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Music Cannot Be Contained

I am constantly inspired by artists who cross the barriers of genre and blend their influences to create something revolutionary.

We've recently been reading and watching so many great examples of just that. 
Beyoncé and Jay-Z dropped the video for The Carters' "APES**T" over the weekend and the video "is a feast of juxtapositions." Soundfly Mentor Noah Cebuliak took a deep dive into the world of "Afrobeats" (related to, but distinct from Fela Kuti's "Afrobeat"), where West African artists are taking North American pop forms and production tools, and interweaving African polyrhythms and aesthetics to build something new. Similarly, when we in the West traded our guitars for synths, the Tuareg people picked them up and are now making some of the world's best guitar music. The violin — the archetype of the European classical tradition — has found a home in South African jive, Arabic taqsim, and Fanø fiddle. Hip-hop is being embraced in the Arab world. The list of examples is endless. And while the results of such experiments aren't always successful, blending unexpected sources of inspiration will undoubtedly help you break out of a rut.

This week, I'm reminded of a creative challenge we issued a while back — to write a piece in a style or genre you haven't written in before. Take a look at that challenge, and reply to this email with your submission for a giant discount on our mentored courses!
Zoë Young, Director of Community Projects
11 Naija Pop Tracks That Capture the New Sound of West Africa
The sound of Nigerian and Ghanian streets is crossing borders. With its deep melodic grooves, African rhythms, and infectious swagger, "Naija" music is exactly the type of multicultural cocktail global listeners have been waiting for.
What Makes Afrobeat Songs So Irresistibly Compelling? 
What happens when fluid improvisation and tight composition tangle around a repetitive groove
The Best Guitar Music in the World Is Coming from Agadez, Niger
Iconic guitar music is coming out of the Tuareg community, including a remake of Purple Rain. Move over, Prince.
Learn How to Help Fans Discover Your Music 
30 Creative Songwriting Prompts, Courtesy of Eno's Oblique Strategies 
"Honor thy error as a hidden intention!"
How to Take Your Baby to a Concert
Happy belated Father's Day to all the new dads out there! Here are some pointers to help you get out of the house and celebrate.
Essential Tips for Virtual Orchestral Positioning and Mix Panning 
Some expert tips on how to make your virtual orchestra sound like a real symphony.
Quick Bites: What We Learned This Week
Ian: What made Led Zeppelin's John Bonham such a good drummer? Unlike most rock rhythm units where the drums and bass sync up, Bonham usually found ways to lock on with Jimmy Page's melodic lines on guitar — and when he wasn't doing that, he was syncopating around the bass line, not remaining glued to it

Andrea: "What Is Local? Perspectives on Music Making in a Hyper-Connected World" Okay, there's way too much here to try to summarize. It's an incredible thought piece on globalization, the internet, and place/placelessness in contemporary music making practice.

Jeremy: How do you tell a loved one they're coiling cables wrong? I'm not going to spoil this one for you — read the answer here.

Happy birthday to Paula Adbul (singer, choreographer), Nick Drake (guitarist, singer), Ann Wilson (lead singer of Heart), Al Wilson (soul singer), and Macklemore (rapper)!
STOP! Drop whatever you're doing right now, and LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM by recent Headliners Club member and indie hip-hop innovator, Lamont. With an incredibly deft hand at manipulating soul samples, and a well-tuned ear for mix production, this record has the HQ bouncing this week!

Lamont is currently working with Soundfly Mentor Keturah Brown who has an MA in music business, marketing, and branding from Berklee College of Music. Reply to this email if you'd like to work with her!
What Are You Working On?

We've added a bunch of new Mentors to our staff recently, which means more experience and more expertise to share with you and your project! Whether it's learning a new skill, finishing a new album, or publicizing an upcoming tour, tell us what you're working on, and we'll find the right expert to help you make the most of it before summer is through. 

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