Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

The (Music) World Is Flat: Cross-cultural music marketing

In Innovation on July 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Country music. Doesn’t get more patriotic than that. Toby Keith has recorded a couple of beauties.  Muslims. Doesn’t get more anti-American than that. They’re the terrorists, they’re the ones who want to undermine our freedom. Ok, with those hoary cliches established, let’s discuss Kareem Salama. Who? Kareem Salama is an American-born Muslim who, you guessed it, sings country music. Born in Oklahoma, Salama placed the US Ambassador to England’s residency on the 4th of July.

Let’s take a listen:


He doesn’t appear on the video, but I bet he doesn’t look like your typical country singer. But to my untrained country-music ear, he sounds like a pretty authentic country singer.  Will his unique story give him the notoriety to break through in the cut-throat music world, or is the cognitive dissonance so great that people won’t accept him?

It’s too early to know, but his reception will say a lot about what is possible in this country. If Americans, country music-loving Americans, are ready to not just listen to, but purchase the music of a Muslim-American, then you have absolutely no excuse as to why you can’t sell your product.


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