This is my playlist of 21 Musicians I am listening to at the moment as of Aug 2017. As performing songwriter*, a music writer/promoter** and a radio presenter/producer***, I come across a lot of music, I mean a lot. Making a list is therefore a bit impossible since I have a lot more than 21 musicians to thank for their beautiful contributions to music. But there it is, all the same, people whose tunes have played the most on my playlist in the last few months, the old and the new, the Folk and the Jazz, the nostalgic and the futuristic, and everything in between. I tried to do a chart once and found out I really don’t like to order people, I just love them all for the beauty and truthfulness in their lyric, the craft in their music and the integrity in putting it all together. So here is my list in no particular order.
The first “third” of my list of 21 musicians
- Heidi Talbot, Motherland, Ireland – This voice is haunting me, and this particular song sticks out in the album for its pure bliss. Believe me though, the whole album is worth it.
- Blick Bassy, Wap Do Wap, Cameroon – rhythm, accent , warmth and all – just what I needed to hear, for nostalgia and future sound sake
- Boo Hewerdine, everything, England – love this man – he just has the voice that cuddles me into simple comfort – having done a record with him, I truly wish we could turn it into a duet just to hear his voice on it
- Anoushka Shankar, India – my favourite single last year – talent is most beautiful when it is harnessed, unwasted, coupled and shared
- Jean-Jacques Goldman, France – we lose our heroes in the sea of new waves but they are never far away from our inner ear when they touch you as deeply and gently as this French singer-songwriter. This artist is undervalued outside of France, but a true songwriter, enamoured with rock but never letting it limit his explorations. His solo works and collaboration with Fredericks, Jones or even Celine Dion have been quenching my nostalgia and the need to find someone who catches (quite a lot of) my drift.
- Canen, USA- a voice that gives me hope for the next generation and how they will handle music. Although the covers are great on the ep, it is still the original Time that I love the most
- Karine Polwart, Scotland – the irony of llistening to Karine Polwart as we were entering or leaving Scotland was not lost on me. But her sound has always been our trip companion, particularly Rivers run
The second “third” of my list of 21 musicians
- Coco Mbassi/Dina Bell, Cameroon – 2 generrations of musicians meet in this medley. Revisiting Joa her latest accomplishment took me back to the sounds of part of my childhood where melancholic songwriter Dina Bell crooned the hearts of many a lady in his hometown with his songs
- Chopin, Poland – To be honest, this should just be on the list permanently because it is hard to put away one or the other pieces by this composer. I even went back to the piano to replay the notes from Etude 69 op 2 the very reason I started playing the piano in the first place, against all the odds
- Nick Drake – Alan Walters first mention but not the last, THANK YOU!!
- The Milk carton Kids (USA) Pete from Pete en Leni, first of many many mentions, ♥
- Licia Chery, Blue Your mind – Lovely to listen to this jewel by a singer discovered for and shared with us by journalist Jean-Jacques Dikongué in his Tribune de l’artiste magazine
- Ben Abraham (New Zealand)
- Janine Kuhl (Jamaica) – It is the voice that is mainly agreeable and then put that on her song Dreamer and you get the jist
The “third third” of my list of 21 musicians
- Charlotte Dipanda (Cameroon) Another voice here that conquered me with Coucou and has since, with a new album, convinced me that it only grows with beauty and maturity
- Oscaar Isaac or should I say Llewyn Davis? Everything in that soundtrack. Thank you again Pete from Pete en Leni
- Dee Dee Bridgewater (US) – Jazz has had so many great servants and Dee Dee is one of its greatest. Visceral and full of soulful honesty.
- Camille (France) – Excentricity has its place when music is the goal and your all the vehicle. Live and free. Nice one Camille.
- Hozier (Ireland) – Ireland has its fair share of great musicians. Ok so he’s got me at take me to church, voice, arrangements and all. Want to meet…
- Jo Bywater (England) – Can’t move on and it is all her fault. Jo Bywater released Riches to rag and I fell in love all over again with the love she shares for music with us. Good news is that Jo comes back this year with some new exciting material.
- Gino Sitson (Cameroon) – Virtuoso
This is why I don’t like making lists. It is obvious that there are more in my head and my playlists than that! For example, I just lately received new CDs (as usual) and so have started, for some, enjoying my future list (Daria Kulesh single, Kara’s LP, Sarah McQuaid fusions, the magic of Coco Mbassi, James Keelaghan’s First 25 years in music to list only a very few)! Didn’t I warn you? That is a list starting again already! Anyway, simply tune in to thethread.org.uk every Sunday 19.30 and hear the extended lists 😉
** publishing director of 1inmusic.com and Creative Director of VertiKal Life Magazine
*** on Canalside Community radio at thethread.org.uk