Now in their sixth year, the Songlines Music Awards celebrate and acknowledge the wealth of musical talent from around the world featured in Songlines magazine. Here are the four nominees in the Cross-Cultural Collaboration category, as voted by you.
Bristol-based Dizraeli and his merry band connect the dots between the seemingly distant worlds of hip-hop and folk, highlighting both genres’ democratic nature – “a music of the people with a strong oral tradition, music that isn’t afraid to tell everyday people’s stories,” says Dizraeli. Moving in the Dark is full of honesty and wit, weaving clever tales that are at times dark and others playful.
For this project, Albanian brass band Fanfara Tirana team up with the masters of global fusion, Transglobal Underground. London-based TGU mix in beats, samples and a slew of instruments to underpin the punchy horns, while Fanfara Tirana are given plenty of time to shine in all their brassy glory. The match-up makes for an entertaining album and a killer live show.
Both Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita are no strangers to fusion, each having worked on various projects in the past. However, it is with this collaboration that they’ve made musical magic. So perfectly blended, it is often impossible to distinguish where harp ends and kora begins. There is a wonderful harmony to this meeting of Celtic and Mande traditions.
Monoswezi is made up of Zimbabwean vocalist and mbira player Hope Masike, a trio of Scandinavian jazz musicians and Mozambican vocalist Calu Tsemane. While mostly based on traditional Zimbabwean song, there a jazz sensibility that lifts it above and beyond mere tradition. Fuelled by Masike’s incredible voice and delicate mbira, Monoswezi offer a fresh new take on both Zimbabwean music and Scandinavian jazz.