Believe Global Sound System : the best of local sounds to dance to this summer !

Kimson Doan / Unsplash
Photo cover by: Kimson Doan / Unsplash
Published Jul 29, 2022
10 min read

Summer is in full swing in the northern hemisphere and some of you may already be enjoying a well-deserved vacation or are returning from one. Whether you've gone to the beach or stayed in the office, we would like to take you on a musical journey to discover the sounds of the moment on (almost) every continent. 

In order to bring you this international playlist of local gems, we asked several of our local experts to share with you the hits of the summer - or rather the hits of the winter for some of our colleagues. No need to pack your bags and hop on a plane, just turn up the volume and enjoy this trip to Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Thailand, Turkey, Romania and South Africa. Boarding now!

Thailand, with Papatpon Panitying

Brace yourselves, because Thailand could soon be making a big splash on the international music scene. Backed by a surge in streaming in recent years, the local market is booming, and "T-Pop" has reached the maturity to go global thanks to talented creators like Bowkylion, one of Thailand's hottest female singers of the moment. Her latest solo single ทราบแล้วเปลี่ยน (Attention Please), an R'n'B sounding hit, has reached 12 million views on YouTube. And of course it is one of the tracks selected by Papatpon Panitying, Senior Video Channel Manager Believe SEA based in Bangkok.

In Papatpon's playlist, we also find Killer, a recent track with a very 80's sound, between new-wave and soft rock, by the duo Hybs, whose video is inspired by horror movies of the same period. In a more indie-folk and neo-soul genre, Healing House by Phum Viphurit is the ideal track to laze on a deckchair by the pool. Like his previous tracks sung in English, Healing House has a strong international potential and Phum is actually on a European tour this summer. Finally, if you're more of a sporty type, Papatpon offers you a session of Sad Aerobic, an ultra-energetic track by Milli, a 20 years old singer and rapper who was recently seen on the stage of the Coachella festival.

South Africa, with Jade Leaf

When you talk about South Africa, you inevitably think of amapiano! Born about ten years ago in the townships of the big cities, this musical genre - which mixes deep-house, hip-hop and jazz - has taken center stage as the dominant genre in South Africa, crossing borders to become popular beyond the continent. So it's not surprising that the selection Jade Leaf, Regional LAS Director Believe Africa, has made for us is entirely devoted to this extremely popular genre.

Released almost a year ago, Selema (Po Po) by Musa Keys and Loui was one of the hits of the last South African summer thanks to its catchy melody, its irresistible rhythm and a buzz revived by an extremely good video. Winter in South Africa should also be filled with hits, such as Suk Suk, a single from the first album of the rookie Snow Deep, who nonetheless managed to feature Focalistic, a veteran of hip-hop and a pioneer of amapiano, on the track. Female artists are of course very active in the amapiano movement. There are newcomers like the Namibian singer Shanna, who is starting to make a name for herself thanks to It’s okay, a track with afrohouse influences in duet with Yumbs. But more established musicians are also joining the movement, like singer and songwriter Zonke Dikana. Known for her neo-soul tracks, she has just released Oko, her first amapiano single.

Turkey, with Deniz Tursucular

If you are not familiar with Turkish pop, prepare to be amazed. Just like Turkey, the meeting point of Europe and the Middle East, modern Turkish music has managed to merge Western styles, Eastern influences and the vast Turkish musical heritage. It is therefore difficult to synthesize the richness of Turkish pop in just 4 tracks, but Deniz Turscular, Label Manager at Believe Turkey, has brilliantly rose up to the challenge. Her first choice is perhaps one of the best examples possible since it is the new single Lolipop by pop superstar Gülşen. Released in Spring, it is a huge hit in Turkey thanks to a rather bold video and a melody that stays in your head.

Another very danceable choice from Deniz is Arıyorum, a hit song from singer Ediz, which combines R&B, arabesque and afrobeat sounds with Turkish pop melodies from the 90s. Hande Yemer is another adept at successful blends. While she started out in a very pop style in the 2000s, she then turned to electronic music, before brilliantly mixing the two genres as you can hear on her latest single Aklımda. Alternative pop is also favored by the Turkish audience, as proven by the success of the duo KÖFN with their track Bi' Tek Ben Anlarım: 35 million streams on Spotify and 28 million views for the video, so no doubt you will be convinced too.

Italy, with Francesca Gerardi

Even though we already made a stop in Italy a few months ago to discover the artists to watch in 2022, it's always a good idea to check out what's going on in the thriving Italian music scene. Francesca Gerardi, Digital Marketing Manager Artist Services at Believe Italia, is our local guide, and she's also the first one to have chosen a pop-punk track as her summer hit! As Theø, Fiks and Plant, from the collective La Sad, clearly states, not everyone feels happy during this period and that's the subject of their recent single SummerSad 3, a bittersweet song that might just take some of you back to your teenage years.

