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Stories about Music

Zanzibar says goodbye to legendary ‘king of kidumbak,’ musician Makame Faki

Legendary Zanzibari musician Makame Faki Makame has died at the age of 77. He was hailed as the king of kidumbak and a master of taarab, Zanzibar's "national sound."

From Indonesian exile to Czechoslovakian pop star: An interview with Rony Marton

Jaroni Surjomartono, an Indonesian scholar, arrived in Prague in 1963. He and hundreds of scholars were later banned from returning home after General Suharto rose to power.

Cultures clash after release of Trinidadian soca music video featuring cricketer Ali Khan

“In ‘Me Gusta’, Destra is trying to represent something global, and other cultures are reading it in different ways.”

2019: A year of flipping scripts and changing narratives in Africa

2019, a year of changing narratives in Africa: Revolutions. Internet shutdowns. Tree-planting. Migration. Feminist songs. Media crackdowns. Cyclones and climate change. Opposition rising. Cultural icons dying. Illness, cures, and healing.

‘Jump high and shake your manifesto': The rhythms of Trinidad & Tobago elections

For Trinidad and Tobago's politicians, the way to voters' hearts is often through song. A look back at some notable guest appearances by calypso and soca on the campaign trail.

Tanzanian rapper scolded for lyrics about nation's cashew crisis

Roma Mkatoliki's hit song criticizes the government's 2018 decision to deploy the military to purchase cashew nuts from farmers in an attempt to force an increase in market price.

Kanye West's use of Jamaican symbols sparks national dialogue on ‘branding’

"Successive political administrations have never fully appreciated the economic value of the brand ‘Jamaica’ nor the symbols that [represent] that brand including its flag and its coat of arms..."

Is Rihanna Barbadian or Jamaican? Jamaican Twitter claims the superstar as their own

Barbadian Twitter users poked fun at the Jamaican Dollar exchange rate, so Jamaicans did the next best thing — they claimed Rihanna.

Zanzibar's one and only music academy on the brink of closure

For the 1,800 talented students who have trained at the DCMA, this is the only musical home they know, where they can learn and grow as professional musicians and artists.

‘Glory to Hong Kong': The anthem of a protest movement

Tens of thousands of Hongkongers are participating in flash mob performances of the new protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” in the streets and in shopping malls across the city.

Rendition of Trinidad & Tobago's national anthem strikes wrong note with the country's president

The performance of the anthem may have been different, but was it inappropriate, or as the president suggested, disrespectful?

Tanzania's first and only classic car club pays homage to Remmy Ongala, old school musical legend

Oldschool Rides Tanzania, a club devoted to restoring and celebrating vintage cars in Tanzania and the region, organized a classic car show to honor Tanzanian music legend Remmy Ongala.

‘Kingston Creative’ breathes new life into Jamaica’s downtown district

With the involvement of 100+ volunteers and more than 20 community groups, Kingston Creative is reinvigorating Jamaica's capital with its ongoing #PaintTheCity mural project.

Media in North Macedonia claim a Russian band has plagiarized a song by Balkan superstar Toše Proeski

A series of online articles in North Macedonia have blamed the Russian rock group Zemlyane for plagiarizing a 2007 song made by authors from Croatia for the late Macedonian pop...

Vietnamese-American musician's song in support of Hong Kong anti-extradition protesters goes viral

"As a Hong Konger, I am touched....Thank you for giving us strength to carry on."

‘No Visa Mix': Tanzanian singeli stars denied visas to US music festival

"For those of you who still think of artists escaping to America, think about it again. It doesn’t make sense and you’ll lose the chance to see amazing performances."

Jamaica’s ‘Voices for Climate Change’ spreads its message with music

One forward-thinking NGO is promoting smart environmental practices by harnessing artistic talent to do outreach and raise awareness about climate change.

Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina: ‘Even in Russia, social media is still an effective method for uniting people’

Masha Alyokhina talks art, activism, and feminism in Russia -- and why a new cold war is coming.

A Brazilian funk DJ was sentenced to prison, but many believe his musical genre made him a target

"I think the racial issue, and the issue of inequality and historical prejudice, are all implicit in those charges."

‘We've got two sessions': China promotes communist party meetings with English-language rap video

In China's latest party propaganda video, lyrics like “Gotta be the Ready One Player when in front of dirty polluter" are puzzling netizens.

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