Podcast: Listen to the Label Vol.8 – Ostinato Records (January 2020)

In our new podcast series, we’ve chosen to focus on who provide us with the precious “raw material” for our listenings and features: quality new music!

We are talking about those heroes who decided to launch, nurture and cultivate a record label (better if with an ‘independent’ in front of it). As the title suggests, Listen to the Label is our way to pay them a well-deserved tribute, disclosing and recognizing their invaluable work and letting them introduce it with words and tunes.

It’s the first episode of 2020 and we have dedicated it to a label with a mission. New York-based, but world-embracing Ostinato Records has steadily grown since its inception happened in 2016 with the publication of  Tanbou Toujou Lou. In less than four years, it has become a well-know name in the scene and even earned a Grammy  nomination for the Somali-scented collection Sweet as Broken Dates.

Still, the label has never lost its noble vision; to unearth, preserve, defend and disseminate the music repertoire of troubled countries torn by wars, mass migrations, displacements and natural disasters.

Ostinato Records’ founder, Vik Sohonie, is indeed not your usual “crate digger”. His background in journalism has shaped his perspective over music and through his label’s compilations, next to sounds and notes, he’s also interested in discovering and passing on the stories he heard and experienced in those countries.

In the eighth instalment of Listen to the Label, Sophie converses with Vik about the interesting and unique way that Ostinato Records curates its releases, treating each album as a piece of news with its own story to tell, and the “power and privilege” dichotomy that comes alongside this. 



Sharero Band feat. Faadumo Qaasim – Qays iYo Layla (Romeo and Juliet) [from Sweet as Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa; Ostinato Records – 2017]

Zotobre – Lagen [from Tanbou Toujou Lou: Meringue, Kompa Kreyol, Vodou Jazz, & Electric Folklore from Haiti; Ostinato Records – 2016]
Ibrahim El Kashif – Elhabeeb Wain? (Where is My Sweetheart​?​) [from Two Niles to Sing a Melody: The Violins & Synths of Sudan; Ostinato Records – 2018]
Grupo Pilon – Longi Di Bo [from Leite Quente Funaná de Cabo Verde; Ostinato Records – 2019]
Tchota Suari e Chando Graciosa – Nha Boi [from Pour Me A Grog: The Funaná Revolt in 1990s Cabo Verde; Ostinato Records – 2019]