Favourite 5

Digital Monx’s Favourite 5 Protest Songs

Digital Monx are Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan, Israeli natives who worked in New York to bring Balkan Beat Box to the world – their mission is one of variety, with an album to be announced full of collaborations taking in New Orleans, Jamaican dancehall, Afro-Latin and Middle Eastern vibes.

Here’s their debut single, Tinananay, featuring Ethiopian rapper Eden Derso.

Stirred by ongoing events, the duo decided to share five protest songs which are close to their hearts.

Tinananay, featuring Eden Derso, is available to stream and buy here.

Bob Marley – War

One of the biggest protest songs of all time by the biggest voice for many generations. I don’t remember a time in my adult life when the music of Marley was not in the background. It’s so much truth, condensed, but in a magic and effortless way.

This song can relate to personal crisis as well as that of society.

Nina Simone -Mississippi Goddam

Nina Simone is the first real human rights activist singer that went hard core all the way fighting for African American rights in the 1960s.

She was really able to translate the hard worn feeling of oppression, racial and women’s. I got to see her twice perform in my life and as a jazz rooted musician I realised she really broke the musical boundaries as well, and she could take any song from any genre and make it hers.

That was an important lesson about life and music.

Balkan Beat Box – Political Fuck

A song about the Arab spring from a decade ago and it was featured on Al Jazeera at the time of the protests.

When Balkan Beat Box is asked about politics, as we often are, I send the journalist to many of our songs, like Political Fuck and Ramallah Tel Aviv to understand our message via the music and lyrics.

We don’t associate or agree with the action of our government – or any government in fact.

M.I.A. – Paper Planes

MIA‘s (Maya) music always carries the voice of protest, that of the rights of the Tamil people despite the repression by the Sri Lankan government.

Her contraband art and visuals resonated really strongly all over the world . I think her music, when it first came out, was the freshest thing by far above all else.

Since Missy Elliot, nothing else was that rebellious and fresh. Her videos and whole look is super tight and creative. Each detail is fully M.I.A . She is definitely a fully rounded visionary artist.

Son de Madera – El Emancer

The rural “son” tradition of Mexico always felt like the most super ancient authentic protest music, and some of the strongest female group vocal expression. It speaks truth and authenticity whether you understand the lyrics or not.

Not too many revival bands can get to this level and touch us this way. We were given their CD by our Mexican promoter many years ago and it never left my heart since.