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Photo by Noah Pharrell.

Back in 2017, Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia opened an article with the statement that by this time, it was no longer necessary to explain “who is Rosalía Vila.” The rest of the world may have taken a bit longer to notice, but the global eye is definitely watching her now. The past year was big for Rosalía, accomplishing feats of performing at major venues, like flamenco sacred ground Plaza de Colón. The show from last October, a packed crowd in Madrid singing along with her to the biggest hits from her second studio album, was the culmination of Rosalía’s senior…


William Onyeabor (Own-ye-bar) is from Nigeria, we know that much. The details, and even the big picture, of his life and career are harder to come by. He was born in 1946 and passed away in 2017, after gracing the world with eight albums released in as many years, not counting the five or so compilation albums released recently. Each of the albums contained around five songs and was pressed within the Wilfilms recording studio and pressing plant, owned by Onyeabor himself. The label released albums by only five other artists, all Nigerian, in addition to Onyeabor’s personal discography.

Wilfilms…


Morena Leraba grew up in the rural village of Mafetang in western Lesotho and has worked for much of his life as a shepherd. Spending considerable time alone, surrounded only by sheep, cattle, and the natural landscape, Leraba filled his mind with music, and began writing and practicing his songs.

This pastime would materialize into more public work as he became more connected to both local and global music scenes. He met a number of people in Lesotho and South Africa, including the filmmaker Carl McMillan, who connected Leraba with The FreeRangers, who recorded a song, “Do You Know Lesotho,”…


Both the mentality and the core elements of trap style, namely the deep bass, sputtering, low vocals, and overall haze, have carried over and diffused through the music dominating Latin charts and radio. Most Latin trap artists cropped up around 2016 (a year we might call “peak trap”). One of the biggest names is Bad Bunny, and he’s one of the few Spanish-language artists that applies the trap vocal style of rapping in triplets (Vox has a great video explaining this). He’s from Puerto Rico, and despite not having released or announced an album, is signed to the label Hear…


If you haven’t heard of trap, you’ve likely heard it all the same. Over the last year, it has become a buzzword of current culture, especially in music, but had loose parameters as far as definitions go. In an unofficial survey of friends, I found that everyone had heard of the genre, but no one could nail it down. Trap was overtaking music charts to the point where most people listening to popular music or to the radio had heard trap. Trap artists were winning awards, trap albums going platinum, trap music videos going viral. …


Sometimes we (self included) treat the public like we treat teenage girls. What they like can’t be worth much of our attention; if they like it, it must be too easy to consume. Images of mama birds chewing up food for their young, rivers with strong currents, sessions of hypnosis come to mind. Of course, the public can be wrong on many counts (and is), but when something manages to top the charts, to draw a crowd, to get really and truly popular, it may just be worth suspending our cynicism to experience it for ourselves.

So, pop music. It’s…


There are more than a handful of strong artists from Lebanon who give the established alternative music scene in the country (and its capital city, Beirut) a global name. The majority of these artists release songs exclusively in Arabic and push the boundaries on the continually evolving Arab identity. “Most Arab youths live in an intersectional socio-cultural experience,” El Rass, a hip hop artist from Tripoli, told The New Arab: “Art…creates fields of movement that break social barriers.” These musicians came of age during the civil war that resulted in the death or displacement of large numbers of the Lebanese…


The music, like the history, of Cuba is long and layered from many centuries of migration, both voluntary and forced, and the resulting exchange of cultures on the island. While the island was under the colonial rule of the Spanish empire (from the 1500–1800s), an estimated one million Africans were brought to the island to work as slaves, mostly on tobacco and sugar cane plantations. Many Spaniards, too, immigrated to the island in the 1800s when Cuba, unlike most of continental South America, was still a Spanish colony (as was Puerto Rico). …


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Photo by Pablo Alzaga

Bad Gyal has a long time love for Jamaican culture, specifically dancehall, and has used the Afro-Caribbean beats she heard in the Barcelona clubs she used to sneak into as a teen as the driving beat for her brand of dance-centered, multilingual tracks. She has been steadily releasing music for the past few years, with the aid of a number of producers, including Dubbel Dutch, Fakeguido, El Guincho, and LOWLIGHT.

When she achieved her dream of going to Jamaica and working with local artists and choreographers last year, resulting in the track “Unknown Feeling” with Qraig Voicemail, she realized it…


Deva, a rising trap-soul artist from Santander, has landed hit after hit on her own self-made journey, expanding the music scene in Spain along the way. Her releases so far, one EP following a string of singles, read of the major influences on her life, both musical and personal. She grew up listening to Rihanna and pop hits from the UK, followed trap and neo-soul in the US, and was drawn to dancehall and Afro-Caribbean rhythms.

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Taken from Twitter.

Deva has worked with LOWLIGHT, a production duo who have made a name for themselves in urban music in Spain, as well as Kaydy…

Macy Lethco

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