Articles tagged with: music
Having recently checked out the African mash-up lovefest that is Secousse on Friday at a party in London, I’m hooked to the sounds of Ize Teixiera - who performed live his own special mix of …
What’s the trick to listening to Roxanne Tatei’s (known musically as ROX) musical harmony? There’s a familiarity in her tunes that makes you feel like you know her, and an honesty in her demeanor that makes you want to get to know her. This is ROX Music - soulful, authentic and incredibly endearing. This is Worldtown chatted with ROX over the phone in between her busy recording and touring sessions, catching up on what exactly gives music - her music in particular - soul.
Imagine a band, born and raised in Iran, whose upbeat dance-rock brings to mind the Strokes, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode. Throw in some catchy hooks, and the distinctive deep voice of front-man (first names only) Raam, and you’ve got North America’s fast-rising indie-rock outfit Hypernova.
In the climate of the ‘War on Terror’ with Iran being the latest threat, coverage of a story like Hypernova’s might aim to shock. Despite the fact that rock n’roll has pervaded every corner of the earth, it is still seen by some, at its core, as American as apple pie.
For ‘Hypernova’, the fast rising indie rock band from Iran (Yeah, they are from Iran), politics is personal, it’s all about the music (and it’s good!) and as they navigate between the worlds of humble musicians, travelling artists and aspiring rockstars it makes for a familiar yet atypical experience.
Diaspora Youth Speak (DYS) is a project based in Toronto for youth who identify as part of a Diasporic community. DYS uses multi-media arts to explore themes of displacement and mobility to reflect on personal stories and the roles that we play in local and global contexts as Diasporic peoples– fostering leadership & participation; strengthening the voice of Diasporic youth.
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Yet another creative project coming out of the experimental classes of Beirut. Yallah Undergound, a documentary that captures the underground music scene in the Middle East, drawing parallels between musicians and styles in urban centres like Amman, Cairo and Beirut of course. This trailer shows the interviews and soundbytes from Rayess Bek, I-Voice, Scrambled Eggs, and The New Government and plays like a visual mixtape.
I’m always conflicted when it comes to so-called “conscious rap”. Labels serve a purpose, yet at the same time they are confining and often times misleading. Immortal Technique is a “conscious rapper”, yet one can find countless homophobic and misogynistic lines throughout his albums. Cam’ron is a “gangsta/crack rapper”, and yet his classic tracks “D.R.U.G.S.” and “Sports, Drugs, & Entertainment” both astute commentaries that even Nancy Reagan could have championed in her “Just Say No” crusade. Another problem I have with the “conscious” label is that it immediately strips the music of its aesthetics and style. It removes the craft and art from the music. All to frequently, we as the listener tend to conflate “good message” with “good music”. Fortunately for us all, there exist emcees such as Narcy [The Narcicyst], an Iraqi emcee raised in Canada, who effortlessly weaves aesthetics and message together. It is music whose both form and content leave one feeling enlightened.
“Exotic locales” in “far and dangerous places” are not new muses for musicians from the West. Although most of my own iTunes playlists consist of music and musicians from around the world - fitting into the too broad “world music” category - I am always wary of such collaborations and how they represent the muse/country in question, and of how these musical encounters can turn into self-indulgent congratulatory efforts for the recording artist. A new collaboration comes from Swedish songstress Victoria Bergsman, lead singer of The Concretes and famous for lending her soft, feminine voice to indie darlings Peter Bjorn and John. For her latest project, Bergsman travels to Pakistan with producer/guitarist/engineer Andreas Soderstrom to record her solo album “East of Eden”.
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Inside Indie: Digging Roots :: Rabble TV
Michael Jackson seemed crushed under a weight of identity: black/man/star/brother/father/son. Add philanthropist/media-victim and -manipulator/accused pederast/primate owner/fashionista and dancer. Owner of, and now perhaps a returnee to, Neverland.