Numerous artists from around the world draw much inspiration from American R&B, hip-hop, and soul.
Numerous artists from around the world draw much inspiration from American R&B, hip-hop, and soul. Unfortunately, the bulk of this music rarely finds its way back to the U.S. (The Les Nubians and MC Solaars of the world are few and far between.) Of course, this is where a label like Putumayo steps in. For its latest compilation, the globe-trotting imprint has scoped the continents in search of artists who have been influenced by such acts as Destiny's Child, India.Arie, Musiq, the Roots, and Stevie Wonder. The set opens with "J'attendrai" (I Will Wait) by French trio Melgroove; fans of TLC's "Unpretty" and "Waterfalls" will certainly embrace this song's sweet melodies. Fernanda Abreu, who hails from Rio de Janiero, Brazil, offers "Eu Quero Sol" (I Want Sun), which is equal parts Soul II Soul and Me'Shell Ndegeocello—albeit with an Ipanema twist. "Senza Trucco" (No Trick) by Italian trio Traccia Mista is styled in funky rhythms à la the Meters. The refreshing Global Soul also spotlights artists from South Korea and South Africa, among other locations.—MP