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Every year, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is the ultimate celebration of all things amazing about Black culture. At the heart of the festivities is our unified love for Black music.

During this year’s virtual Festival, ESSENCE joined AT&T Dream In Black in highlighting a few of the things that make Black music timeless, unforgettable and relatable as the soundtrack to our lives from generation to generation. To get things going, comedian, actress, talk show host and two-time ESSENCE Festival host Loni Love caught up with soul singer Mykal Kilgore for a segment appropriately titled, 5 Gems About Black Music.

The Grammy-nominated entertainer weighed in on the topic by sharing five aspects of life fans can connect with when listening to his debut album, A Man Born Black.

“One gem is, you can survive heartbreak. Another thing is, real singing is still around, it ain’t going nowhere,” he said. “Also, the audacity to dream that something as small as myself and my amazing team at Effective Music can make it all the way to the Grammy stage. I think artists, as well as people listening, can feel that. The fourth gem is that love is still something that we sing about and we’re not being ironic…and we’re not thinking about it as something that we can’t have. And the last thing is that, it’s music that you feel from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.”

Dream in Black is an always-on platform where AT&T celebrates the culture and the creators who shape it. The platform embodies a mindset where success can look like anything that we can dream and views the world and creativity through a future-forward lens rooted in AT&T’s technology, innovation and entertainment which helps to power the possibilities. Most recently, the platform teamed up with the Black Effect Network to launch the AT&T Black Future Makers Podcast. The podcast is hosted by Charlamagne tha God and serves as a a space for well-known Black creators shaping the now, the new, and the next to share advice and stories of perseverance, perspective & power.

For more information and to listen to the podcast, click HERE

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