This month, we’ll be featuring music from other parts of the world. “World music” is often used as a catch-all term for music that isn’t Westernized, but music is made in dozens of styles and languages in dozens of countries—for example, the Tuareg style of music from Mali is entirely different from Chilean hip hop or Spanish flamenco/R&B. This month we’re including just a small sampling of music from other countries featured in our collection. For each musical recommendation, we will include a link to the album and a sample song from that album. We hope you enjoy and discover some new artists!

If you feel so inclined, please email us at [email protected] with your own recommendation. We’d love to hear them! 

Sam’s Picks:

ARTIST: Ibibio Sound Machine

ALBUM TITLE: Electricity (2022)

If you are looking for something you can get up and dance to, please turn this album on. This band was the starting point on my journey into world music, and I’m doing a deep dive into the genre, thanks to Ibibio Sound Machine. With a captivating mix of funk, Nigerian traditional, and electronic, each song is full of energy and will make you want to listen to it on repeat. 

SONG TO CHECK OUT: All That You Want

SIMILAR ARTISTS: Tony Allen, Brittany Howard, William Onyeabor

ARTIST: Bab L’Bluz

ALBUM TITLE: Nayda! (2020)

Bab L’Bluz is reclaiming the blues in a Moroccan Gnawa style. Gnawa style typically combines African, Berber, and Arabic religious songs and rhythms. Bab L’Bluz does a great job mixing the traditional with modern, while the lead singer’s voice is raspy and comes straight from the heart.

SONG TO CHECK OUT: Gnawa Beat

SIMILAR ARTISTS: Nass El Ghiwane, Hoba Hoba Spirit, Akofa Akoussah

Mariel’s Picks:

ARTIST: Ana Tijoux

ALBUM TITLE: Vengo

Rapper/singer Ana Tijoux was born in France to exiles from the Chilean coup d’etat in 1973. It wasn’t until the 80s that Tijoux returned to Chile to meet her family, and not until the 90s that she moved there permanently and rose to fame as an MC. Tijoux’s solo work covers the personal and the political, and she has been recognized as an important activist within music. Her fluid Spanish glides atop 90s-style beats and indigenous instruments like pan flutes. She is a unique figure in hip hop who has influenced a generation of Spanish-language rappers. 

SONG TO CHECK OUT: Vengo

SIMILAR ARTISTS: Rosalía, Makiza

ARTIST: Imarhan

ALBUM TITLE: Imarhan

Hailing from Algeria, Imarhan spins Tuareg desert music into a kaleidoscopic array of sounds that is built upon traditional pan-African rhythms and guitar tones but includes funk, rock, blues, and pop influences from all over the world. Inspired heavily by legendary Tuareg band Tinariwen, the group brings a new and younger international audience to the unique North African style.

SONG TO CHECK OUT: Tahabort

SIMILAR ARTISTS: Tinariwen, Bombino

Community Recommendations:

To be featured in this section next month, send your music recommendation to [email protected] or leave a comment on social media!

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