Songlines, an influential UK-based world music magazine, chose the Freemuse CD ‘Listen to the banned’ as Top of the World in their August 2010 issue.
“You need to hear this record – as much for the quality of the music as for what it represents,” recommended the reviewer for the British music magazine. In each issue of Songlines, selecting from hundreds of new releases, the editor chooses 10 favourite albums, and a track from each album appears on the magazine’s CD covermount. For the August 2010 issue of Songlines, the editor chose ‘Listen to the banned’ as Top of the World.
‘Listen to the banned’ features artists who have suffered censorship and persecution including great international artists such as Marcel Khalife and Tiken Jah Fakoly, and the imprisoned singer Lapiro de Mbanga from Cameroon.
The CD was published by Norway’s most successful music label, Grappa Records, on 3 March 2010, and then in the United Kingdom on 8 August 2010 with The New Powerhouse as distributor.
In USA, the CD is distributed by Valley Entertainment, a company that previously released CDs by Freemuse Award winner Mahsa Vahdat. ‘Listen to the banned’ was released in the US on 25 August 2010.
Very positive reviews
Since its release ‘Listen to the banned’ has also been listed as ‘CD of the week’ in the popular British newspaper London Evening Standard as well as on the online magazine mixedworldmusic.com in Holland.
The CD launches have been followed up by the use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
“Lapiro did what artists must do in our societies, where people cannot speak freely. He fights for democracy and they should release him,” Tiken Jah Fakoly said. He added that he found ‘Listen to the banned’ an excellent idea:
“Normally people get trophies for selling most records, but this CD highlights artists, who fight for justice and that’s a good idea,” said the Freemuse Award 2008 winner.
Listen to the music of the album
Purchase the album
Freemuse & Deeyah Present: Listen To The Banned – video on YouTube
Several of the artists featured on the CD have collaborated with Freemuse for many years, and their stories are told on freemuse.org. They include Marcel Khalife, who spent time in a court room in Beirut charged with blasphemy, Chiwoniso, who was harassed by police in Zimbabwe and Mahsa Vahdat, the Iranian singer, who has performed at Music Freedom Day and at Freemuse related festivals several times.
‘Listen to the banned’ includes a booklet portraying some of the world’s most renowned artists facing censorship. Their stories are often painful, but they are also the stories of remarkable artists, who will not give in. Artists who believe they can make a difference.
Here On Earth – Jean’s Pick of the Week – video on YouTube
USA online sale
Norway online sale
Reviews and interviews
Mid-Day [in India] – 6 March 2011:
The Independent – 12 December 2010:
The Guardian – 5 December 2010:
Here on Earth, Radio Without Borders – 10 november 2010:
B4U TV – 8 November 2010:
Global Voices – 28 September 2010:
Songlines Magazine – 1 August 2010:
London Evening Standard – 6 August 2010:
Mixedworldmusic.com – 12 August 2010:
Bergens Tidende (in Norway) – 31 March 2010:
World Music Central – 29 January 2010:
1. World Music Charts Europe:
2. Spin the Globe:
Social and online media
‘Listen to the banned’ is distributed by different companies in Europe and the US.
The CD is published by the Norwegian music publisher Grappa: