Listed here are the highest world music bands from WOMEX 2022 : NPR

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The Mexican band Son Rompe Pera, one of many highlights of the 2022 version of the WOMEX competition.

Marc van der Aa/Courtesy of the artists

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Marc van der Aa/Courtesy of the artists

The Mexican band Son Rompe Pera, one of many highlights of the 2022 version of the WOMEX competition.

Marc van der Aa/Courtesy of the artists

Each fall, musicians, artist managers, live performance presenters and report labels from all around the world collect someplace in Europe for a convention and competition known as WOMEX. This yr’s occasion occurred in Lisbon, Portugal — and listed here are some high picks for up-and-coming artists who carried out showcases at WOMEX 2022.

The very first thing to find out about WOMEX (a.okay.a. the Worldwide Music Expo) is that though the organizers do promote some tickets to the general public, it is primarily aimed toward music business professionals as a spot to search out new expertise — and it is essentially a launching floor for world artists. It is also an particularly necessary useful resource for the individuals who guide music festivals and efficiency venues throughout the USA. For instance, the Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha went from WOMEX to reserving a Tiny Desk live performance and frequent excursions throughout the U.S.

Son Rompe Pera


One of many bands to make a stir at WOMEX 2022 was Son Rompe Pera, a band from Mexico Metropolis. They’re already slated to play New York’s globalFEST at Lincoln Heart in January and to look at SXSW in March.

Son Rompe Pera was based by a set of three brothers, the Gamas, who needed to maintain their household custom of marimba alive. As youngsters, they performed alongside their dad at native occasions. However in addition they performed in punk bands as youngsters. On the group’s dwell reveals, you see and listen to each of these sides: their
sound is actually polished cumbia, however their look and vitality could be very punk-metal — plenty of tattoos and hipster haircuts and leaping round on stage. The WOMEX crowd went wild for them.

Rina Das Baul

That is an instance of a band bringing trendy vitality to previous music. However there’s at all times one thing for everybody at WOMEX. Attendees got here from 116 international locations, with greater than 60 musical showcases on faucet. Meaning there’s at all times one thing for everybody — from very modern performers to musicians who’re devoted to creating certain that custom is noticed. One of many latter is an excellent singer from India named Rina Das Baul.

Rina Das Baul is a conventional vocalist who comes from a small village within the Indian state of West Bengal. She is a part of a non secular neighborhood, the Bauls, whose adherents are wandering mystics who sing praises to God. She sings accompanying herself on a one-stringed instrument and a drum connected to her hip — and her voice is pure and filled with sunshine.

Al Bilali Soudan


One other standout was a band from Mali known as Al Bilali Soudan. A lot of folks have gotten to know and love Tuareg music of the Sahara — the so-called «desert blues» — due to artists just like the band Tinariwen and the guitarist and singer Bombino, amongst others. You may hear the same fashion from Al Bilali Soudan, which shares its moniker with an historical title for town of Timbuktu.

What’s placing and completely different in Al Bilali Soudan’s music is its percussion, which simply hits like a ton of bricks. It is a rhythm known as takamba, pounded out on calabashes like a heartbeat.

The primary time I heard takamba was in Mali in 2003, which coincidentally additionally marked the primary time I heard Tinariwen dwell — however not one of the different Tuareg teams which have made it huge internationally make takamba so central to their sound as Al Bilali Soudan has. Merely put, it is a fashion that I am at all times actually comfortable to listen to. Within the weeks simply earlier than WOMEX, Al Bilali Soudan had its first tour of the U.S., however undoubtedly the band’s look in Portugal will widen its worldwide attain.


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