I was introduced to A Tribe Called Red not long ago, and my mind and heart were blown open. I hadn’t felt music so deeply in a very long time. Today, I searched for their album on iTunes, but as I began to make the purchase, I suddenly had this strange voyeuristic feeling, like, this is not my culture, and this music feels hella sacred, and who am I to just consume it?
Then I started thinking about what it’s been like to consume music in this country as a minority immigrant and how much of the music I have loved and related to has been made by people of color with whom I don’t share a cultural background. As an Iranian-American, I am part of a small minority, even within communities of color. Growing up in a white supremacist culture, and looking for anything or anybody to relate to in the images and sounds I found in media led me to people of color of other backgrounds, sort of out of necessity. I found comfort there, in a place where our “otherness” united us, even if we didn’t look alike or speak the same language or eat the same food.
Inspired by my love and reverence for music made by people of color, I decided that I will intentionally pay money for A Tribe Called Red’s music that speaks to something I can’t quite name, and be sure to fiscally support them in this way rather than pirating the music, or occasionally searching for it on youtube. I intend to hold their musical offering with reverence and respect.
Musicians of color, thank you, for helping me feel, grow, learn, and for giving me a larger community to be a part of, when the mainstream alienated me.
Gratitude to A Tribe Called Red for this offering, and respect to the people indigenous to this continent.