Entertainment Magazine

Developing International Identities

Posted on the 16 August 2013 by Kdcoduto @katydee

Many of my recent posts, both here and on blacksquirrelradio.com, have looked at different international music scenes. This is because, in the last five months, I have been lucky enough to be in London, the Caribbean and now Prague, and I have had the chance to experience music in some form in all of these cities and areas. Not only have I investigated each area’s local artists and venues, but I’ve also looked at their chart systems and looked at the varying levels of American influence in all of them. My research in Prague is even looking at how people interact with entertainment reporting and how users internalize what they engage with on those websites.

At the beginning of week two in Prague, Consequence of Sound posted an article looking at how countries are limiting radio play for international acts – most notably limiting American acts. The example that CoS writes about is in Ecuador, where quotas are being instated to ensure that at least 50 percent of the artists played on the radio are from Ecuador. CoS pointed out that many countries are doing this to preserve and cultivate domestic music scenes; of course, some are opposed to the move, because it gives government more control over the radio instead of letting the people decide what to hear.

It’s interesting, though, because there is definitely a sense of Czech pride that is coming out as I conduct my own research. When talking to journalists in Prague about who they write about and what their audience is demanding, the common theme is that the Czechs want to read about the Czechs. As one interviewee put it, they care about “Czech, Czech, Czech.” While there is also an interest in international acts – for example, Regina Spektor was here earlier in the week and there were plenty of reviews of her show – the real demand is for the Czech artists.

When I was writing my article for Black Squirrel Radio at the beginning of the week, before my interviews and the CoS article, I wrote that I have to believe Czechs are embracing a wide range of influences in their listening habits. I still stand by that belief, especially in Prague, where there are so many students from other countries and areas studying. However, now I have to wonder if there is more demand for Czech artists than I initially realized, and what that means for all of the American acts we hear on the radio every morning here. The struggle for identity here may be more severe than I had thought it to be, and I’m curious to see where that will take my research in my final days in the Czech Republic.

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