Multicultural Sounds: Ojos De Brujo And Niyaz Draw From Middle-Eastern, Indian, Latin Influences

Multicultural Sounds travels the world for contemporary reinventions of cultural staples. Spain’s Grammy-winning Ojos De Brujo tackle every genre under the sun in their remix album, and Montreal/Los Angeles by-way-of Iran’s Niyaz talk humanitarian ideas on their latest, Sumud.

 

Ojos De Brujo

Barcelona’s Ojos De Brujo (aka Eyes Of A Warlock/Sorceror in English), certainly know how to release a multicultural slaw of dub, electronica, tropical, ragga, everything, and more of everything. Antagonistic male rapping cuts into female vocals singing Spanish with a Middle Eastern warble and flair; dubstep takes over with stereotypical wobbles at times, only to fall into ragga beats; tropical rhythms and flamenco influences creep in until all things are indistinguishable and challenging. This is global dance music at some of its best, and it’s a pleasing surprise Ojos De Brujo are a Grammy-winning act.

At right, stream the equally Latin and Indian-influenced “Todo Tiende”, remixed by Los Chicos Altos, and watch the animated music video of the original. See full post for a megamix of their entire remix album (which is well worth it to dive into!)

Ojos De Brujo – “Todo Tiende” (Original)

 

Ojos De Brujo (cont’d)

 

Niyaz

Niyaz (نياز), meaning “yearning” in Persian and Urdu, is an Iranian musical trio now based in Montreal and Los Angeles. Middle Eastern roots proliferate here, not only in ecstasy on the instrumental front, but on the thematic front as well. The trio’s lyrical inspiration for their third album, Sumud, was affected by touring conflict-strewn areas in the Midle East.

Describes Ali, “We’ve performed in the Kurdish parts of Turkey during times of major conflicts, as well as other parts of the Middle East. Obviously that has affected this project. We wanted to focus on the ethnic and religious minority groups in these regions, because they have really struggled to maintain their identity. It started from us wanting to tell our story, and it has evolved into this humanitarian social message, embracing regions around Iran.’

More on this band to come, but first, enjoy the music video from their album single, “Parishaan”, directed by Johnny Ranger. The MP3 can be downloaded on their Bandcamp HERE.

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Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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