Kalush Orchestra brings Ukrainian folk music to the world stage


Kalush Orchestra has a unique sound that blends rap with traditional Ukrainian folk music. In 2022, the band, representing Ukraine, won Eurovision. The victory was a huge boost for a country at war and propelled the band to massive success. From Kyiv, The World’s Daniel Ofman speaks with the group’s flute player about how he went from folk music aficionado to arena rockstar.

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi has been sentenced to death in Iran.

Iranian rapper receives death sentence for his work and support of human rights 

Pilani Bubu found her music community after she moved from South Africa to New Orleans. She understood that the people she met wanted to learn more about her culture back home. That’s when she started to incorporate South African music into her repertoire

South Africa’s Pilani Bubu has ‘jumped off the shoulder of giants’ to create music filled with tradition

Cover art for albums of multiple artists included on The World's 2021 music playlist. Clockwise, starting from the top left image: 'Suba' by Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita; 'El Alimento' by Cimafunk; 'Deja' by Bomba Estereo; 'Seeking New Gods' by Gruff Rhys;

Dance with The World, 2021 edition: A playlist

Swedish musician José González is known for stretching musical boundaries over his 18-year career. 

José González’s ‘Local Valley’ mixes sounds from West Africa, from the Sahel to Ghanaian highlife

Nigerian Femi Kuti sings into a microphone

Femi Kuti and Made Kuti continue Afrobeat legacy in two-part album


The roots of Afrobeat — not to be confused with the more pop-oriented Afrobeats, which has exploded in popularity in recent years — is socially conscious music, according to Made Kuti, Fela Kuti’s grandson.

Omar Naré singing and playing guitar

Nuevo mariachi is telling the story of one man’s California experience


For Omar Naré, nuevo mariachi is about telling the story of his Californian experience. But doing that means breaking the rules. Which raises the question: Is what Omar is doing still mariachi?

Thomas Mapfumo's music was banned by the country's state-owned media.

Exiled Zimbabwean musician wonders if it’s safe to go home


Musician Thomas Mapfumo made no secret of his disdain for Zimbabwe’s deposed leader.

19-year-old Amir Darabi at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

An Iranian piano prodigy. A big dream. And an arduous visa process.


Amir Darabi was a child prodigy. He started playing the piano when he was 3 years old. Later, he felt there wasn’t enough competition in Iran. But for an Iranian, getting to the US is a Herculean task.

Zucchero with Miles Davis

What Miles Davis told Zucchero


Italy’s Zucchero has been singing in a mix of Italian and English for years. But early in his career, Miles Davis told him to stick to Italian.