When One’s MultiRacial Identity can be a Trump Card in One’s Career: Kane Brown, Not Quite White in a Genre Mainly Associated With White American Artists
Filipinos my age grew up listening to the hits of American country superstars Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gayle, John Denver, and Restless Heart. After that golden era here, only a handful of country artists were able to break through here and most of them were women - Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Alison Krauss, Faith Hill, and Shania Twain. Other than them, it would be difficult for most ordinary Filipinos to know contemporary country acts from America. That is why listening to country music at that early age has led me to make it a lifetime habit, although lately, it has become more off than on. Last decade was the last time I actively listened to American country music due largely to the Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum, and Tim McGraw. Last year though, I stumbled into a gem of a country song called What Ifs, located the singer, who turned out to be Kane Brown and made a question mark through my ledft eyebrow when he did not look white to me. Well, country music, as I knew it growing up, is as white as white can be and very rarely have they accommodated multiracial or African-American artists. Darius Rucker is the only other non-white country performer that I know. However, music is evolving everywhere and the idea that Kane Brown who is multiracial, and is still able to sing country music like any other white country singer, is not anymore much of an issue nowadays, at least not to me. Bottom line always in music is, if the music is good, how the singer looks become secondary – and boy, what a great debut album Kane Brown pieced together, singing themes close to the heart of country music – love of family, love of country, and love of freedom.