What’s the fuss about Coldplay?

Photo: stereogum.com

British rock band Coldplay’s ‘Hymn for the Weekendhas created a lot of controversy with allegations of ‘Cultural Misappropriation’ being made against the band. Ms Neha Singh presents her take on the issue.

Now the first thing I must tell you is that India is my country and I am its citizen. If something defines me then it’s the bright colors and illuminating diyas, religious diversity and festivals, native languages and regional dance forms, relationships and bonding, agriculture, spices and saffron clad sadhus. And I am a consumer of Patanjali’s Aloe Vera juice too. That’s my incredible India and I am proud of it.

Cultural Appreciation or Appropriation?

So, considering the various clichés in the video as someone pointed out on the internet, I think all of these things translate into my incredible India which always leaves the west in its awe. It’s the richness of our culture that attracts international tourists to India. I also do know that as a country we have developed into a more modern nation with more urbanized cities having a stunningly high degree of sophisticated infrastructure and night clubs. But aren’t these things borrowed from the western world? Well, I hope not that you were expecting the video to contain ‘Firangi Paani’, Café Coffee Days and Nariman Point.  Why are we getting worked up about how the west sees us and that too when our own people portray us in a much similar way or maybe more as shown in this video. And we all love this video, don’t we?

As for Beyonce, she looks delightful as a Bollywood Queen both in her fancy attire and dusky skin. And that is a change we must bring around in a nation so obsessed with fair skin.

Still the video didn’t put as offensive stuff as compared to what we do in our Bollywood films using the white girls in bare minimum outfits and making villains out of the dark skin people as rightly pointed out by this site. Now what would you call this; Cultural appropriation or racism?

Melting Pot of Cultures

Well, I don’t mean to say that ‘an eye for an eye’ is a good thing. What I am saying is that we have gone global.

Holi, the Indian festival of colors celebrated in the spring around Feb or March in India, is played in the summer of June and July across Europe. Diwali lunches and dinner, take place weeks or months, even before the actual festival. And by the by, the festival attracts not just Indian diaspora, but other cultures too, as the organizing committee consists both Indians and Europeans. So, if Indian Holi, Spiritual Gurus, and Yoga have spread across to the west, then we also have borrowed their accents, pubs, outfits, and Halloween parties. So how can Chris Martin not be drenched in Holi colors in his video?

Anyway, I am thankful to the Coldplay team for putting the beautifully shot visuals of my exotic India at the Super Bowl, America’s biggest sporting event.  Well, whatever the world thinks about this video, I have to admit that this song is now spinning in my head and I am really “FEELING DRUNK AND HIGH”.

(This is an edited version of the blog-post published in Ms Singh’s personal blog)


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Pop Star Beyoncé Donates $6 Million to Fund Mental Health Support During COVID-19

The pop star is also highly concerned about African-American community workers

The pop star donates $6 Million for COVID-19 relief. Wikimedia Commons

Pop star Beyonce Knowles has pledged $6 million to fund mental health support during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyone’s BeyGOOD has partnered with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall to provide $6 million to fund the mental health and personal wellness services, reports variety.com.

The 38-year-old singer shared the update on her website.

“Beyonce’s BeyGOOD recognises the immense mental and personal health burdens being placed on essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” read the the organisation’s official statement, adding: “In our major cities, African-Americans comprise a disproportionate number of workers in these indispensable occupations, and they will need mental health support and personal wellness care, including testing and medical services, food supplies and food deliveries, both during and after the crisis.”

Beyoncé $6M
Beyonce highlighted the impact of the pandemic on African American communities. Wikimedia Commons

The mental health initiative includes a key national partnership with UCLA. BeyGOOD has also partnered with the National Alliance in Mental Illness, which provides local support in Houston, New York, New Orleans and Detroit. BeyGOOD is also supporting United Memorial Center, Bread of Life, Matthew 25 and other organisations to help provide basic necessities, including food, water, cleaning supplies, medicines and face masks.

Earlier this month, Beyonce highlighted the deadly impact of the coronavirus pandemic on African American communities during her stint inA “One World: Together at Home” virtual concert, saying the virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate in the US.

Read More: Lockdown Diaries: Metro May Not Ply yet DMRC Continues to Work

The 38-year-old singer highlighted the plight of African-American community, saying: “Black Americans belong to these parts of the workforce that don’t have the luxury of working from home. And African-American communities at large have been severely affected. Those with pre-existing conditions are at higher risk.”

“This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate in America,” added the Grammy Award-winning artist. (IANS)

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Lady Gaga Will make History when she performs at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival

Beyonce had been slated to headline the Coachella festival in Indio, California, but backed out because she's pregnant with twins

Lady Gaga performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Feb. 5, 2017, VOA

New York, April 15, 2017: Lady Gaga will make history when she performs at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival this weekend, marking a decade since a solo woman has been billed as a headliner on the prestigious musical stage.

Beyonce had been slated to headline the festival in Indio, California, but backed out because she’s pregnant with twins. Bjork was the last solo female to headline Coachella in 2007, so it begs the question: Why has it taken so long?

Women have always performed at Coachella, which began Friday, since it was launched in 1999. In the last few years the number of female performers has grown, including acts that blend alternative and pop, such as Sia and Tegan & Sara, to mega genre-mashers like M.I.A., Janelle Monae and Santigold.

