All posts tagged: Music

Speaking for the “Dao Lang”: Cultural appropriation and the singer Luo Lin

I first heard of “Dao Lang” from an economics professor on the way to a fancy dinner at a four star hotel on the northwest corner of the People’s Square in downtown Urumqi.[1] We had been discussing our taste in cars as we slowly careened across three lanes of traffic and walkers. The professor said she found the American Hummer to be the best car and then turning, as though catalysed by the brawn and force of a combination of army machine and Michigan muscle, she asked if I had ever heard of Dao Lang. She said he was the best Xinjiang singer. Later during the dinner with an investment banker who commuted between Urumqi and Beijing, she brought him up again. The banker too attested to his fondness of Dao Lang’s musical stylings. He said that, after coming to Xinjiang, listening to Dao Lang just made sense. He liked his “flavour.” As I mentioned last week, one of the reasons the recent red song “Harmonious Xinjiang” does not resonate with marginalized minority people is …