.S. artists are K. Flay, Desiigner, Pusha T, X Ambassadors, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.
The artists from the banned are: Waayaha Cusub (Somalia), Methal (Yemen), Moh Flow (Syria), Kasra (Iran), Sufyvan (Sudan), and Ahmed Fakroun (Libya).
Each collaboration fabricates a different product and outcome. They’re all beautiful. They remix elements of their cultures into one and meld the DNAs of their music into a completely new and exciting species of song. The best part is that each composition has a story, and through that story they tell the tale of what music means to these artists and where it has come from for them.
Why is this series important? Besides the fact that they are very cool and fascinating films, they also show how large corporations, like Spotify, can make a difference. They have the power to influence society in what they hear and who they are moved by far more than the president does. This makes them more forceful in sending messages to the masses. With a platform like Spotify that can transcend oceans and mountains to all parts of the world , and that anyone and everyone can use, it only makes sense that they stand to have a significant voice in the lives of the world’s population.
Music is an intangible, yet an impactful product, that I can safely say EVERYONE listens to, even if against their own will.
Spotify is also a culture. It feeds lifestyles with the sounds we want to hear, but as a bonus, it offers the sounds that we need to hear. With video now involved and a shaky political climate, Spotify has the power to show that there are no differences in a human being when it comes down to it. At the end of the day, we’re all music lovers. At the end of the day, we all live a life and we all have something we love. This series shows a step in the right direction. It shows that businesses can be good, fair, and caring. Spotify is taking a stance and it’s using its best retaliation strategy: discovery. Real people meeting with real people and producing music, producing a beat, and a song. With Spotify playing this card for change, it only shows that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Be sure to check out the full length documentary (31 mins) on Spotify, as well as watch the episodic series above, and then listen to the playlist. Truly an incredible movement.