Trump’s travel ban can’t stop artists from banned nations from making music
Somalian group Waayaha Cusub is part of "I’m with the banned."
Donald Trump may be trying to keep people out of the U.S. with a controversial travel ban that was partially implemented at the end of June, but he can’t ban their music.
Just days after his executive order finally, sort of came into play, aiming to keep out citizens from six Middle Eastern countries, artists from those places are coming together and creating music.
In an effort to showcase work from the banned countries, Spotify launched a new initiative Thursday entitled "I’m with the banned." The project features music and videos from artists from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, and Libya — the six countries affected by the new law.
These groups have partnered with American artists and producers to create short videos and a full-length documentary due out later this year. The project focuses on issues affecting all communities such as immigration and LGBTQ equality.
Enhanced playlists available on the streaming service feature new music and videos from Kasra V, Moh Flow, Waayaha Cusub, Methal, Sufyvn, Ahmed Fakroun — all groups from banned nations and up for your listening pleasure on Spotify.
The groups’ wide-ranging sounds offer melodious rap, hip-hop beats, smoother rhythms, and instrumental-heavy tunes, some in English and others in Arabic.
The musicians went to Toronto to film the documentary. The American collaborators included Def Jam rapper and producer Desiigner, Pusha T of Clipse fame, and Sam Harris from X Ambassadors.
The film, which is available this fall, will look at their backstories and what it was like to travel under Trump’s new rules.
Sam Harris said working on the project was "was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had collaborating with another artist." He worked with singer Methal from Yemen and added, "If she’s not allowed to come perform in the United States, then we’re all missing out."
Together they created a new song, the folk pop Cycles which is one of the highlights of the project.
The resistance just got a great new soundtrack.