When I was younger, I was lucky enough to come of age in a time where ethnicity did not play a big part in musical society–everywhere else, yes–but the 80s was a time of the great cross over. British super stars was kicking our asses on the rock front and we had soulful singers such as Lisa Stansfield, Teena Marie and Rick Astley invading our air waves. Introducing us the non-BP that had soul across the globe. Then there was J, the Japanese hip hop dance troupe that was all over the telly showing us that our culture was loved all over the world. And the Hawaiian family group The Jets. And we won’t even start on the mega fame of Michael Jackson.
It was because of these times, that I was able to explore world music. My first out of the box world music star was Celtic Singer Enya. I would walk around the house singing in Gaelic and my family had thought I had lost my mind. They were like “You really think you are white don’t you?” No, not really, I just had an international soul, I operated on a higher frequency that did not place me in an “ethnic” box. I was too big for that. Then Sade and Selena played a big role in my love of world music.
Since then, I have traveled the world and have discovered even more international talents that I want to share with you all. The world is so big, much bigger than the trivial ethnic and inter-ethnic battles that we have on a daily basis and honestly I truly believe it is music that brings us all together. What is it about music, even when you do not understand what they are saying that touches the soul in a way that mere words cannot? What are some of your favorite international musicians?
Les Nubians: France and Africa
Zap Mama: France and Africa
Lianne La Havas: England
Paolo Nutini: Scotland
Abita Rodriguez: Cuba
Maria Rita: Brazil
Gotan Project: France and Argentina
Malika Ayane: Italy and Morocco
Amir Diab: Egypt
Ida Corr: Denmark
Ofrah Haza: Israel