Best of Global Radio Tastings: September 2021
Each weekday for the past five weeks, I have produced a Radio Tastings video (entitled Global Sound Check for the first four weeks). I pick a random radio station from around the world using my Le Mega internet radio, use Shazam to discover the artists and titles of the first 5 songs that are played and produce a 75 second video that includes snippets of each song. You can access all 25 videos of September in my Global Sound Check Youtube Playlist.
I don't curate the songs that are included. It's merely a taste of what is playing for that moment in time. Each radio station has a variety of programming throughout the day and week. I could revisit the same radio stations over time and get a completely different type of music. But the biggest takeaway from this exercise is that I am discovering a TON of new music to me and I love it. So this posting is a recap of the best music I have tasted during September 2021.
I do have to add that my personal tastes favor funk. So anything with a strong driving bass line with some R&B riffs or Hip Hop beats will definitely excite me and make it onto this list. So this is more like a "Best of for Me" list. All song titles are linked to their videos on Youtube.
Best New Song
Shuleg by Enerel and NMN - (Note that this is new to me, this song was released in 2018.) This is a collaboration between two Mongolian musicians, rapper Enerel and rapper/singer NMN. The song is hauntingly beautiful with relaxed beats and a laid back feel. It's chill and a really great balance between the two musicians. It is not only a really solid track but it opened my ears to the entire Mongolian music scene which is definitely worth checking out.
Read this: A Brief Introduction of Mongolian Pop by Jonathan Bogart to understand more about the music scene in Mongolia and also more in-depth coverage of NMN.
Radio Station: Listen to Family Radio 104.5 FM out of Ulaanbaatar to experience some more the Mongolian music scene.
Best New Song - Honorable Mentions
These songs are great and span a variety of genres and come from a variety of countries. I really enjoyed aspects of each one.
"Oh What a Night" gets a Hip Hop refresh in French with Ces Soirées-là by Yannick. It's a new spin on a classic dance song and includes an amazing "Up high, down low" group participation sequence. I heard this delightful earworm on radio BEL RTL broadcasting from Brussels, Belgium.
Naked by Jonas Blue nd MAX is a fun funky-based dance track that feels like a combination of John Legend and Prince peppered with the Bee Gees. I heard this song while listening to Gomel FM 101.3 broadcasting out of Gomel, Belarus.
Tove Lo is a Swedish singer songwriter who blew me away with the hook in Cool Girl backed by a very classic house beat. "I'm a cool girl, ice cold, I roll my eyes at you boy." The visual on that just comes straight out of Mean Girls and the beat communicates how badass Tove Lo is. I heard this on ClubFM 100.4 broadcasting out of Tiranë, Albania.
Do It Quiet by Danish-born Klubien is super funky and I love it! The lyrics are little repetitive and fall a little flat but I could listen to that bass line and hook ALL DAY. What is even more funky is that Klubien has also been an animator for Disney since 1988. I heard this gem of a song on ICE FM 93.5 MhZ broadcasting out of Nuuk, Greenland.
We Having a Party by Baron is as straightforward as it gets. From the opening riff to the closing beat, you are transported to a Caribbean Party in this Soca dance anthem. You have to dance listening to it! I heard it on Vibe CT 105 FM broadcasting out of Port of Spain, Trinidad.
He Bebido by Espinoza Paz has accordions, trumpet sections and a voice that is crooning with a raspiness that draws you in. He is a Mexican musician that plays Banda, Norteño and Mariachi styles and this song has a lilting rhythm that makes you want to sing along. I heard it while listening to La Tremenda 95.8 FM broadcasting out of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
Shy by Hether is a fantastic indie pop song. I love the chill flow and melodic chorus. Definitely the type of song to listen to on a rainy day or while making pancakes on a lazy Sunday. I heard it being played on Radio OUN broadcasting out of Kampot, Cambodia.
Nobody Said by King Shaolin has an upbeat message wrapped in a positive pop engine. I was impressed by this 4-piece band from Bratislava. They have an extensive discography that is also worth checking out. I heard this song while listening to Radio Kosice broadcasting from Kosice, Slovenia.
Best New Artist (to me): Ladi6
Without hesitation, I give the best new artist to me distinction to Ladi6 out of New Zealand. I heard her first on Radio Ngati Porou (RNP) out of Ruatoria and her music has been on heavy rotation ever since. She is a combination of hip hop, funk and soul with a cool laid back feel. Not sure where I read this, but she has been described as the Erykah Badu of New Zealand and I would agree with that distinction. My favorite song is Diamonds followed by Outta Time and GURU.
Honorable Mention - Best New Artist: Arlo Parks
Arlo Parks is a fantastic new artist coming out of East London. She is only 20 years old and making waves. Her music is very laid back like Billie Eilish with a funkier approach. Start with Too Good and then check out Eugene and Cola. I heard her being played on Gomel FM 101.3 out of Gomel, Belarus.
Best Radio Station: Radio Ngati Porou
I have listened to 25 different radio stations from all over the world and I have to say that I loved listening to Radio Ngati Porou (RNP) out of Ruatoria, New Zealand. I could catch the rugby game updates on the weekends and enjoy a truly eclectic mix of music throughout a programming day as well as a significant amount of programming in the Maori language. I discovered Ladi6 which goes a long way putting this radio station into the category of the best there is, but I also loved hearing Katchafire's hit 100 sung in Maori and the soulful sounds of Maumahara Noa Ahau sung by Brannigan Kaa (one of the most renowned artists played on the Maori Radio Network).
Honorable Mention: Best Radio Stations
Ghetto Radio 89.5FM out of Nairobi, Kenya had a great mix of local artists that can found here in my daily recap. I have to highlight my favorite lyric that made me laugh from Sere by Olakira Feat. Zuchu which was “Her booty so fly she don’t need a visa.”
I always love a good college radio station and the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus radio 104.5FM does not disappoint. Check out my video recap of UCT.
Gomel FM 101.3 out of Gomel Belarus not only introduced me to Arlo Parks and Jonas Blue but a great cover of No Doubt's Don't Speak and Daya, a musician from Pennsylvania. Check out my video recap of listening to this station.
The Biggest Surprise
I am not sure that I will have this category every month but I am happy to included it here. The biggest surprise in September came in the form of Quebecois Country music. I stumbled across Radio Quebec Country from Thetford Mines, Quebec, Canada and was floored that I had never heard country music sung in French before. Hear a sample of Phil G. Smith's song, "On fait du country" among 4 other songs by listening to my recap from Radio Tastings of the World on September 28th.
Follow my channel on YouTube to get a Radio Tasting Video of stations from all over the world every weekday!