Aaradhna and the complexities of music genre labels

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Last Thursday at the New Zealand Music Awards soul singer Aaradhna raised the issue of race in the music industry upon accepting her award for best urban/hip hop album. She said she could not accept the award as she was a singer up against two hip hop artists and that she felt she was being placed in a category for brown people. This created a stir on social media with some people supporting her stand and others saying she should be grateful for winning. More importantly, this raises issues around the complexity of music genre labels, labeling artists, and whether some labels such as urban and world music are in fact race-based. I spoke to Dr Kirsten Zemke from the University of Auckland Anthropology department about the complexities of music genre labels in light of Aaradhna’s situation. 

Dr. Kirsten Zemke Interview

  • Sam
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