FolkWorld #74 03/2021
© Transglobal World Music Chart

Damir Imamović

Enrich Yourself with Musical Diversity

Transglobal World Music Chart

The Best of Transglobal World Music Chart 2020

Various Artists "The Best of Transglobal World Music Chart 2020", ARC Music, 2021

Ft. Dona Onete | Tinariwen feat. Noura Mint Seymali & Stephen O’Malley | The Garifuna Collective | Aziza Brahim | Asmâa Hamzaoui & Bnat Timbouktou | Lakou Mizik feat. The Soul Rebels | Aynur | Tamikrest | Džambo Aguševi Orchestra | Cimarrón | Damir Imamović | Bab L’ Bluz

Transglobal World Music Chart celebrates its 5th anniversary… and announces the release of a “Best of the Season” compilation.

21st century. We live in a complicated world: conflicts, pandemics, poverty, racism and other kinds of discrimination... But these times are also an opportunity to be closer, to know each other better, to enrich ourselves with musical diversity. A diversity where we can also learn more about ourselves, since it reflects the common human aspirations in different musical languages.

On the other hand, technology gives us now the opportunity to communicate immediately with anyone, anywhere. We can know exactly what’s happening in any corner of the world. We can listen to the music that’s emerging halfway around the world at once.

Dona Onete

Artist Video Dona Onete @ FROG

So we had an idea: why not use these technological possibilities to make it easier for talented world music artists to reach any part of the world, bringing together a group of disseminators and specialists from the five continents to assess their works and offering artists and labels the opportunity to showcase their music for free, without intermediaries or restrictions, so that only the quality and interest of the music is taken into account?

As a result of that, Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC) was conceived in the Spring of 2015 by Juan Antonio Vázquez, Araceli Tzigane, both presenters of Mundofonías radio show (Spain) and Ángel Romero, editor of and (USA).

They explored what might be the best procedure for artists to propose their music, to make it available to the panelists, so that they can evaluate and vote on it and, as a result, produce the monthly and annual charts. It was also important to recruit the members of the panel among prestigious disseminators of these musics, counting on the inclusion of panelists from all continents and as many regions of the world as possible and seeking a significant (ideally equal) presence of women.

So the first chart was launched in October 2015. It was determined by about 30 panelists, included the three founders and administrators, and by 2020 it already included 59 panelists from all continents (except Antarctica!), including countries like China, Senegal, India, Iran, Malaysia, Armenia, Turkey, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Israel, Japan, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Ireland, UK, Russia, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Greece, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Portugal, Serbia, Australia, USA, Canada and more to come!

The panel is envisioned to obtain a real vision of the best world music productions in the entire Globe. Any good quality production, recorded in any country, including self-productions and small label releases can be included in the chart, regardless of geographical or monetary barriers, based on merit and talent rather than popularity, big productions or record sales. So we take advantage of the possibilities offered by the digital world to democratize access to our platform: anyone, from anywhere in the world can submit their album to the chart for free and this album will be immediately distributed to the panelists for evaluation without any intermediary when eligible. We also provide some tips and tutorials to make it as easy as possible.

One step beyond that has come up after these almost five years of work is the need to resolve the language barrier. Now we can take advantage of the development of machine translation that allows us to resolve this situation, not perfectly but reasonably. The world is not only in English and, as our aim is being as inclusive as possible, we don’t want language to be an obstacle for non-English speakers, so we now welcome submissions in any language.

TWMC does not accept any payment or preferential treatment towards any artist or label: one of our fundamental hallmarks is transparency and objectivity. Only in this way can we provide the world with the most accurate picture of what is happening in the world of music and in the music of the world.

Throughout these five years, we have been implementing new ideas and initiatives, such as the Festival Award, based on a well thought-out methodology of objective assessment of world music festivals, taking into account not only the musical quality but also profound diversity, opportunities for lesser known artists, communication, festivalgoer experience, logistic, environmental responsibility and social responsibility. We’ve also become partners of WOMEX in the determination of the WOMEX Label Award and the Top Labels of the Year together with the World Music Charts Europe.

And what better than to celebrate our fifth anniversary with the release of a compilation with the best of the season at the TWMC, in collaboration with ARC Music. This selection will offer an overview of the most voted albums during the last season. It is interesting to observe how many artists from all over the world often manifest a coincidence in the themes and messages of their songs, which come to talk about the problems of people all over the world (poverty, inequality, racism, sexism, environmental disasters, the threat to cultural diversity...). In this way, they turn their music into an instrument of change in favor of justice, equality, the defence of rights and the strength of their own cultures.

Photo Credits: (1), (12) Damir Imamović, (2) Transglobal World Music Chart, (3) "The Best of Transglobal World Music Chart 2020", (6) Noura Mint Seymali, (8) Aziza Brahim, (9) Aynur, (10) Asmâa Hamzaoui, (11) The Garifuna Collective, (13) Bab L’ Bluz, (14) Cimarrón, (15) Lakou Mizik, (16) Džambo Aguševi Orchestra (unknown/website); (4) Dona Onete (by The Mollis); (5) Tinariwen (7) Tamikrest, (by Walkin' Tom).

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