November 21, 2008

Musical Horizons

I ran across this first video from a new group out of Quebec, and I thought it was charming. It got me thinking about other music markets besides the American one. I figured, if songs like this one exist in French that I like, eventhough I don't understand the words, then there must be others out there. And when I started to take a look, there were lots to choose from. It was interesting to look through some of these artists, especially considering what conclusions I could draw about different cultures from the music they like and the subject matter of their songs. And, although it's such a small sampling, and not really remotely representative, it was still kind of enlighting. I hope you enjoy a little trip around our musical planet!

Coeur de Pirate
(Béatrice Martin)
Quebec, Canada

Béatrice Martin is an 18-year-old singer and songwriter. She began playing the piano at the age of three. After five years of music education, she started to compose her own songs. She played the piano and sang for the group Hello Brumaire. Her first self-titled album was released on September 16th. She's hit MySpace fame.

Here is her song, "Comme des Enfants" (meaning, "Like Children").

Amy MacDonald
Scotland, United Kingdom

Amy MacDonald was born in Bishopbriggs, Scotland. At the age of 15, she started playing on-stage at aucoustic gigs and open mics in and around Glasgow and has now played several shows across mainland Europe. Amy is a self-taught musician. After hearing a song at a music festival, she decided she wanted to sing, too.

Here's a song off of her album, titled "This is the Life."

Annett Louisan

Annett Louisan is from Hamburg, Germany. Louisan is a stage name that she derived from her grandmother's first name, Louise. Her real last name is Päge. Most of Annett's songs deal with love, failure, and disappointment. Musical influences include blues, soul, jazz, and swing.

This is her song, "Drück die Eins" (meaning, "Push One").

Giorgia (Giorgia Todrani)

Giorgia Todrani is an Italian singer, best known for her great vocal range. She has release ten studio albums, which all enjoy good commerical success in Italy. At an early age, Giorgia started out by performing in several jazz clubs in Rome. She grew up singing soul and jazz classics by artists such as Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald.

Here is her song, "Girasole," meaning "Sunflower."

МакSим [Maksim]
(Marina Abrosimova)

Marina Sergeevna Abrosimova (Марина Сергеевна Абросимова) was born in Kazan, the largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, a federal state of Russia. She performed in many places and eventually went to Moscow to make records. She has released two albums. Maxim is a popular boy's name in Russia. The singer's nickname, Maksim, comes from her brother's name and her mother's patronymic maiden name, which is Svetlana Maximova.

Here is one of her songs, "Мой рай" [moy rye] (meaning, "My Paradise")

Utada Hikaru (Hikki)

Hikaru is a Japanese songwriter, singer, and music producer. She is well-known for theme songs she wrote for a video game series. She was born in New York City to parents who had deep roots in the Japanese music industry. Hikaru began recording at age 12. She moved to Tokyo in 1998 and has continued to reside there except for one year in 2004. Hikaru is one of the best-selling artists in Japan.

This is her song, "Passion."


Michael said...

We've been exporting American culture for years, so it's about time we imported more stuff like this. I'm partial to the German, French, and Russian for some reason ... =)

Gini+Eric said...

I've heard great things about Utada Hikaru but hadn't made time to listen yet. Thanks!