Celebrate the Whole World of Music

Go to the library or your local music store or iTunes or somewhere and find some music you like from another country. I've been finding myself enjoying more & more African and Nordic music over the last year. Good artists to try out:

Angelique Kidjo – African, Benin – genres: Afropop, Jazz, Gospel, Latin
Ashwin Batish – Indian – genre: hmm, let's call it 80's sitarpop
Chaba Fadela And Cheb Sahraoui – Algerian – genre: Raï
Cheikha Ramitti – Algerian – genre: Raï
Cheb i Sabbah – Algerian/French – genres: dj, North African, global groove
Ekova – French-based, American/Iranian/Algerian – genres: global groove, glossolalia
Gabby Pahinui – Hawaiian – genres: slack key
Garmarna – Swedish – genres: scandanavian folk, rock, trip-hop
Groupa – Swedish – genres: scandanavian folk, jazz, African, Arabic, South American
Hedningarna – Swedish/Finnish – genres: scandanavian folk, Yoik, rock, Aboriginal
Les Yeux Noirs – French – genres: Romani (gypsy), jazz, Yiddish, Klezmer
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs – Argentinian – genres: rock, salsa, ska, rap, jazz, folk, big band
Mac Umbra – Scottish – genres: bagpipe, salsa, drum, rock (Only place I've found them is on the collection Roots, Reels & Rhythms, but worth seeking out just for that one track)
Maryam Mursal – Somalian – genres: Somali jazz, African, blues, soul
Miriam Makeba – South African – genres: African, jazz, Xhosa, folk
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Pakistani – genres: qawwali, khayal, techno
Pierre Akendengue – Gabonese – genres: African, French, pop
Rasto – Algerian? – genres: Raï, hip hop, reggae
Samy El Bably – Egyptian – genres: Arabian, jazz
Sheila Chandra – English/Indian – genres: raga, Indian pop, Asian fusion, solo voice, drone, folk, plainsong
Sileas – Scottish – genres: folk, harp, puirt a beul
Swåp – Swedish/English – genres: folk,  roots, reels
Yma Sumac – Peruvian/American – genres: Incan & South American folk, exotica, lounge (the album Mambo is an entertaining introduction which also shows off her over 3 octave range)

May I also encourage you to eschew the label "world" as one big undistinguished bucket for everything that isn't from the U.S./Canada/U.K./Australia and in English? Imagine if restaurants were classified like that!

Author: Dinah from Kabalor

Author. Discardian. GM. Current project: creating an inclusive indie fantasy ttrpg https://www.patreon.com/kabalor

7 thoughts on “Celebrate the Whole World of Music”

  1. If you like Gamarna and Hedningarna, I highly recommend Gjallarhorn. They’re one of my favorite bands and are just outstanding musicians. See http://www.gjallarhorn.com. Some of their CDs are available in the U.S. but I haven’t seen their latest one here yet. Worth ordering all the way from Finland!


  2. I’ve always chuckled about the “world” label, wondering whether it implies that the US is not part of the world.
    What, me be literal? 😉
    On a musical note, I keep playlists for music in different languages. German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Hindi, Breton … where do I get all this stuff, you ask? Well, I work in the Silicon Valley, where at least half my coworkers are transplants from other parts of the world. I love to swap and borrow CDs, and have found a great many interesting artists from tips from friends and coworkers.


  3. This is great! I have already requested five cd’s from my public library. I recommend Abdullah Ibrahim – South African jazz/folk mix.


  4. Hey Dinah, all the HTML in your feed is showing up escaped in my feed reader (NetNewsWire) — as in, I see all the angle brackets. Perhaps you can use an Atom feed, which doesn’t have as many problems as RSS.


  5. Oh I love the Northside Nordic Roots discs!
    I got the first three, gave them to my folks, and now am awaiting them again from my LaLa.com want list.
    Didn’t realize there was a 4th to track down… Thanks!


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