Burying Discrimination Through His Music

ianChrist’s album, Enigma, seems to have started its journey when he was just 11 years old. As a black kid who grew up in the 90's in an upper-class neighborhood, he was exposed to every form of judgement that was expected from his stereotype. It started out with being called a nigger and a faggot, but as he later realised, it went all the way to expectations of the kind of music a black man is expected to produce.

Enigma traces Ian’s journey through the hostile treatment dished out to him. The contrast between his loving, kind self nurtured at home, to his deceitful and dishonest alter-ego which grew and engulfed him harder, the more he tried to reach out to the world.

The Album starts with Ian seducing his audience with almost vampire-like quality to give him a listen(Pheromone). The story then begins, with his discomfort with gossip, the true nature of which, is always about mocking things that don’t fit in(Word Around Town). The gossip drowning his voice to such an extent, that it created an irresistible urge to perform, to let himself out, and explain his true nature to the world(Enigma).

The story moves on to Devil’s Advocate, Me For Vendetta, Narcotic, Amnesia and Super Villain, all of which talk about his struggle in connecting with the world, with him trying to reach out with his self, getting burned, wanting revenge while his alter-ego keeps shadowing his real self.

As the confusions peak, Ian slowly starts unraveling himself, turning inward and trying to find ways to shine brighter on his own(Gargoyle). The results of which bring its own daemons of wanting to show the world how great he is(Chaos In The City), until he meets a more mature version of himself(Fear No Fear) which grows until he realises that everything he did was his own reaction to the environment around him(Facade Of A God).

At the end of it all, the 25 year old Ian writes an Eulogy to his alter-ego and all its transgressions, letting his ego die as he moves on to deeper things and the story ends.

Ian’s music is anything but ordinary, not belonging to the typical R&B, Jazz and Rap that is expected out of a black man these days. His music is dance, trance, alternative, electronica, grunge and rock all blended together mocking the pop genre.

Ian has had trouble getting his music across to the industry, with radios and labels, mostly unable to understand him music, or being too scared to pick up atypical music at this point in time.

To me, Ian’s music is representative of an age that is getting sick of stereotypes, attempting to break them, and facing enormous trouble doing so, while the mainstream media continues to ignore this change, enforcing stereotypes and categorising people endlessly.

Ian isn’t concerned about any of the discrimination or acceptance of his music though. He takes full responsibility for all his behavior, of being affected by how people perceived him and drops it, satisfied at being able to draw a large audience and gain exposure through his numerous shows.

He has currently recorded the first three songs from the album, which can be heard here, and plans to release the rest in the near future. Connect with Ian at @eanchrist.

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