More radiant, Siamo al caffè from the brand new - and excellent - album Pelle by the young Bolognese singer/songwriter Beatrice Dellacasa is the perfect indie-pop sweetness for the summer months. If you're looking for something more electronic and club-oriented, but with a still positive tone, Francesca offers you Fidati di Me, a track featuring the singer/rappers Olly, JVLI and Mida, which we already presented to you. Finally, even if we remain in Italy, it is in flamenco and Spanish language that Arisa, a pop singer who has been very active since the end of the 2000s, drew her inspiration for her last single, the very beautiful Tu mi perdición.

Romania, with Dimitrisz Topuzidisz

With influences from Western Europe, Central Europe and the Balkans, Romanian pop music may seem quite unusual to the unsuspecting ear. Folk music rubs shoulders with house music as well as hip-hop, and mixes with rock and electro. The first track selected by our local contact Dimitrisz Topuzidisz, Label Manager LAS at Believe CEE, perfectly illustrates this happy mix of genres. The latest single from the very popular singer Delia, OTZL GLTZ successfully combines rock aesthetics and heavy riffs, Romanian vocals and traditional melodies from the Greek harmonic heritage.

Can it be more diverse than that? Of course it is! The biggest hit of the summer in Romania is a collaboration between young rapper YNY Sebi and Bogdan DLP, a rising star of manele (a musical genre as popular as it is controversial coming from the Roma community): Tarabanele is an incredible banger, mixing trap, oriental and Balkan music. Another duet track is at the top of the Romanian charts this summer: Smiley, the biggest Romanian pop phenomenon, has teamed up with young rapper JUNO for Scumpa foc, a pop anthem with a light reggae vibe that is perfectly suited for summer. And for the clubbers, the young singer Irina Rimes has come up with Ba ba ba (Inima mea bate), a track with a strong deep-house touch to make you dance all summer long, and prove to us that eurodance could finally make a comeback!

Colombia, with Laura Mendoza

If you travel to Colombia right now, wherever you go, you will inevitably end up listening to pop urbano. This mix of pop and reggaeton has become one of the main music genres of the country and of Spanish-speaking America, and it is played absolutely everywhere. This is only natural since Colombia has been the driving force behind pop urbano for more than 10 years. For our local guide Laura Mendoza, Head of Distribution Believe Americas, Ryan Castro is without doubt one of the most promising artists of the genre. Although released a year ago, his hit song Jordan continues to break records - the official video has 293 million views - and is still in the top 50 of the local charts.

If Medellin remains the pop urbano powerhouse, new talents are emerging throughout the country. Kevin Roldan, for example, is gaining notoriety thanks to ultra-effective tracks like +18 (with the duo Seppe & Gama). This young artist from Cali is also the head of his own label, King Records. Female artists are also making a place for themselves, like Itzza Primera, a young Venezuelan artist living in Colombia. She composes and writes her own songs, such as the melancholic urbano ballad Margarita released last April. But Colombia is home to many other musical genres, and fusion of genres is commonplace. And it is often successful as Martina La Peligrosa proves it with her last single Demasiao which mixes bolero, flamenco, pop, electronic music, champeta for an incredibly danceable outcome.

Brazil, with Crystal Galperin

For the last stop, Brazil! We had already made a detour to the region at the very beginning of the year, but the Brazilian scene was well worth a new visit because it is full of incredible treasures. And if winter has settled over the country, Crystal Galperin, Editorial & Marketing Partnerships Leader Believe Brazil, shares with us the discoveries of last summer like the magnificent Segue o Baile of the young singer THAMI, a way too underrated hit blending R'n'B and pop with a very Brazilian sense of rhythm.

But one of the indisputable hits of the Brazilian summer was undoubtedly the very funky ACORDA PEDRINHO by Jovem Dioniso, one of the hottest bands in the Musica Popular Brasileira scene. This song, to which you can't help but dance, reached the 1st place in the Spotify Brazil chart, and the 46th place in the Global Top. Felipe Amorim's No Ouvidinho also reached the first place in Spotify's Brazil Top 50 (and 88th place in the Global Top). It must be said that this forró song - a typical genre of the North-East region with a strong emphasis on accordion - is particularly catchy, and the fact that it covers Bon Jovi's Misunderstood has something to do with it. To conclude in a more pop-rock spirit, Crystal proposes you to discover Vc é Msm Tão Melhor Que Eu? by the young singer Ananda. As in her previous songs, Ananda speaks wonderfully about relationships and frustrated romances, with a soft voice contrasting perfectly with the electric guitar that gives all its strength to a song that we quickly catch ourselves humming.