Multilingual and Multicultural in the Music Industry

It’s been said that music is the universal language. Our mind and body react and feel the beat, the rhythm, the melody, the vibes, the chords, the harmony and sometimes to the lyrics.

Have you ever found a song in your mother tongue that you think “Oh, it is a good song but the lyrics are not so good”?

many bands are drawing on the fact that multilingual music was around long before music became commercial. It’s been used at important events for many years, bringing people together regardless of whether they know the intricacies of each of the words.

Creating music that incorporates several languages may be a complex process, but many musicians have risen to the challenge and produced songs that are more than just catchy tunes. some traditional musicians borrow their message for lyrics from multiple histories and cultures to create truly unifying music that embraces multilingual identity without compromise. In South Africa, for example,  now more than ever, commercial channels are opening up to these musicians and finally starting to shake some of the divides that have been in place for far too long.

From afar, and often within, Africa appears a divided nation. But it doesn’t take a lot to bring its people, cultures and languages together. Though the country’s hosting of large sporting events is perhaps the most obvious example of how the country is able to unify, music has played a critical role in helping the country to embrace its multilingual and multicultural identity. Musicians have used music to heal, conquer and unite for many years. After years of colonial rule, that sought to divide and conquer, there was an extended period of unprecedented unity and suddenly the airwaves started to crackle with songs in languages many had never heard commercially, or even publicly in many African countries.

Music speaks to the soul

What about the International Musician PIT BULL??

   Because music crosses linguistic barriers!

Pitbull after winning a Latin Grammy

Also, since when did his songs become about lyrics?
Have you heard the beats? Anytime a song of his starts to play, it’s hard not to move the beats.

Pitbull’s Cuban heritage and Miami background has had a major influence on his music. Many of his songs mix elements of mainstream genres – such as hip hop – with Caribbean and Latin genres – such as dancehall, reggae tone, reggae fusion, salsa and merengue. The result is irresistible dance music with a distinct Latin flavor. The occasional Spanish lyrics in his English language songs complement this mix. This is what makes him unique and famous.

It’s not just that he is Cuban, but that Pitbull actually raps in Spanish. It is not about the occasional “dale” and “mami” he says in his songs. He has many full Spanish language songs and two complete Spanish language albums. You will hear several of Pitbull’s Spanish songs playing over Zambia the course of any given day in Zambia for example. Internationally, his music has a following in Central and South America, particularly in the Caribbean. Altogether, Pitbull’s bilingual music gives him a major stake in multiple markets of the world.

Robert Fernandez’ influence – Many of Pitbull’s detractors complain about his music not having enough substance, as his verses are short and lacking in complexity. However, this is not so much a lack of skill, but rather an understanding of what are the key components of hit songs. From an early point in his career, Manager Robert Fernandez taught Pitbull to shorten his verses and make catchy hooks. In other words, if you put out a rap song, sell people on the “song” rather than the “raps.” That’s what Pitbull does. His songs are set up so that the verses aren’t memorable, but the hooks and beats always are

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