Stories about Music from January, 2012
Annie Paul posts an article she wrote about Vybz Kartel and the skin bleaching phenomenon.
Azerbaijan: #LightYourFire Eurovision Meme
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.
US, Russia: The Flying Balalaika Brothers Bridge Cultural Gaps in Texas
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
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.”
Azerbaijan: Eurovision as an Opportunity for Change in the Caucasus
Commonspace comments on news that Armenia will participate in this year's Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Despite a still unresolved conflict between the two countries, the site says Azerbaijan should welcome Armenians at the international music competition and Armenians should respond in the same manner.
Chile: 15 Songs from 2011
Roberto Carreño recommends [es] 15 Chilean songs released during 2011.
Video Highlights: Music, Indigenous Initiatives, Indignation and Wonder
A selection of Global Voices' recent and interesting stories including video from Latin America, East Asia, Middle East and North Africa and Eastern and Central Europe, selected by Juliana Rincón Parra.
Sierra Leone: Top 5 Revolutionary Election Songs
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...
Caribbean: TEDx Shows “Ideas Worth Spreading”
“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...
Venezuela: The Essence of African Music in Videos
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
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...
Peru: Cápac Raymi, The Andean Christmas
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.
Brazil: Cultural Debate as ‘Oh if I Catch You’ Song Goes Global
If you keep track of international music trends or if you're a Cristiano Ronaldo supporter, you've probably heard the song 'Ai se eu te pego'. Brazilian singer Michel Teló's major worldwide success has sparked a global phenomenon, and attracted some critics.
Morocco: Activist Rapper Freed
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.
Puerto Rico: Mima and Balún in Concert
Music blog Puerto Rico Indie reviews the concert held by two of the most beloved independent artists [es] of the Island: Mima and Balún.
Trinidad & Tobago: Drum Culture
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
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”
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
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.”
Russia: Yakutian Rock Band “103”
Bolot of eYakutia writes about and posts a selection of photos and video of the Yakutian ethno-rock band “103” (their Facebook page [ru] is here).
Africa: Recapping Mighty African's 2011
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...