Integrating one's cultural background into musical work is a way to show one's originality while also strengthening ties to one's past. 12ayo is an East Los Angeles-based artist with Mexican and Salvadoran family backgrounds who makes use of the musical medium to explore and express his cultural heritage through his sound, visuals, and lyrics.
The production of music is a crucial step in adding cultural references to songs. In the instance of 12ayo, he has added a new layer to his sound by incorporating aspects of Latin American music into his production. Not only does this set him apart from other musicians, but it also helps him feel more connected to his roots.
One of the most significant aspects of infusing ethnic roots into music is the aesthetic. To 12ayo, it is important that the visual aspects of his work, from the album covers to the words and symbols in the songs, all pay homage to his roots. This not only strengthens 12ayo's feeling of himself and distinctiveness, but also strengthens his ties to his native culture.
The use of language is another effective method for introducing cultural components into musical compositions. When an artist sings in a language that is unique to their culture, they are able to convey deeper, more personal meanings through their work. For 12ayo, singing in Spanish is a means to feel closer to his roots and to be authentic in his artistic expression.
To sum up, there is more at stake than originality in sound when artists draw from their cultural backgrounds in their music. It's about finding one's roots, embracing one's uniqueness, and creating genuine art. 12ayo has built an original and culturally rich sound through production, aesthetic, and vocabulary that speaks to his experiences and reaches out to a wider audience.