Flashback: Continent Hopping and Time TravelingBy Johanna Zenn | 12/11/17 6:00pm
Are you into music from other countries? Do you consider yourself a connoisseur of hits that make you feel like you “were born in the wrong decade”? Well, do I have the app for you! Radiooooo (yes, with that many o’s), is an app that allows you to pick a country off of a map, a certain decade, and categories of “fast”, “slow”, or “weird” and gives you a mix of songs following that criteria. Then, sit back, relax, and listen to Egyptian pop songs from the 1980s, which is exactly what I’m doing right now.
This app is a perfect way to find music that probably normally wouldn’t be on your radar. While exploring Radiooooo, I’ve found eclectic Polish disco from the 1970s, synthy Japanese 80’s pop, early 1920's jazz music from the United States, and tons of other awesome types of music. While you can’t get music from every single decade on every single place on the map, there are so many cool choices that will open you up to the world and experience music in an entirely different way. Radiooooo also has playlists called “Islands,” where you can listen to songs from places like 8Bit Island, Guilty Pleasure Island, and other magical places. If you’re in a bit of a rut where your Spotify Discover Weekly just isn’t cutting it, I highly highly highly recommend this app. You’ll definitely find some tunes that’ll up your indie cred.
Radiooooo also serves an important purpose in teaching music history. History in general is usually Western-centric, whitewashed, and heteronormative, and popular notions about music history are often no different. Those of us who grew up in the U.S. also only really have an understanding of U.S. pop-culture. We’re all aware of Elvis’s influence on rock n’ roll or the British Invasion in the 1960s, but many of us are much less aware of the pop music coming out of Sudan in the 1970s (which is really, really good by the way). Not only does it erase talented individuals from every time period, but it paints one picture of what “popular” music from a certain era is. It’s important to have a broader perspective because creative, talented musicians are everywhere in the world and have always existed.