Crossing the language barrier in music

Crossing+the+language+barrier+in+music

Karinne Burgess

 With the power of the internet, more individuals have been exposed to different cultures from all around the world. People have gained a fixation for things in other places they find odd but interesting due to it being unique. With instant translators in the palms of our hands, language is becoming less of a problem. The mixing of cultures has been demonstrated in the music industry and has recently gained a lot of attention.

Latin music genres have been popular in the United States for awhile, with stars like Shakira and Pitbull always making it on prestigious music charts when they come out with new music. More recently, artists have been collaborating with other musicians from different countries. Many people have refused to listen to anything they can’t understand but due to their favorite artists singing in other languages, they’ve become more open minded to the diversity.

“It’s just something to dance to,” junior Kelly Young said. 

Recently, pop artist Justin Bieber collaborated on a remix of “Despacito” with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. While collaborations in the music world aren’t anything new, what surprised many listeners was Bieber singing in Spanish. Due to the pop star’s massive popularity, it was no surprise when the song became an instant hit. Radio stations played it everywhere, regardless if their listeners could understand or not. While most people don’t know the Spanish lyrics, it didn’t stop them from buying or listening to the song.

“I’ve definitely noticed an increase in people listening to music that they don’t understand,” says junior Kelly Young.

Due to the world charts being more diverse, it has become a lot more possible in the music industry for artists who don’t sing primarily in English to succeed outside their own country. This past May, South Korean boy band BTS became unlikely friends with the American duo The Chainsmokers. After being introduced right before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, they quickly decided to collaborate on a song together. This came as a surprise to many people because never had a popular artist in the United States, like The Chainsmokers, worked with an artist who produces music in a language so different as Korean.

“I don’t mind listening to music I don’t understand if I like the beat, because the beat is the basis of the song and as long as it can make me move, I’m fine with it,” said Smith.

BTS themselves were already gaining global recognition for their Billboard win, and recently broke a record for placing high on the Billboard’s Top 200.They as well have become the first K-pop group to make it onto the Billboard’s Top 100. This goes to show the diversity in people’s music tastes nowadays and their willingness to listen to different types of music.

“There’s a reason why music is referred to as the universal language,” freshman Caden Smith says, ” the language barrier does not really apply to music, because people will listen to anything.”