The Secretary of State spends a lot of the time on the road and in the air. As someone who spends a lot of that time traveling with him, I can attest that music is one of Secretary Blinken’s driving passions. As both an artist himself and an avid rock and roll fan, music has been his constant companion. That’s why I’m excited to share Secretary Blinken’s first Spotify playlist, inspired by artists from our latest trip to the United Kingdom, Indonesia, and Malaysia. While we couldn’t take you with us on these trips, we are inviting you to listen along with us.
Here are just a handful of the tracks that we listened to throughout the journey:
Secretary Blinken was in Liverpool, United Kingdom for the G7.
Not only is the Secretary a big Beatles fan, but The Beatles and Liverpool are also inextricably linked. Penny Lane is filled with scenes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon meeting at Penny Lane to catch a bus into the city center.
Walkin with The Bass by Barry Likumahuwa
The Secretary went to Jakarta to reaffirm the importance of the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership and our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Barry Likumahuwa is a bass player from Jakarta, Indonesia. Currently, he is the leader of BLP, a contemporary jazz group incorporating hip-hop and traditional West Javanese, Moluccan, and Balinese influences. BLP’s music addresses issues of identity, unity and other social issues facing Indonesia. Barry was also part of the State Department’s OneBeat initiative in 2014.
The Secretary visited Kuala Lumpur to strengthen our close cooperation with Malaysia and demonstrate our commitment to the region and ASEAN.
Zee Avi is a Malaysian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and ukulele player. She was born in Sarawak, Malaysia and moved to Kuala Lumpur when she was 12. According to the artist, the song HoneyBee is about not conforming to what other people feel is right at the time and following your own path.
As the Secretary says, music has the ability to bring people together, to break down barriers, and to make us see our common humanity. That’s why his playlists have an important role during his overseas trips. Make sure to give Secretary Blinken’s Spotify account a follow to stay posted for more music.
About the Author: Ned Price is the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State.