This week, Afropop Worldwide brings you a special treat. To go along with our episode, “Getting Down in the Guyanas,” we have a mixtape of some of our favorite music from Suriname and French Guiana.
From the first time I turned on the radio in Paramaribo, Suriname, I was blown away by the music I heard. It’s related to all sorts of African-rooted music on both sides of the Atlantic, but it has its own particular swing that makes it totally unique. There’s bits of soca and dancehall, bits of merengue and bolero, snippets of Dutch bubbling and American r&b, African kuduro, French Caribbean zouk and compas. But it all mixes up in a way that is hard to pick out the individual parts, and is insanely good.
Part of that is because the Guyanas, up in the corner of South America, are everywhere and nowhere all at once. It’s not quite Latin America, and not quite the Caribbean, but right between both those regions. At the same time, the people of the Guyanas come from all corners of the world, speak countless languages, and worship all sorts of religions. And they live inside or right on the edges of one of the world’s most pristine wildernesses, the vast forests of the Amazon.
On this mixtape, you’ll hear Hindustani trance music from Suriname, French Creole zouk (sung in Dutch creole), and dance-band music from the jungle interior. The playlist title comes from the Maroni River–the river that divides Suriname and French Guiana, the place where all these sounds meet, and the lifeline of the Bushi-Negue people. Enjoy!
Lieve Hugo – “Langra Bere”
Dropati – “Gowri Pooja, Gowri Pooja”
Kees & the Troubadours – “Mi Na Kunta Kinte”
Ajatray – “Mi Dren Ju”
Kenny B – “Wang San E Dangr A Deng”
Rico – “Otiamba”
Zware Guys – “Mo Faja”
Gambusi – “Sukru Sani”
Unknown Artist – “Kawina”
DJ Chuckie – “Chipi Naka Pokoe”
Florieda – “Ie Kan Sjie Deng”
Naks Kaseko Loko – “Gron Winti”
New Combinatie – “Big Up”
Prince Koloni – “Luku A Meisje”
Produced by Marlon Bishop and mixed by Geko Jones