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· January, 2012

Stories about Music from January, 2012

Jamaica: Bleached

  31 January 2012

Annie Paul posts an article she wrote about Vybz Kartel and the skin bleaching phenomenon.

Azerbaijan: #LightYourFire Eurovision Meme

  31 January 2012

Ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku in May, a new Internet Meme has appeared on Twitter. With Azerbaijan known as the Land of Fire, the hashtag for the international singing contest is the same as this year's official motto, #LightYourFire.

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US, Russia: The Flying Balalaika Brothers Bridge Cultural Gaps in Texas

  30 January 2012

Like many of their compatriots, musicians Zhenya Kolykhanov and Sergey Vaschenko emigrated from Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and have since established themselves in Austin, Texas. Through their band, The Flying Balalaika Brothers, and a non-profit called Musical Connections, they work to bridge cultural gaps by exposing Texans to international art.

Jamaica: Gully versus Gaza

  27 January 2012

Jamaica Salt considers “how Jamaican music superstars, Vybz Kartel and Mavado have taken their different paths”, suggesting: “Kartel [is] more real in a way but when it comes to survival in this life, he maybe has something to learn from the Gully God.”

Sierra Leone: Top 5 Revolutionary Election Songs

  26 January 2012

This is Switmot's list of Sierra Leone’s top 5 revolutionary election songs: “In 10 months Sierra Leoneans will head to the polls to exercise their right to vote…In the last elections, music played an important role in creating political awareness and also to mobilize supporters for the SLPP, and the...

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Caribbean: TEDx Shows “Ideas Worth Spreading”

  25 January 2012

“Ideas worth spreading.” With this simple slogan, TED.com, which began in 1984 as an annual conference devoted to technology, entertainment and design, has infiltrated the Internet and empowered people in various countries to spark discussions in local, self-organised TED-branded events, dubbed TEDx. This sharing of ideas has found its way to the Caribbean - in 2011, five TEDx events were held: two in Jamaica, two in Trinidad and one in Puerto Rico. Here's a look back on the events that helped change the region...

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Venezuela: The Essence of African Music in Videos

  25 January 2012

Venezuela’s African origins can be strongly felt in the music and culture of the country’s coastal regions. Social networking sites play an important role in helping people to become more familiar with the drum festivals. Citizen media sites, particularly YouTube, feature videos of the music and dancing performed during events such as family parties and national celebrations.

Colombia: Hip hop and rap artists unite for peace

  21 January 2012

The Conspiracy for Peace is the new video the local rap and hip hop artists have made with the support of the local TV network Telemedellin. The song was written collectively by the artists of Medellin and the surrounding cities for the Peace One Day and is a message of...

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Peru: Cápac Raymi, The Andean Christmas

  16 January 2012

Before the introduction of Christmas festivities to Peru, the Incas celebrated Cápac Inti Raymi Killa, a religious festival that took place in honour of the Sun. Cápac Raymi is no longer celebrated as it once was, but today Inca an Christian elements mix during the end of the year festivities in various towns of the Peruvian Andes.

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Morocco: Activist Rapper Freed

  15 January 2012

Mouad Belghouat "Al Haked" (The Indignant), a 24-year-old Moroccan rap artist and outspoken critic of Morocco's monarchy, was released on Thursday from prison where he had been held since last September. The announcement of Mouad's release spread like fire on Facebook and Twitter as several supporters rushed to the prison to welcome him.

Trinidad & Tobago: Drum Culture

  12 January 2012

In a guest post at Trinidad and Tobago News Blog, rapso artiste Brother Resistance remembers one of the country's “musical pioneers”, percussionist Ja Jah Oga Onilu, who recently passed away.

Brazil: “Industries on Christ” Gain Access to Funding from Taxes

  11 January 2012

Blogger Conceição Oliveira regrets [pt] the change in the Rouanet Law made by President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, which “recognizes the gospel music and its related events as cultural manifestations”. Religious performances thus gain access to a certain percentage of the investment off the Income Taxes. For Oliveira in Brazil...

Cuba: Rediscovering “Trova”

  11 January 2012

Generation Y blogs about the musical genre of Trova, noting that for many Cubans, “those ideological tunes — alluding to the New Man or the society he will inhabit — have been thrown into the well of forgetfulness.”

Dominican Republic: Farewell to El Goyo & Sención

  10 January 2012

Repeating Islands acknowledges the deaths of “outstanding Cuban dancer, singer and percussionist Gregorio Hernández” and Dominican writer Viriato Sención, whose “work was marked by its commitment to historical truth and cultural engagement.”

Africa: Recapping Mighty African's 2011

  5 January 2012

Mighty Africa blogs about his highlights and lowlights in 2011: “After 10 years in the USA, I returned home to Ghana. I abandoned my dream of going home with the US’ money, the lure of creating impact in Ghana was too large. And I could make money doing it. The...

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