Since coming to Belgium, I’ve discovered no end of fantastic music by Belgian groups themselves. Anyone who I’ve ever dragged to see Salif Keita or a klezmer concert in the park knows I am a big fan of world music, and I would like to eventually do something professionally in that field. So I am now amassing an enormous collection of world music, and I have to say, I’ve done quite well already. Still, there’s a lot more out there. I know a lot of people do not enjoy music from other countries quite as much as I do, and I hope to change that. So, in an effort to 1)make this blog a little more travel-blog-like, and 2)introduce people to stuff I love, I’m going to start showcasing one band a week, starting with Belgian ones (only ones I like, of course!), until I run out (hey, it’s a small country), and then maybe throw some others in there. We’ll see how it goes.
So, for our first artist, I have chosen:
She’s pretty well-known, at least in certain circles, and though her music has obviously Middle Eastern influences, she’s actually Belgian-born! Her music combines traditional Middle Eastern and North African instrumentation and rhythms with more contemporary sounds, and it’s all quite danceable. I was already familiar with her songs “Mon Amie La Rose” and “Hope”, but she has a variety of albums I didn’t know about. I’ve never had the opportunity to see her in concert, but I bet it’s a party! You can learn all about her on her MySpace page and hear the entirety of her most recent album MishMaoul at www.mish-maoul.com. I especially like “Feen” and “La Lil Khowf.”
My favorite quote about her from her website reads:
“She embodies the message that there is strength in diversity, that our differences – be they ethnic, racial or religious – are a source of riches to be embraced rather than feared.”
That’s pretty high praise. That kind of music definitely deserves a listen, don’t you think?