Editor-in-chief Simon Broughton Publisher & Publishing Director Paul Geoghegan Editor Jo Frost Deputy Editor Alexandra Petropoulos Art Director Calvin McKenzie Advertisement Manager James Anderson-Hanney Marketing Manager Edward Craggs Online Content Editor James McCarthy Reviews Editor Matthew Milton News Editor Alex de Lacey Listings Editor Tatiana Rucinska World Cinema Editor John Atkinson Sub editor Emma Baker Interns Jordan Narloch & Rachel Cunniffe Cover illustration Danny Allison Contributing Editors Jane Cornwell, Mark Ellingham & Nigel Williamson Subscriptions Director Sally Boettcher Editorial Director Martin Cullingford CEO Ben Allen Chairman Mark Allen SUBSCRIPTIONS UK: 0800 137 201 Overseas: +44 (0)1722 716997 subscriptions@markallengroup.com ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7501 6683


Music – a powerful weapon

Trump’s to blame. Or at least, he’s one of the reasons why we’re devoting this issue to the power of music and its abili to unite rather than divide people. It was during the incredulous, grisly a ermath of his election win in November that we first began discussing the idea and around the same time, I visited the Oslo World Music Festival where the theme was Forbidden Songs. Their crammed programme of thought-provoking debates on the topic of music censorship convinced me that we had the makings of a special issue.

Regular readers of Songlines will be all too aware that the music we cover in these pages is o en far more than pure entertainment. Yes, it can make you smile, want to dance, or reduce you to tears. But there’s also a galvanising force about music that means it can be used as a powerful weapon in political and social activism – precisely why oppressive regimes tend to ban or censor it.

So this issue we’re championing and celebrating those musicians who have stuck their necks out and sung out about social injustices, crimes and civil rights – whether it’s rapping against an unpopular leader like Smockey did in Burkina Faso (p22); joiking in defiance of the suppression of the Sámis’ indigenous culture (p28); exploring the role and history of protest songs (p32) or being forced by jihadists to record in exile, like Tinariwen (p76). As Smockey says: “Not everyone is lucky enough to have a microphone in front of them, so if you have the chance to talk, you have to say something important and try and change humani .” Now there’s an important lesson for Twitter addict President Trump.

Jo Frost, editor

“We’re championing those musicians who have sung out about social injustices”



Songlines is published by MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Rd, London, SE24 0PB, UK +44 (0)20 7738 5454 info@songlines.co.uk www.songlines.co.uk © MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, 2017. All rights reserved. No part of the Songlines may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the Publishing Director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Songlines Advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised. ISSN 1464-8113. Printed by: Pensord Press Ltd, Blackwood, NP12 2A Record trade distribution WWMD Ltd 0121 788 3112 Newstrade distribution COMAG 01895 433600

Jordan Narloch Jordan is a student at the College of St Benedict/Saint John’s Universi in Minnesota. He’s been studying in London, exploring his interest in music journalism while helping out at Songlines.

Robert Rigney Robert is an American writer from Berlin who writes about East Europe, the Balkans and Turkey. In addition to Berlin, he has lived in Prague and Istanbul where he interviewed Baba Zula, see p38.

Roberto Battista A musician by passion and video producer by trade, Roberto worked at BBC Radio 3 for a few years producing multimedia content. He now lives in Italy where he reports on the effects of the earthquakes on p81.

Songlines was launched in 1999 and is the definitive magazine for world music – music that has its roots in all parts of the globe, from Mali to Mexico, India to Iraq. Whether this music is defined as traditional, contemporary, folk or fusion, Songlines is the only magazine to truly represent and embrace it. However, Songlines is not just about music, but about how the music fits into the landscape; it’s about politics, history and identi . Delivered in both print and digital formats, Songlines, through its extensive articles and reviews, is your essential and independent guide to a world of music and culture, whether you are starting on your journey of discovery or are already a seasoned fan.

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