Hello, my Mix Six friends!Â I was trolling the Internets the other day and was curious about popular songs in other parts of the world. So after a few hours looking at charts, artist websites, hunting down mp3s and the like, I’ve assembled what I think are a pretty good selection of pop songs from the big world. So, shall we get started?
“Tongolo,” D’Banj (Koko Master) (Download)
One of the most popular Nigerian artists, D’Banj’s music has great hooks and his presence on stage is very energetic — or so I have read. I like his sense of humor, too. Over at his website he has a great intro video that will give you a flavor of his personality.Â He is, after all, D’Koko master.
“Watch Out,” Alex Gaudino (Feat. Shena) (Download)
Currently the number one song in Mexico.Â Alex is a Italian DJ and Shena is a vocalist from the UK whose voice has been used in a number of dance songs.Â While I’m certainly not a guy who frequents discos (not because I don’t like to dance, but because I’m way too old for that scene), I thought this tune, while very good, wasn’t something I would peg to be a number one song.Â Then I saw the video and I now realize why it’s so popular.
“Kane Wo Narashite,” Bonnie Pink (Download)
Another big star … in Japan. Bonnie Pink is not her real name, but that doesn’t matter because her songs — like this one — are such pop gems. It’s currently a theme song for an XBox 360 game (see below) and the last time I checked, it was in the Top 30 in Japan.Â Bonnie (or Asada Kaori, if you must know her real name) has two versions of this song.Â The English language version is called “Ring a Bell,” but I really prefer this version.
“Zemren E Lame Peng,” Olta Boka (Download)
And you thought American Idol had been on TV for a long time: The Eurovision Song Contest is in its 53rd year, and it’s quite a big deal, as you can probably guess. Olta (who’s from Albania) was a runner-up this year, and out of all the songs on this 2-disc CD, this is one I found to be beautifully haunting.
“Kabhi Kabhi Aditi Zindagi,” Rashid Ali (Download)
This is a huge song in India right now, and being Indian (But not from India. Sorry. It’s complicated) I was raised on a steady diet of Bollywood classics that, at times, assaulted my eardrums.Â How many times could I hear Lata Mangeshkar or Asha Bhosle sing songs that, to my Americanized ears, sounded exactly the same? Years go by where I swear off these songs, and then I started hearing some variations that deviated from the standard Bollywood tunes.Â This song by Rashid Ali has great hooks as well, but it also has something that many Bollywood movies have:Â phrases in English.
” Estoy Aqui,” Shakira (Download)
Ah, Shakira … Like many people, I started listening to her when Laundry Service came out.Â I also saw her in concert in 2002, and she was absolutely great. I took my daughter to the concert (she was six at the time) because she thought Shakira was the best thing she had ever seen — well, except when she was infatuated with Jewel and Sarah McLachlan three years before that. I had low expectations going into the concert, ’cause c’mon — it’s Shakira.Â But I gotta say that was one of the best show I had seen that year.Â She could dance, sing, the band was tight, the stage show was great, and after that, it was clear I had completely misjudged her as a performer and singer.