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Behind the Music

Behind the Music

Performers of the world class bands performing in the SOAS Concert Series talk to Behind the Music, play their favourite tracks, share thoughts on their musical inspiration and tell whatever other good stories that might bring their music closer to you.

Each concert made available in a radio podcast in SOAS Concert Series On The Stage - great if you missed the date, or if you just want to listen again.

Shows are available here on the SOAS Radio website or the SOAS Radio Soundcloud page (

Will Roper speaks to Afrobeat Ambassador, Dele Sosimi, about the ingredients mixed and marinated that helped cook up his new album 'You No Fit Touch Am' - out now on Wah Wah 45s. Dele tells us a little about what he's learnt over his years of performing, starting with his time in Fela Kuti's legendary band, and picks some songs that get him in the groove.


Will talks to musician and ethnomusicologist, Alsarah, about her involvement in 'Beats of the Antonov': Hajooj Kuka's remarkable documentary that looks at the lives, musics and recent conflicts of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains of Sudan.

In Behind The Music this week, we hear from Michael and Joe from London Sacred Harp. We learn all about this unique style of community singing that spans way back in history to the 1800s.

In Behind The Music this week, we meet Olcay Bayir, a Kurdish-Turkish singer who brings the regions of Anatolia & Mesopotamia to life through music. We learn all about her varied influences and hear some beautiful tracks form her debut album 'Neva/Harmony'.

Behind The Music Special featuring music from the new album by Kasse Mady Diabate launched at SOAS on Monday 24th November.

Oxford Maqam members, Ethnomusicologist and Qanoun player Martin Stokes and vocalist Yara Salahiddeen give us a taste of the music they will perform in the SOAS Concert series. They will talk to Karen Boswall about the passions and inspirations behind the music of Oxford Maqam and in particular, improvisation in Arabic music of the 18th-19th Century.

This week we invited Guillermo Rozenthuler along to the studio to give us some context about the concert he will be leading on the the 10th November in SOAS’s Brunei Gallery.

In it we learn something of the music from Uruguay, Latin-America’s ‘unknown gem’, and how the Afro-carnival tradition and rhythm of Candombé spread from Montevideo to influence the music of the Rioplatenses. We hear from Guillermo’s own band as well as some of the leading figures of folkloric, funk, jazz, tango, beat and pop that incorporated the Candombé into their music.

In the latest show of Behind the Music, we talk to Cassandre Balbar and Charu Hariharan from Världens Band to find out more about the band and their music.

In the first show of the new series, we talk to Stefan of the Sayat Nova Project to find out more about Music from the Caucasus. In an area often thought as a border between Europe and Asia, we learn a little about the region's rich linguistic and cultural heritage. We learn about the Ashiq bards that travel through the diverse region, and how Monday's performer, Ashiq Nargile fits into that tradition.