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the Balkans 🇽🇰
Happy weekend, all!
Today, our friendfrom will be sharing this week's song. We've been following Chris for a while, as he makes interesting posts about the intersection between music and data. We highly recommend checking out his work.
On to Chris:
I work for a music streaming service called Audiomack. One of the cool things about working for a music streaming service, especially one with tens of millions of users around the globe, is that you get exposed to vibrant music scenes that would otherwise elude you.
Recently, we noticed an influx of artist and listener activity in Albania and Kosovo, so I felt compelled to dive into the music of the country. Given the prevalence of hip-hop in the Balkans, it’s clear that the West has influenced the popular music of the region. That said, what’s so intoxicating about what I heard during my deep dive is the local twist artists are putting on historically Western genres. And no artist’s local twist is more interesting right now than Elai’s.
Born in Kosovo 1999, Elai has made a name for himself as both an artist and producer over the last few years. His music is at its best when he is smashing together unexpected styles. On “Joti”, for example, he both raps and sings over a production that unites acoustic guitars with hip-hop rhythms. It’s a sound that somehow feels both familiar and unexpected.
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