Blacks, like the music they originated, are not a monolith and have influenced the global community for eons with their rhythmic innovations. It is therefore not surprising that many black artists are turning to the genre of country music, an art form that stems from blues music and West African musical traditions, according at black history.
Mother-daughter duo Tekitha Washington and Prana Supreme Diggs are the newest members of the country music scene with their band ONE The duo. The name reflects their personalities and musical flair: O is observant, N is noetic and E is effervescent, the Tennessee Grandstand reports.
Their transition to the white male-dominated music genre is an exciting story given the common roots of hip-hop. Washington is a former singer of Wu-Tang Clanand her daughter’s father is the famous Wu-Tang Clan producer RZAaccording to Tennessee Grandstand.
In 2014, Washington hosted jam sessions with various musicians, poets, rappers and visual artists where mother and daughter stylized a melody that moved their guests. The reception sparked an idea with Diggs. She asked her mother, “What if we sang and wrote our own songs together,” she recalled, according to rolling stone.
Washington was initially hesitant to join a singing group with her daughter because she understood how tough the music industry is for young female artists. However, Diggs remained unfazed and convinced her mother to jump on the opportunity with her, rolling stone reports.
“I felt like if I wanted to do music, or if I wanted to be in the arts, no one would protect me better than my mom,” Diggs said in a Zoom interview with the music entertainment outlet.
“And she’s not a stage mom. She’s not trying to live vicariously through her child.
Washington warned his daughter that their collaboration would require an all-out effort.
“She’s like, ‘We’re not going to do this as a hobby. You want to do this, so we’re going to do this to the best of our ability,’ Diggs explains.
Washington wanted to create a sound that would be “a complete departure” from her past contributions to hip-hop and R&B and decided that country music would be the category in which she would spread her artistic wings.
The group now resides in Nashville, Tennessee, and experiments with pedal steel guitars, banjos, and fiddles to cultivate their unique sound, the Tennessee Grandstand reports.
In an interview with Ebony, Diggs described how their dynamic relationship influences their songwriting: “Mom and I really like writing with other people because usually we’re already on the same page or on the same wave length.”
ONE The Duo is fully aware that the growing number of black artists in country music is meeting resistance from critics who have expressed their irritation at the growing mainstreaming of the genre. However, the mother-daughter duo intend to overcome racial barriers by doling out love and compassion.