Because music is such a universal language, and draws its influences from around the globe, the World genre plays a significant role in its progress, and cannot be ignored. Orignially coined in the 1980's by the British, the term "World Music" refers to a "musical genre incorporating diverse styles from Africa, eastern Europe, Asia, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and nonmainstream Western folk sources." Initially, World music stood out because of its sharp contrast with the prevalent synth pop movement in North America and throughout Europe. Most of this music originated in Africa, and consequently, many African stars were born. This newly crowned World music royalty included the Nigerians King Sunny Ade and Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the Senegalese Youssou N'Dour. However, as the genre expanded, notable legends-to-be like Francis Bebey emerged. As World music's influence continues to grow, opportunities are arising from all corners of the world, and international talent that would have otherwise remained obsolete to most North American listeners is given a spotlight.
2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest (World) winners Jaffa Road are a perfect example of the interesting and diverse nature of World music, and the experimentation that it allows. Because the genre's boundaries are loosely defined, World musicians are given liscense to try out a myriad of different styles and sounds. The result is an amalgamation of many different cultures' coveted musical identities into a cohesive and intruiging type of music. Because of this freedom, Jaffa Road is able to blend an abundance of styles such as jazz, Indian and Arabic, electronica, dub, and traditional Jewish folk music with poetry from Hebrew, Spanish, and English cultures read over it. Another John Lennon Songwriting Contest (2007, World) contest winner, Joshua Lebofsky, focuses on jazz infused with World-beat percussion and various vocal styles, as well as improvisation from peer World musicians. Joshua's album "Play a Little Prayer" is available on Itunes, Amazon, and Cdbaby.com.
With all of the possibilites that World music has to offer, now is the perfect time to experiment. The John Lennon Songwriting Contest accepts World music entries and looks forward to hearing your songs. Session II, 2010 is currently open.