WASHINGTON (July 17, 2006)-National Geographic has announced the creation of a music initiative that offers consumers the soundtrack to the world, from traditional roots music to unexpected hybrids from the furthest reaches of the globe. National Geographic World Music (worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com) showcases international artists and musical performances in an interactive and immersive online environment. In supporting National Geographic's core aim of inspiring people to care about the planet, the National Geographic World Music site uses the language of music as a medium to tell the stories of the world.
From Morocco to Indonesia, New Zealand to Sweden, Cuba to United States and Senegal, National Geographic World Music offers a chance to discover music by different artists, regions and genres. The site also provides rich context for music through National Geographic's unique assets that include videos, maps, photos and features from its magazines, and other editorial platforms. Searches are enabled via artist, genre, country and region.
Featured artists at launch include:
Tinariwen: These Malian guitar-slingers are former Tuareg rebels who put down their guns, picked up guitars and changed the face of African rock 'n' roll.
Sidestepper: This Anglo-Colombian collaboration is a mash-up of 21st-century salsa, cumbia, vallenato and drum 'n' bass, direct from the developing world.
Seu Jorge: This Brazilian crooner made waves when he gave David Bowie classics a smooth, samba makeover.
"People come to National Geographic to read books and magazines, to watch films and television, to shop and to explore nationalgeographic.com, but they've never truly had a pure listening experience, until now," said David Beal, internationally known musician, composer and former executive at Palm Pictures, who has been working on the launch of National Geographic World Music for the past year. "By exposing these incredible artists to the National Geographic audience, they'll hopefully begin to find a larger audience and receive the recognition they deserve."
National Geographic World Music is programmed by recognized music experts under the supervision of Tom Pryor, former editor of Global Rhythm magazine. The Web site will feature the best artists, innovative music and emerging trends worldwide, allowing users a comprehensive experience. It will also feature guest DJs and their recommended play lists. With partner Calabash, National Geographic World Music makes thousands of tracks available for discovery as well as for purchase at 99 cents per MP3 download. Other strategic partners include LinkTV for video, and Afropop Worldwide and Global Rhythm for editorial and curatorial content.
"World music is a natural extension of nationalgeographic.com's rich multimedia experience that entertains, informs and engages consumers who are as passionate about the world's cultures and the environment as we are," said Betsy Scolnik, vice president, content development and operations, National Geographic Digital Media. "World music fans around the world will be able to listen and learn in one digital experience."