Music and Politics

I just read a recent story posted by esteemed fashion publication BOF (business of fashion) detailing how controversial PR firm Cambridge Analytica mined social media data to influence Trumps election campaign. Simply put they used people’s affinity for American heritage type fashion brands and profiled users based on traits such as open mindedness, political ideologies etc and campaigned to those thought to potentially have right wing political leanings. That’s smart if you ask me but maybe I just don’t like that they chose to use fashion to do it. I have to give props where its due, because what we choose to wear says a lot about who we are and what we identify with. America aside, it makes me wonder about our situation in South Africa. In recent times political parties have used our love of local music and music artists to gain political clout by throwing massive stadium filled events with such artists performing while ploughing us with political messaging in between. This can be construed by many as the artist directly supporting the party involved. This makes me wonder if we as the youth are aware or if we even care that this takes place, that we are being used as pawns to further political agendas without us fully comprehending the weight of our participation in such events while our favorite artists “get the bag” as the say. In the end we all have a choice of what we do with our time but do we actually care in the end about what we have a hand in. In my opinion the responsibility lies both with the artists and the fans to draw a line with regards to what we choose to endorse and support. The fact that its so simple for the powers that be to pull the wool over our eyes on a daily basis and remove our individual sense of agency around our collective power to effect change is scary. I have personally never been to one of these concerts but I know many who have and its quite a Jol from what I’m told, I wonder who pays for these events, I’m willing to bet its tax payer monies. Its our responsibility today to use our individual platforms to spread unity not just viral memes and catchy songs as fun as they are. When you sing and join in on a chant you are offering support to a message which is fine if you believe in the message but do you, like really? This message good or bad has some effect in some way, whether to promote peace, provoke opponents or just rile up the crowd as a show of strength. By joining in we offer our voices and a show of support. Come election time in 2019 I won’t be singing along to any such bullshit, the facts are what I’m concerned with. Stay wise, stay woke. Use your voice to convey a message, don’t just sing along to a fucked up broken tune.