This Week in Protest Music: Debbie Harry, Las Cafeteras and NY Fashion Week

Winding down African-American history month, The Crows Nest looks at the top protest albums from black artists that you should know, Gothamist looks at NYC Protest songs in their detailed history and Vogue looks at how protest music took over Fashion Week in NYC this month.

Nelson Jancaterino and Wyatt Edmondson, two singer/songwriters from Montgomery, AL have two different perspectives and paths with their music. Nelson performs protest music that addresses both sides, recalling folk music as a root of protest music:

“I feel like with the current political climate, not just in America but around the world, there needs to be a new revival of folk music. You had such a big folk genre, such a big folk influence in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and it just kind of died off. Now there’s a void that needs to be filled by people who have something to say.”

The children of immigrants, Las Cafeteras take roots music and remix it while telling modern day stories. The band “wanted to engage people’s imaginations about the future of this country. Everyone knows what’s wrong, but not many know what to do. We hope to push people to think about themselves as presidents of their homes, schools, workplaces and to create the kind of country they would like to see starting from the local and moving outward.” Listen to “If I was President.” below.

Klezmer music has roots as protest music, as described by Asher Putnam of Bella’s Bartok.

Columbia, South Carolina’s Free Times spoke with local musicians on the influence of the age of trump on protest music. 

Forbidden Folk, part of the Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas ended last week, with about 1,000 musicians and singers gathered for five days of music, song and mingling with promoters, critics, agents and disc jockeys for a maniacal, magical feast of music that ran almost 24 hours a day.

Blondie’s Debbie Harry feels that protest music is on the rise: “I don’t want to go backwards in time; I don’t think isolationism is a good thing at this time in history. I think he’s an idiot. “I don’t like the idea of promoting fear to gain popularity. It’s so ugly.” She believes music has a part to play in voicing protest against him, although “no one has written an anthem yet”.

This playlist by Vijay Iyer looks at the roots of Protest music in jazz.

And if you were curious if protest music was relegated just to American, here’s a little something from Nigeria, where Timaya’s ‘Pity 4 Us’ “is a clear representation of the mood in the country, and seeks positive changes in the state of affairs.”