17 July 2015

Problems with artists' nationalities

In a recent post I mentioned that I had scheduled a post related to a problem I face sometimes with this blog. Back then I re-scheduled that post to write that other post (for reasons mentioned in it) and now would finally be the time to talk about the problem I mentioned before. It is a problem I quite often have to wonder thanks to this blog: the nationalities of artists.

So, what is the actual problem here? In the modern days of internationalization many people, including singers, can have multiple nationalities. In example, one of their parents could be from France and one from Germany. In this blog I do feature posts in which I feature music from a certain country. So to which post would I put the example artist, France or Germany? Now there is a pickle.

And unfortunately that is not the only pickle (on a side note: I hate pickles, yuck!). Because I like listening, and blogging about, smaller artists too, I come across the problem of not finding any actual information on the artist. If they sing in a certain language that is only spoken in one country, the nationality is guessable, but otherwise if I do not find their country of origin from anywhere, it is pretty much impossible to guess from where they come from. And bands with members from multiple countries are a whole another issue!

Photo source

So, what is a blogger to do? With the case of dual-nationalities (sometimes it is even more than just two options!), it is a decision of choosing which country to blog about them in. If there is just enough information to be found (in a language I or Google Translator can understand enough), I will consider few points. Where were they born? Where they grew up or have lived most of their lives? What languages they speak and in which they sing in? Where are they making their career?; Which country's record label they are signed to, where they are more promoted, where they are more famous? Sometimes the artist have stated their "main nationality" in their website, social media, or somewhere.

I use the facts mentioned above to make the decision. Sometimes if these things are not known, or they do not make the decision any clearer, I have few other ways to determine in which post to feature the singer in. Of course I can pick randomly, though I try to avoid that. Sometimes I (in a personal option) for some reason connect the artist more to one country over the other. Like if they have represented a country in some competition (in example Eurovision Song Contest) or participated a singing competition (Voice, X Factor, etc.) in other country. Sometimes I just place the artist to the country that "needs it more". By this I mean the country with smaller music scene and so worth less artists to blog about.

One complicated case is an artist who was born in example in China to Chinese parents, but who has lived most of their life in example in Australia and is making their career there. China or Australia? This too would be a bit case by case situation, but I think in this example I would go with Australia. At least if the artist announces theirself as an Australian singer.

And what about the bands with member from multiple countries? I know quite a few of these! Two easy solutions usually are: 1. from which country there is most members from, 2. where they live and make music in. Usually with at least other of these questions there is a clear answer, but sometimes not. Then I have to take a look at other information available (similar to the questions mentioned with solo acts) and based it on that. And if nothing else helps, then I will just randomly place them into one of the fitting countries.

Photo source

There is surprisingly lot to think about with these cases! If nothing helps and there is no way of placing them into any country, I will just add their music to my YouTube playlist, where I add artists whose nationality I do not know. This list is luckily very short since there is usually always one way or another to place the artists to fitting countries! But if nothing helps, then I will just leave them be and look back later on, in case there is more information available on them then. Of course I can just leave those cases unblogged (I am making up words here), but I will kind of disappointed if I find a great song and I know I can not blog about it. Serious problems, yes sir.

I am probably just making things more complicated than I should; I am quite a perfectionist, so I want to do things properly. But in the end, does it really matter? So what if I accidentally blog about an artist in a wrong country's post? (I have known for a while there is at least one of these cases in my blog, but I have not gotten around to fix it. *insert a whale fail*) I kind of feel that it could be offensive to the artist if I state their nationality wrong, but then again I doubt that any of the people I blog about are going to read it. And I bet that with most of the cases, the artist would not even care at all; dual-nationals are probably connected to both of their countries.

Sometimes I may get it wrong, but I will fix it if I am notified of the mistake! In the end, this is just a fun blog and nothing to be taken too seriously. It is just me perfectionist brain that wants to do it properly and get grey hairs over such matters! First world problems and so worth.

Any views on this issue? Please, leave a comment!

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