I am an advent Spotify user, and one thing Spotify helped me with was discovering new talents and artists from around the world.
We live in a Hollywood-saturated industry, and it’s often so hard to find good non-American artists.
This is a shame because diverse artists will open our minds and ears to new instrumentals, kinds of music, and melodies.
These are my favorite artists from around the world who offer truly unique talents.
Evangelia grew up traveling between her parents’ house in New Jersey on the American East Coast and her grandmother’s modest farm on the Greek island of Crete, two very distinct musical environments that both affected her music. A song by Evangelia combines elements of contemporary mainstream music and Greek folk music. She effortlessly combines American pop culture and classical Greek elements, creating her unique voice.
- No Party for Cao Dong
No Party for Cao Dong (NPCD), now comprised of Wood Lin (vocals/guitar), Chu Chu (vocals/guitar), Sam Yang (vocals/bass), and Fan Tsai (drums), entered Taiwan’s indie rock scene in 2015. The Servile, a record of pain, love, justice, and helplessness that was felt by a generation of young people in Taiwan, was released in February 2016. It was performed over rebellious electric guitars and sardonic disco grunge. The punk-grunge energy they represent is reflected in their music.
The group received Best Rock Single (“Simon Says”), Best Band, and Best New Talent at the 2016 Golden Indie Music Awards. They began 2017 by winning the 12th KKBOX Music Awards’ Indie Artist of the Year honor. Three more prizes from the 28th Golden Melody Awards (GMA), including Song of the Year (“Simon Says”), were given out after these ones. The GMA victories led to their first mention in Billboard as the first group to win Best New Artist and Best Musical Group in the same year in the award’s history.
Zeid Hamdan and Yasmine Hamdan, who is not related, first met and adopted the name Soapkills in October 1997. Soap kills is a cult band from Lebanon that emerged from the emerging Middle Eastern electro scene. The band plays seductive music that is heavily influenced by Arab tunes. The group has four studio albums, one live album, and appearances on a few compilations (The “live at circus” album recording was interrupted by an Israeli airstrike on Lebanon).
Their unique touch is Zeid Hamdan’s subtle machine tweaking and Yasmine Hamdan’s seductive vocals teasing a minimalist electro.
- Yasmine Hamdan
This brings me to Yasmine Hamdan. Other than her work in SoapKills, she also had a solo career.
Yasmine Hamdan is recognized as a pioneer of Middle Eastern pop music. She founded the band Soap Kills, widely regarded as the first indie/electronic act to achieve international success in that region, and later found success as a musician, composer, and actress. Yasmine, a 1976 Beirut, Lebanon native, began her musical career in the mid-1990s with the rock group Lombrix, which also included multi-instrumentalist Zeid Hamdan, with who they, later on, created Soapkills together.
Yasmine Hamdan gained global fame when she appeared in the movie “Only Lovers Left Alive.”
Featuring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi, and John Hurt, Only Lovers Left Alive is a 2013 fantasy comedy-drama film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. The 2013 Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or competition featured a film about the romance between two vampires that was a global co-production between Germany and the United Kingdom.
In 2016, 177 reviewers from around the world selected the movie as one of the BBC’s 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century. Todd McCarthy, the head film critic for The Hollywood Reporter, ranked it as the fourth-best movie of the 2010s in late 2019.
Singer-songwriter Naika was born in Miami, Florida. She describes herself as a transnational, cross-cultural kid (TCK), and she credits the French, Caribbean, African, and South Pacific cultures for influencing her musically and personally. Her music showcases her love of Western Pop and R&B, along with parts of World Music that are a reflection of her heritage and upbringing. The vocalist consequently composes her lyrics in her different mother tongues, including English, French, and Haitian creole.