Black Music Matters

The Influence of Black Musicians in the Music Industry

In honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month, initiated as “Black Music Month” by President Jimmy Carter on June 7, 1979, Texas Music Project takes a look at how the music industry has been influenced by Black artists and highlights some of Texas’ very own music giants.
When it comes to the power of music and its ability to bring people together, it is important to shed light on the colossal influence that Black artists have had in American music. If it weren’t for the sounds of Black artists, the world might not have Jazz’s melodic fusion of styles, Hip-hop’s iconic drum and bass beats, or Rock ‘N’ Roll’s soulful guitar solos, along with many more treasured musical innovations. Trumpeter W.C. Handy earned the sobriquet “Father of the Blues” and Louis Armstrong recorded the first of a series of singles for Okeh Records and the trumpeter's take on the songs, including “Basin Street Blues,” and “Muskrat Ramble,” “helped to change the course of American music,” as writer Charles Hiroshi Garrett noted in a review of a 2000 collection of the complete recordings. He quoted “This music has been described as the birthplace of jazz, the musical shot heard 'round the world, the Alps of jazz indeed, both the music's Holy Grail and its Rosetta Stone.”
Music in general encapsulates the daily struggles, triumphs and hopes of its artists. Generations of Black Americans dating back as far as George W. Johnson, to Jimmy Hendrix, to Ray Charles and to present day Childish Gambino, have all created music that has served as a lens, of sorts, into the journey we have gone on as a country towards racial justice and diversifying our American culture.
Speaking of culture, Texas is the birthplace for some of the worlds greatest musicians of all time so it’s no surprise that it also breeds some of the most influential and memorable Black Musicians and Artists of our time. Just to name a few, artists like Barry White, Charles Brown, Billy Preston, Beyonce Knolls, Usher, DJ Premier, Ciara, Leon Bridges, Nelly and Coleman Arnette are all natives of Texas and have made colossal contributions to the music industry and provided us with some of the soundtracks to our lives.
This is why, as Black musicians and artists continue to make powerful strides in the music industry it is important that we both honor their contributions and support their work equally. Texas Music Project believes it is important to uplift Black voices and support up & coming Black Artists & Musicians of all ages. Check out our Ambassadors the Peterson Brothers who are bringing a modern twist to old-school blues. Black influence does not end in America and expands beyond just music. Black art and culture has greatly impacted all kinds of music, as well as being a vessel for empowerment and sociopolitical commentary.

Local Texas Black Artists you can support:
Peterson Brothers (Texas Music Project Ambassador)
Randall Jackson (Texas Music Project Artist )