Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier
Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier

Tidsskriftet

This article discusses how Fredrik Ekelund – who, as R&B artist FreddeRico, had a huge success with his song ”Don’t Go” on the Latin American market in 2013 – can pass as ”Latino” artist in the context of what Mark Anthony Neal calls “black” pop music. Drawing on Sara Ahmed’s concept of a phenomenology of whiteness, it traces his orientations, both within the context of “black” pop music, and the transnational context in-between Sweden and Latin America, by discussing those instances in which he “can do things”, and those in which he is “stopped”, against the backdrop of a stereotype of white Swedish masculinity. It argues that Fredrik/FreddeRico’s orientations not only highlight the way in which pop culture works effectively to render invisible the work of history; they also show how heterosexual masculinity can work to overcome the imaginary boundaries of race and nation, both within and outside of “black” pop music, against the backdrop of a very specific form of whiteness. The article thus uses Sara Ahmed’s phenomenology of whiteness to further understand the power mechanisms that are at work in global pop music, and to make visible the historical contexts that are rendered invisible through its commodification.