Nationality of artists

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  • #31
  • Posted: 05/09/2022 07:14
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Hayden wrote:
Just tossing it out there—

We have the (somewhat new) 'Individual/Collaboration' option (which, I still don't quite understand the point of unfortunately). How about if the artist falls under the 'Collaboration' category, a second nationality becomes available? This new collaboration—

Limen by KMRU & Aho Ssan

—by KMRU (Kenya) and Aho Ssan (France) is classified 'mixed' strictly because it's a collaboration, even though both artists are given their nationality on our site when solo.

What if the collaboration option linked each solo artist (i.e. KMRU & Aho Ssan) instead of mixing them into a single entity (KMRU & Aho Ssan), which would then classify the act as Fr/Ke?

If that makes sense.

The collaboration/individual flag allows individual artists to be assigned to collaborations, so you can see what other acts an artist belonged to etc (e.g. obvious example of Paul McCartney being a member of Beatles & Wings etc, as well as being a solo artist). At the moment, BEA restricts membership of collaborations to those artists that already exist on the site, so not all artists have their entire membership listed (there are quite a few gaps), otherwise nationality could be derived from its members, but it would also require those artists to be fully populated with data, which is often not the case. There are also examples of collaborations with a lot more than two nationalities, and this where a dual nationality system would start to break down.
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  • #32
  • Posted: 06/08/2022 15:07
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ForegroundNoise wrote:
I think it's probably better if BEA avoids listing multiple nationalities on any artist. Both because it significantly complicates data moderation, and because "nationality" can be subjective. For bands, it's more about the complication e.g. AM's example where there's a band with 5-6 members of different nationalities. For solo artists, Romanelli's John Lennon example is probably the most egregious (and I agree that we're heading in that direction), but consider Tina Turner who renounced her US citizenship in 2013 but hasn't released a (non-compilation) record since way before then; for all intents and purposes I'd consider her to be from the US.

Just to respond to this and to add a suggestion I've not seen here yet:

1. I agree that Mixed Nationality should be treated as a last resort, though I personally disagree with the idea that we should "avoid listing multiple nationalities on any artist". For individuals real-life nationality and identity is often complicated and diverse, and I think our database should reflect this (I also disagree with Romanelli that listing identity is a "luxury"; on the contrary I think it's extremely important to be mindful of the demographics of our musical tastes, especially given how Anglo-American centric us westerners can end up being in our listening habits).

2. For collectives, I personally think we should institute the same guidelines as awards bodies such as the Mercury Prize, where an artist is deemed eligible if more than 50% of its members are British/Irish. This would mean bands such as White Lion listed above would be classed as American, Arcade Fire classed as Canadian etc., even if some individual members might have a different nationality. In cases where the nationality is an even split, the dual nationality function can be used (once it's integrated onto the site), with Mixed Nationality reserved for rare cases where there are multiple nationalities present and no majority can be determined.

I cannot agree more in regards to the importantance of listing nationalities on here, one think I enjoy doing on here is looking out to see who are the top acts and albums from certain countries are and again it's always a good thing to be mindful of the demographics of our music tastes (such as say finding out how many albums I've listened to have been from acts originating in non-English speaking countries). It could also highlight the achievements and influence some countries have had on the popular music scene (for example how many highly rated albums have been made by Icelandic acts considering the population of that country is only around 360,000).
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