African-American Richardine Bartee, a member of The Grammys Recording Academy who is on a mission to sell African music to the world has urged African music artists not to limit their focus on the United States but to also look to Latin community for collaborations.
According to the music/ lifestyle blogger who has done outstanding work with international labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music Group and MTV, “ Aside from wanting to break into the affluent American market, broadening your horizons as a musician is a way to also increase your visibility. In 2019, Nielsen projected the Latin music market had a bright future, so there’s been more collaborations between American artists and Latin artists.”
She also posited that , “ South America’s population has over 430 million people today, and it’s buying power of $1.5 trillion, so what’s the harm in existing in an untapped market? The quality of your music still has to be good, authentically you, appeal to the market, and hopefully feature fellow artists that knows and understands what the audience enjoys. Unlike Afrobeats, which is a newer genre, the analogy of “Latin music” in America has been around since the 1940s. It’s an older, familiar international sound, but at the turn of the decade (2010), Latin music in its many forms evolved with more uptempo modern sounds and Latin Trap came out in the scene in the mid-2010s. At the same time, the first wind of Afrobeats started to make its way to the States. Some years later, two out of three major labels (Universal and Warner Music Group) began to invest.”
“It isn’t the first time African artists and Latin artists worked together. In fact, Latin music has African roots (See: Axé, Bachata, Batucada, Salsa, et al, and the history of the Spanish and Portuguese African slaves), and is perceived as “the single most recognizable element of Latin music.” It would not only do good for all people involved, it’ll give us the chance to tell our stories and hopefully, help to defuse the racism against Black people in Latin communities. I’m here for the possibility,” she added.
Richardine Bartee is based in New York home but originally from Liberia. She was born November 15, 1985 in New York City.
She has worked with major American record labels (“The Big 3”). Some of the other labels or imprints include Roc Nation, Group, Interscope Records, Quality Control, RCA, Epic Records, etc., and some international labels to give feedback about their artists frequently.
She also used to write for MTV, where she covered international multi-language speaking artists and had a focus on Hip-Hop and EDM. She has also written feature articles for Myspace, The Source and Hot 97’s DJ Enuff, who was Biggie’s DJ.
She is a member of the Recording Academy, a GRAMMY U Mentor, part of Complex Day Ones, which is an exclusive community to help make complex experiences better. She’s also a part of the Female Founder Collective.
Her blog “GRUNGECAKE” has been recognized as the number 3 blog to find new Hip-Hop tracks on Hypebot. Before forming GRUNGECAKE ten years ago, she founded two-three other companies. One of them was a graphics design business called Booby Trap Design and another was 9267 Studios, which spells out YAMS on the dial pad.