Dance Like No One is Watching

I’ve been turning to a couple of songs lately for a quick and easy energy boost, and I would like to share these songs with you.

These two pop musicians are incredibly talented and well-known in their respective countries, and I thought I’d bring them together for you here. Go ahead and give it a listen. Bust a move!

Artist: Yemi Alade

Song: “Johnny”

Language: Nigerian English

Official YouTube Site: Yemi Alade VEVO

Artist: Stromae

Song: “Tous Les Memes”

Language: French

Official YouTube Site: Stromae VEVO


Let’s go south!

… South India that is!

India and Pakistan are on par with their modern renditions of some classic oldies. Music platforms for high-quality collaborations to occur are common in South Asia and the musicianship and arrangements during these collaborations are more than impressive. One of these platforms – Music MOJO – hails from Kerala, India.

I came across this song on Music MOJO’s YouTube channel two days ago and all I want to do is sit, listen, and repeat. It’s a dose of positivity without being overwhelmingly major. The voice and instruments complement each other and move around each other beautifully. I don’t understand a word of what is being sung, but I am happy to be listening to it.

Artist: Job Kurian [male vocalist], Neha Nair [female vocalist], Santhosh Chandran [guitarist], Lead by Manoj George, Herald, Francis & Anoop [string quartet], Paulson [sitar], Yakzan Pereira [keyboard], Ben Sam Jones [bass guitar], Anish [drums]

Song: “Melle Kollum”

Language: Malayalam [?]

Official YouTube Site: Music MOJO

The Idan Raichel Project – Israeli Music Group

I took a quick look at my Music Tab and I have come to realize that I never featured my all time favorite music group, The Idan Raichel Project. Now, this is quite a shame and I want to make amends!

I first learned about The Idan Raichel Project in 2008 when I was at University and I was flipping through Royce Hall’s (UCLA’s music hall) roll call for that season. I had never heard of the The Idan Raichel Project, and I thought that it deserved a Google search. The first song that I listened to was “Mima’amakim,” and I fell in love with EVERY song that ensued. I managed to get into Royce Hall despite it being a sold out show. I’ll never forget the energy and optimism that filled Royce Hall that evening.

The Idan Raichel Project distinguishes itself from other Israeli music groups not just by its compositions, but also by the message behind the group. Considering the perpetually tense political air in Israel, The Idan Raichel Project is a popular platform for ethnically diverse musicians to work together to promote peace and equity through their music.

Idan Raichel’s sound is acoustic heavy with the gentle support of an orchestra. I’ve shared three of my favorite songs. This is not music one should passively listen to, so grab your finest headphones and get cozy!

Artist: The Idan Raichel Project – Featuring Idan Raichel, Wagderass Avi Vese

Song: “Mima’amakim”

Language: Amharic [?], Hebrew

Official Website: The Idan Raichel Project

Artist: The Idan Raichel Project – Featuring Shimon Buskila

Song: “Min Nhar Li Mshiti”

Language: Arabic

Artist: The Idan Raichel Project – Featuring Marta Gomez

Song: “Todas las Palabras”

Language: Spanish

African Lounge

Spotify really gifts me with new artists all the time, but this one struck a chord. I was listening to Tinariwen, and this was a little surprised tucked away in the playlist.

Today was such a cloudy, still day. This definitely eased me into an energetic state without shocking my senses. Happy listening!

Artist: Fatoumata Diawara

Song: “Bakonoba”

Region: Mali, Africa; France

Language: Wassoulou

Official Page:


Turkish Pop

The average Turk in Istanbul doesn’t speak English well enough to have a lengthy conversation. So, I think you would understand that I found it odd that everyone prefers American Pop to Turkish Pop. Even adults get their fingers tapping and heads bobbing to Katy Perry and Pitbull. If only they knew what Katy Perry means when she sings about Peacocks – perhaps it’s for the best.

American Pop prevails in Turkey. I wondered why this was so, and after spending 6 months in Istanbul using public transportation that plays Turkish Pop, I get it. Turkish Pop kind of sucks. I also think American Pop sucks, but Turkish Pop lacks everything, while American Pop just lacks a lot of things.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. Good Turkish songs become classics quickly and it is easy to spot the good songs. If they don’t sound like every other Turkish song on the radio, then it’s a hit!

I have saved you the trouble of weeding these two out yourselves. The first song is an ode to Istanbul. The second song has been on the radio and I like it!

Artist: Teoman

Song: “Istanbul’da son bahar” (“The last autumn in Istanbul”)

Language: Turkish

Artist: Mustafa Ceceli

Song: “Es” (“Blowing wind”)

Language: Turkish