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New Amazon Music Documentary To Explore Black Artists In Country Music

23 March 2022 | 9:53 am | Mallory Arbour

The documentary features Brittney Spencer, BRELAND, Allison Russell, Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton, Willie Jones, Blanco Brown and more!

The state of the art for emerging Black performers in country music will be the subject of an Amazon Music-produced feature-length documentary, titled For Love & Country. It will premiere on the music streaming service and Prime Video on April 7.

“There are certain barriers that are there. One way to always get past it is great music,” Jimmie Allen remarks in the trailer. “We deserve to be here. Our dreams are valid,” adds Mickey Guyton.

Watch the trailer below:

For Love & Country examines the genre’s past through the lens of a new generation of Black artists claiming space in Nashville — and transforming country music in the process.

"I've always believed in the old saying, 'if you can see it, you can be it,'" said Guyton. "However, it's no secret there has been a lack of representation of Black artists in mainstream country music for years. That's why I hope little Black girls growing up now can see us, artists like Brittney, Reyna, Amythyst, Allison, Valerie, Frankie and me, and know they have a place here in country music. We all do."

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Directed by Joshua Kissi, the film also features interviews and performances from Brittney Spencer, Shy Carter, BRELAND, Allison Russell, Frankie Staton, Amythyst Kiah, Willie Jones, Reyna Roberts, Blanco Brown and Valerie June. Others featured in the documentary include rapper Mike Floss, Davidson County criminal court clerk and former vice mayor Howard Gentry, academic/author Amanda Marie Martinez, and journalist/author Andrea Williams.

“What I’ve come to realize is country music as a genre is just as complex as this country itself,” said Kissi. “Now is the moment to stand up for the voices that have always mattered throughout time, especially the musicians who didn’t get the credit when it was due.”

Spencer added in a statement, “This film is our collective story, in our own words. We’re all carving our own unique paths. We’ve all got our own dreams and challenges, and our own ways of navigating them. I hope when people see this film, they better understand the conversation of race in country music. I hope it humanizes the discussed issues and puts a crowd of Black, beautiful faces to a topic the public has heavily engaged and debated, particularly over the last two years. I’m happy to be a part and share my story.”

For Love & Country was produced by DPM Projects and Pizza Night.

“In telling this story, it was imperative for us to amplify the personal narratives of these wonderfully diverse country artists, because in them lie the stories of Black contributions to the genre,” said Raymond Roker, global head of editorial for Amazon Music. “These are also very universal stories of acceptance, being welcomed into spaces we choose to occupy despite how open the door is to us, and how stories and history can become marginalized over time. The title of the film is also a reminder that these artists have all come from a place of love, adoration, and even reverence for country music’s past, its heroes, and contributors across the spectrum.”

In addition, Amazon Music has released an Amazon Original acoustic version of Kiah’s Black Myself, with additional Amazon Original songs from artists featured in the film to come.