Women artists in the Spanish African-American music scene: identities, discourses and emotions in the public sphere Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2020

start page

  • 169

end page

  • 183

issue

  • 2

volume

  • 11

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1989-872X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1989-872X

abstract

  • This paper explores the presence and importance of women artists in the Spanish African-American music scene, specifically in the blues, jazz and soul-funk sub-scenes. It presents an ethnography focused on the increasing prominence of women, and it addresses different musical events, texts and artists associated with a diversity of voices, identities, discourses and emotions in the public sphere. Methodologically, we draw on participant observation, interviews, documentation and discourse analysis from a communicative and sociosemiotic perspective. We study the Spanish soul music scene, where African-descendant singers play a leading role, and we examine in depth the case of Aretha Soul Divas, a supergroup tribute to Aretha Franklin. The discourses analysed refer to the emotional dimension of musical experience, where the encounter between artists and audiences facilitates mutual understanding and emotional liberation. Furthermore, we verify the connection between the demands enunciated within the music scene, and the demands of the African descendant collective in Spain, which denounces racism and lack of visibility. The events, texts and discourses that emerge in these confluence spaces contribute to the passionate construction of a symbolic territory of their own, where the individual is combined with the collective.

keywords

  • african descendant collective; emotion; music scene; public sphere; ethnography; african-american music