Global Notes: What is Americana?
Musical genres like Americana and Folk are thought to represent a romantic, conventional notion of rural American identity - though they are conceptualized and consumed in a very different way from genres that evoke very similar associations, like Country. But the terms come under question when we consider who is afforded the privilege of being considered an “Americana” artist, and the genre’s uncomfortable proximity to white identity and American nationalism. Can Chicanos, Mexicans and Latin Americans claim the genre, for example? What about Black Americans, immigrants or Native musicians? These are the questions Vocalo’s Catalina Maria Johnson considers on this week’s installment of Global Notes. We’ll recap the Americana Music Association Awards, and take a look at what a more inclusive definition of “Americana” could look like.