From Russian Art Pop to Lüo Folk, here are 10 Albums Released by OneBeat Fellows in 2020

Found Sound Nation’s Nyokabi Kariuki revisits albums released by OneBeat alumni in 2020

1. Kate NV (Russia) — ‘Room For The Moon’

2. Guedra Guedra (Morocco) — ‘Son of Sun’

3. Grace Love (USA) — ‘Sing Into the Dark’

The accomplished singer-songwriter, restaurant owner and community organiser has been part of acclaimed music group Grace Love and the True Loves, but this year, she released another raw and soulful solo album, “Sing in the Dark”. A 2016 OneBeat Fellow, Grace Love has been described as “Seattle’s shining jewel of grit, beauty and power”.

4. Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno (Kenya) — ‘Tipona’

5. Sandunes (India) — ‘Spaven x Sandunes’

6. Sacramento Knoxx (Detroit, USA) — ‘The Winter Tried to Kill Me: Sad NDN Love Songs’

 2017 OneBeat Fellow Sacramento Knoxx released a 27-track album in May, on his birthday, that beautifully weaves together a wide array of sounds and influences. Currently, the interdisciplinary artist is the Education and Community Engagement Research Residency Artist at the University of Michigan, and his his first virtual performance as the residency artist takes place on December 21st, where he will be sharing original songs and traditional indigenous teachings.

7. Juliano Abramovay (Brazil) — ‘Amazonon’

8. LADAMA (Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, USA) — ‘Oye Mujer’

From their Tiny Desk concert last year to the release of “Oyer Mujer” this year, LADAMA — made up of Lara Klaus, Daniela Serana, Mafer Bandola, and Sara Lucas who all met at OneBeat 2014 and includes 2015 Fellow Pat Swoboda — continue to go from strength to strength. “LADAMA’s creative power is almost overwhelming,” said NPR’s Alt. Latino host Felix Contreras, who highlighted the second track on their album, ‘Nobreza’, on his NPR staff picks list as one of the Top 10 songs of 2020.

9. Piotr Kurek (Poland) — ‘A Sacrifice Shall Be Made / All The Wicked Scenes’

 Polish composer, producer and 2012 OneBeat alumnus Piotr Kurek released “A Sacrifice Shall Be Made / All The Wicked Scenes” in June, a compilation of works written for theater performances produced by Chinese and Polish directors. The album reflects the fluidity of Piotr’s musical skill. “Working in the theater is intense and inspiring”, he said in an interview with Polish Magazine Dwutygodnik, where he spoke more about the cross-cultural collaboration.

10. Aurora Nealand + Tom McDermott (USA) — ‘Live at Luthjen’s’

2013 OneBeat Fellow Aurora Nealand released an album with long-time collaborator and pianist Tom McDermott, a process which had initially included a weekly residency at New Orleans’ Buffa club that was cut short due to the pandemic. The intimate album features covers of Carole King, Tom Waits, Scott Joplin and more. As noted by Keith Spera, in addition to her being a skillful wind player, Aurora shines as a “nuanced vocalist with a knack for illuminating a lyric’s emotional core”.

More Albums to Explore:

Andrés Rigau (Puerto Rico) wrote Pica’o’ during quarantine, a 9-track album of soulful, intimate guitar-playing.

OneBeat Alumni Releases of 2020