MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — African American music has had an immeasurable impact on the creation and inspiration behind the tunes we know and love today.
With roots extending back centuries, African American music has grown, evolved, and withstood the test of time.
Local recording artist Chris Parker owns SelfMadeGlory in Mankato, the first Black recording studio in town. He says he’s learned resilience is key to success.
“I won’t let nothing stop me, I’ll just find an alternate route to achieve what I’m trying to accomplish,” Parker said.
That resilience is the very catalyst that carried genres like gospel and spirituals from the time of slavery to folk, the Blues, Jazz, R&B, Rock-and-Roll, hip-hop, rap, and more to the musical repertoires we listen to now.
Parker says discrimination has always been intertwined in the history of Black music — often denying credit from Black musicians who curated tunes before another artist claimed their work as their own. He added, “I feel like that’s always happening.”
Before founding SelfMadeGlory, Parker himself fell victim to this when another artist took credit for songs he wrote.
“They ended up taking the song and giving it to another artist, and it blew up. It was #1 on Billboard at some point in time,” Parker mentioned.
Parker said that was much of the driving force that inspired him to help others in the business.
“I always wanted to help, so now that I’m in the position to help others, it’s kind of one of my main goals,” he added.