Music of the black community in the UK is called 'Black British Music'. But what about music of the other black communities in Europe?
According to UK African-American singer Carleen Anderson British black music has a distinct flavour. "The thing that I like about British music that is different from American music. You have this element of West African and Island (Caribbean) music, reggae music and so forth, that you wouldn’t have in American music. That is not part of their primary culture as such, and that extra bit in here is the thing that makes it British."
Anderson’s remarks about black British music can also be also be made about the music of other black communities in Europe. The music of the black community in France, the Netherlands and to some extend Germany is also influenced by West Africa and the Caribbean. But the big difference is that their music is not labelled as Black French, Black Dutch or Black German music.
The French are showing their colours. Music from the black French Community is mainly 'Zouk'. Zouk music began in the French Caribbean but it has unleashed itself to French speaking Africa, Brazil and Cape Verde. But maybe because France doesn't acknowledge the ethnic differences, French music can't be 'black'. But things are changing in France. With the annual award ceremony 'Les Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens' the French black community is pushing for change.
Dutch black music is isolated. Black music in the Netherlands is Surinam 'Kaseko' and Dutch Antillean music. But Kaseko and Dutch Antillean music are mainly confined to the Surinam and Dutch Antillean community. Kaseko has a West-African beat and Antillean music has a more Salsa rhythm. Although there was something as Neder-R&B, Dutch black music is cornered as 'World Music'. And it's bound to die there if no one screams.
Black German music hasn't made a footprint. Black German music has a no distinct music style. Although the black German community is rooted in Africa and Germany, the music connects more with Reggae, R&B and Hip Hop. Maybe it's because the black German community is relatively small and too divers, that it has not yet been able to elevate it's music to 'Black German Music'. The two million Turkish community haven't also been able to make a musical footprint in Germany. So who's to blame
But although black music will always rule the planet, black people in Europe aren’t getting any shine nowadays. Not only in music, but also in fashion and in politics. White artists are dominating the black soul charts, Eastern European models are pushing black models off the catwalks, and black European politicians have to compete with the more relevant muslin politicians.
Maybe the issue of black European music is not important at all. Black people in Europe are making Reggae, Hip Hop, Jazz, R&B and even Folk music. And that’s black enough.