Are you tired of listening to the same songs over and over? Do you wish to listen to something new, something off the beaten path? This article is your go-to-list of ten musicians from across the globe; some you may not have heard of, but whose music you might enjoy listening to. Many of them are well-known in their own circles, and sometimes even outside. However, an artist who is famous in one region or community may not necessarily be popular in another; so don’t always go by the numbers on their videos and channels! Of course, this makes it even more enjoyable to discover them and understand their appeal and popularity – how did these musicians become known in some circles, and where else have they gained recognition?
1. Tinariwen – A Tuareg band that has gained acclaim in some circles over the last two decades, Tinariwen performs a combination of Tishoumaren, rock, blues, and folk music. They debuted in 1979 in Algeria and moved to Mali about ten years later. The rhythm of their songs is filled with life and energy, making them hard to forget.
Songs to check out: Lulla, Sastanàqqàm
2. the GazettE – This band is popular among fans of visual kei, a Japanese subculture inspired by glam rock, thus making visual aesthetics a large part of the band’s essence. Founded in 2002 in Japan, the GazettE specializes in alternative rock and metal, but their appeal lies in the openly expressive music they produce, and a willingness to experiment with elements from other genres, such as dubstep and rap. They’re best known for their live performances where they get the crowd going in no time.
Songs to check out: Remember the Urge, Undying
3. Astrud Gilberto – She is best known for her song “The Girl from Ipanema”, although her other jazz and bossa nova performances incorporate the same simplicity and richness of music and lyrics. She has sung in English, Portugese, Italian, and French, among other languages, with certain albums released exclusively in the countries whose native language she sings in.
Songs to check out: Corcovado, Bim Bom
4. Junko Akimoto – She may have debuted in her late 50s, but Junko Akimoto’s melodies are not hindered by age at all. She is a kayoukyoku singer–style of pop that preceded modern Japanese pop–although her specialized genres include jazz as well.
Songs to check out: Ai no mama de, Karenai Hana
5. Shakthisree Gopalan – Shakthisree Gopalan started as a cover singer, but her interpretations of these covers include a depth that is often found in Indian classical music. She carries this interpretation over into her original compositions as well, both in vocals and instruments.
Songs to check out: Voices, Love Medley (cover)
6. Soulmate – Soulmate is a two-member blues rock band from Shillong, Meghalaya that debuted in 2003. The band comprises of two permanent members–Tripti Kharbangar and Rudy Wallang–for vocals and guitar, and two support members for bass and drums. They believe that the blues chose them, rather than the other way around, which is manifested in the form of rhythmic and powerful compositions.
Songs to check out: Set me Free, Voodoo Woman
7. Taylor – No, this is not Taylor Swift: not much is known about this Taylor except her first name. Taylor’s distinguishing feature is a powerful, clear voice syncing with slow and gentle melodies. It is reminiscent of music that one might find in a fantasy series.
Songs to check out: Light Up the Sky, Love and War
8. Balmorhea – Balmorhea is a purely instrumental band from Texas that debuted in 2006. They do not restrict themselves to just one instrument or style, preferring to experiment with multiple ways of expressing ideas through music, and their instruments form layers above each other as the track progresses.
Songs to check out: Remembrance, The Winter
9. Razia Said – A singer-songwriter from Madagascar, Razia Said is associated with the world music label Cumbancha, and draws on her influences and experiences growing up to create her songs. She records in the Malagasy language, and her first album was released in 2010.
Songs to check out: Omama, Akory
10. exist+trace – This band is one of the few all-female groups present in the visual kei scene in Japan, and is among what we might call veterans, having debuted in 2003. Exist+trace is best known for their heavy metal songs, and the vocalist’s growls and screams have contributed to the distinctive features of their music, although they’re not opposed to composing lighter tracks.
Songs to check out: liquid, Resonance
Edited by Vedika Gupta
Photographic content curated by Viraj Malani