LargeUp Audio: Mariami Blends Reggae w/ The Folk Music Of Her Native Georgia On "Nanina"
In an era when micro-genres abound and yet everything sounds strangely the same, discovering a new corner of the musical universe to explore is a rare treat. NYC-based singer Mariami offers just that however, breathing new life into the folk music of her native Georgia (think Stalin, Tblisi, former Soviet Union not ATLiens, Stone Mountain or Confederate flags) with a mix of reggae and modern r&b. LargeUp put us up on the reggae-fusion part with this post of her version of the traditional Georgian melody “Nanina.” Get more backstory below, scroll down to stream and if you are a New Yorker, don’t miss Mariami’s show at S.O.B.’s tomorrow night.
Surely you’ve heard reggae mixed with all sorts of other sounds, but we’re betting you’ve never heard it blended with Georgian folk music. When Tblisi, Georgia-born (that’s Georgia as in the former Soviet republic, not the Southern U.S. state), New York-based R&B singer Mariami told us about her song “Nanina,” we didn’t know what to expect, not being versed in Georgian folk and all. Once we heard it, though, we instantly caught on to the vibes, even if we couldn’t possibly recognize the song’s roots (Besides for just being an inherently musical utterance, “Nanina” is actually a traditional Georgian lullaby.)
Stream the track, off Mariami’s newly-released Gates EP (which you can hear in full here) below, tell us what you think in the comments, and if you like what you hear (and happen to be a New Yorker, too) catch her at SOB’s on Jan. 21st.