Coachella is known as the festival for cool kids — and musicians. That leaves little to no room for acts that dominate Top 40 radio, where women have a strong presence, from Katy Perry to Rihanna.

Halsey, the Grammy-nominated singer who is readying her second alternative album and had one of last year’s biggest pop hits with “Closer” alongside the Chainsmokers, performed at Coachella last year. The 22-year-old said women who perform alternative music are often billed as pop artists because of their sex.

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“Festivals like Coachella, they pride themselves on being part of the counterculture, being tastemakers, upholding themselves to a certain standard of the artists that they include, and I think one of the problems is that female artists are so often tainted as pop artists even when they don’t necessarily intend to be,” Halsey said. “Female artists can put out the same style of a record as a male artist and when a male artist does it, it has a certain type of dignity, it has a certain type of edge … as soon as a woman puts out a record of the same caliber, it’s immediately filed as a pop record no matter what.”

Halsey said it’s something she’s experienced in her own career with the success of “Closer.”

“It was this giant pop record and immediately I was a pop artist even though I put out an alternative album, I played alternative festivals and I was on alternative radio,” she said. “As soon as [you] do one pop record it’s like the kiss of death for a female artist sometimes.”

Gary Bongiovanni, CEO of concert trade publication Pollstar, said he didn’t think the gap between male and female headliners at Coachella was calculated.

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“I don’t see that there’s any sexism. There’s nothing more than trying to put together a bill of artists that the public wants to see. And we live in a world where a significant majority of the acts are either male or male-fronted bands versus females or female-fronted bands,” he said. “If you look at the level of business all of those artists do and you try to cobble together a lineup that’s going to be appealing, it’s difficult, and there are a lot of the female acts that may not lend themselves to performing in front of 60,000 or 80,000 people in an open field, versus headlining an area or more likely a theater.”

In last year’s Pollstar chart of the 100 top-grossing North America tours, women made up about 15 percent of the list, which was dominated by male acts and male-fronted bands. Only two women cracked the Top 10: Beyonce was No.1 and Adele came in fifth.

Coachella is sold out before the lineup is announced, so the festival has the luxury of picking performers instead of relying on acts to help sell tickets.

Along with Gaga, this year’s headliners include Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar, who released his hotly anticipated new album Friday. Some of the female performers include Lorde, Banks, Tove Lo, Kehlani, Nao, Kiiara and Bishop Briggs. Yukimi Nagano, who fronts Swedish band Little Dragon, is returning to Coachella for a third time.

Nagano said she was surprised that it’s been 10 years since a woman headlined the festival, adding: “I think it’s a really positive thing.”

Jason White, executive vice president of marketing at Beats by Dre, said the company is purposely, and exclusively, giving attention to women at the festival: Their space at Coachella will only feature female performers, including Erykah Badu, DJ Kiss, Ana Calderon, JCK DVY and Jasmine Solano.

“I think it really meshes incredibly well with what’s going on with Coachella because you do have Gaga, we’re excited about seeing Kehlani [and] there’s some really solid performers this year,” he said.

Halsey, who spoke over the phone Thursday as she drove to the desert to watch Coachella as a fan, said she was thrilled to see Gaga take the stage. She said the recent Super Bowl halftime performer is one of those pioneering female acts that haven’t been boxed into a genre, though she knows “the extremes [Gaga] has to go to maintain that counterculture are much greater than that of what a male artist has to do.”

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“Drake is still considered a rap/rhythm artist even though he is essentially a pop artist when you look at the decisions that he makes and the climate that kind of surrounds his projects,” Halsey said.

“And when you have a female artist in the same lane, they get written off as a pop artist simply because they’re female, simply because the conversation with them, it goes to fashion, makeup or whatever, and those are questions and comments that don’t surround the brand and surround the career of a male artist.”

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28-Year Old Singer Adele and Band ColdPlay among Top Honours BBC Music Awards 2016

British singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu received BBCs Introducing Artist of the Year award

Band Coldplay, Wikimedia

London, Dec 13,2016: BBC Music awards was dominated by Singer Adele who won both the fan-voted album of the year trophy for 25 and the song of the year honor for “Hello,” while Coldplay and The 1975 fared well too.

Billboard reported, that although the 28-year-old singer did not attend the award ceremony, she sent her warm words to thank her fans.

Adele Dominated the BBC Music Awards 2016
Adele won some of the prestigious BBC Music awards this year, Wikimedia

Singer Robbie Williams read a note written by her in the award ceremony, which said “Thank you for this award, I feel a bit bad winning it when the albums been out for so long.”

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“Hello again, I m so sorry I m not there. Ill be home soon and I cant wait. Its been a long year on the road and this makes me feel a little homesick- I cant wait for Wembley and then to get back to normal,” she said in another message.

Rock and Coldplay were honoured with Coveted British Artist of the Year award. The group, which consists of Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion, was also not present to accept the award, mentioned PTI.

To make up for their presence they made a video message saying “We just got told about winning this beautiful BBC Artist of the Year award. Sorry were not there, we are about to go on stage in Australia.”

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“Look at all those people and we love you and we are so grateful and well see you so soon. Thank you so much and goodbye.”

British singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu received BBCs Introducing Artist of the Year award.

The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Performance of the Year was given to The 1975 for their orchestrated cover of One Directions “What Makes You Beautiful.”

The lead singer Matty Healy said “I want to thank Radio 1 for everything basically. Theyve been intrinsic in our success with the Live Lounge.”

prepared by NewsGram with PTI inputs