Home / CalabashMusic.com – “Our most popular artist? Habib Koité”

CalabashMusic.com – “Our most popular artist? Habib Koité”

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This site is the iTunes of world music.

In their World Music Shop, you can sample music by their artists from around the world, then buy a song for 99 cents – just like iTunes – and download it to your music library.

Like iTunes, the site doesn’t deal with major labels and its policy is to pay artists half the income from each download, which it says is substantially more than the normal royalty of 12% or less.

Brad Powell, the CEO, says, “For an artist from Mali or Salvador, Brazil, if you get $500 a month, it’s a huge boon to your family economy.”

The site went live earlier this year and now has thousands of songs for sale.

Featured musicians vary from Thomas Mapfumo, a political agitator from Zimbabwe who now lives in Oregon, to Chango Spasiuk, an Argentine accordion virtuoso.

The most popular artist on the site? Habib Koité.

“He’s one of the finest guitarists in Mali, and that’s saying a lot,” said Powell.

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