The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

U.N.I.T.Y.: The Feminist Hip-Hop Mix

Hip-hop is a movement of resistance, so it’s no surprise that feminism has found its rightful place within the art form. But too often are conversations surrounding hip-hop dominated by men and focused on masculinity. People often hold the perception that hip-hop is inherently misogynistic, but contrary to popular belief, there are women in the game that are shaking up the status quo and embracing the idea that hip-hop is a space for powerful female artists.

The U.N.I.T.Y. Feminist Hip-hop Mix is taking inspiration from the notorious and unapologetic feminist Queen Latifah anthem and is asserting that women are multifaceted and powerful. These tracks are embracing femininity, body positivity, heritage, sexuality and self-love, and are reminding us that women are dynamic in all layers of their identities.

Check out these hip-hop anthems that challenge the idea that hip-hop can’t be inherently feminist and empowering:

1. Brujas || Princess Nokia

‘Bruja’ is Spanish for witch, and Princess Nokia is unapologetically letting you know that she’s proud of her Afro-Latina roots in brujería and the feminine power she derives from it.

2. Werkin’ Girls || Angel Haze

Angel Haze is proud of her work, and this rapid-fire track is a declaration to make sure no one stands in the way of her success. To anyone that’s fighting to do what you love, this song is for you.

3. Lose Control || Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott loves her “cute face, chubby waist,” and she wants the world to know. This song is the ultimate anthem for unabashed body positivity.

4. Shoop || Salt-N-Pepa

This classic Salt-N-Pepa track is the ultimate anthem for positive female sexuality. If you need a reminder that there’s nothing shameful about sexual pleasure, then put this song on blast.

5. Girl Gang || Leikeli47

This track is all about reclaiming “girl power” and is reminding folks that women keep persevering and coming out as champions at the end. Leikeli47 is giving the world a not-so-gentle reminder “that we run the atmosphere.”

6. Doo-Wop (That Thing) || Lauryn Hill

This song is the ultimate reminder that you are valuable, enough, and don’t deserve to be undercut by anyone. Just remember to respect yourself and take nothing less from others. As Lauryn Hill puts it: “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem. Baby girl, respect is just a minimum.”

7. U.N.I.T.Y. || Queen Latifah

This Queen Latifah track is the ultimate feminist hip-hop anthem, notoriously calling out street harassment, domestic violence, and being called a “bitch” or a “ho.” U.N.I.T.Y. is all about empowerment, solidarity and respect, because we know we’re not standing one second for misogyny.

8. Big Bad Mamma || Foxy Brown

This song is all about self-love and being your bad-ass self. Foxy Brown puts it best: “Love yourself, put no one above thee. Cause ain’t nobody gon’ f*** me like me.”

9. Reality Check || Noname

This low-key track from up-and-comer Noname is a reminder that you’re more powerful and grounded than you think you are, so don’t be afraid to seize opportunity.

[cue id=”63442″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

THIRD CULTURE MIX: The Migration Soundtrack

In this day and age being an immigrant is a controversial label to hold. With all the stigma and hate attached to this, I think people forget that immigrant solely means ” A person who comes to live in a foreign country”.

Most of what is portrayed on mainstream media is negative; we are being taught to fear and that fear so easily turns into hate. With all of this clouding our brains, we often forget that it isn’t easy to just move your entire life from one Country to another.  Music has a great history of educating, protesting and speaking out, this couldn’t be truer for this playlist.

Want to listen to some great music that speaks about something meaningful? I mean you’re welcome to go back to Drake if this doesn’t do anything for you. But for those of you that are sick and tired of all the hate, ignorance and fear – watch these incredible artists break down stereotypes and fight back against the prejudice.

1. The Hamilton Mixtape: Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) by K’naan FT Residente, Riz MC & Snow Tha Product

The Hamilton Mixtape; Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)

Fighting back against xenophobia and racism, this song tackles the issues that immigrants face through multiple perspectives and is incredibly eye-opening. I love the how this single features an ensemble of incredible artists who unapologetically bring their own story to this discussion.

2. Paper Planes by M.I.A

Paper Planes by M.I.A

This killer tune is the type to get stuck in your head for days, not that I’m complaining. Anything by M.I.A is incredible, she is a queen and forever advocating for the rights of immigrants as well as many other marginalized people.

3. No Refuge by Parisi Ft RZA

No Refuge by Parisi ft RZA

This gorgeous song discusses the injustice faced by refugees with its lyrical genius, to makes things even better all the proceeds of this single are donated to the UNHCR; the United Nations Refugee Agency.

4. American Oxygen by Rihanna

American Oxygen by Rihanna

Rihanna flawlessly outlines the American dream and the hustle that comes with it for so many immigrants in this stunning ballad. This song moves away from Rihanna’s more mainstream work and comments on some of the most important issues in society today.

5. Coming To America by K’naan

Coming To America by K'naan

K’naan rhythmically discusses his journey from Somalia to America and the impact it has had on the person he has become. This song is great to dance around in your room to, not that I do this regularly.

6. Immigrant by Chansa Ft Gord Richards

Immigrant by Chansa Ft Gord Richards

In this emotionally charged song; Chansa highlights the shared pain of leaving behind loved ones and the pressure of having to provide for those back home. The video to this song is both relatable and heartbreaking.

7. Papers Please by Talib Kweli

Papers Please by Talib Kweli

In 2010, a controversial Arizona Law on immigration inspired Talib to create this protest song in solidarity with undocumented immigrants and the injustice that they have to deal with.

8. Borders by M.I.A

Borders by M.I.A

M.I.A once again addresses this sensitive subject by calling out everything that is wrong with the system and making a stand with everyone who has had to endure immigration issues.

9. Follow Me by Moxie Raia Ft Wyclef Jean

Follow Me by Moxie Raia Ft Wyclef Jean

This song is slightly more slow-paced, the beautiful vocals combined with the lyrics really hits home some of the painful emotions that come with surviving war and leaving behind everything that you know.

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

CRUSHING IT: The Falling in Love Mix

Falling in love is… complicated. On one hand you’re feeling infatuated, exhilarated, and dizzy with the possibilities of new love. On the other hand, it can be lonely, frustrating, and confusing to know how the other person feels. This playlist will take you on a montage of emotions. Expect swaying in your room with clasped hands, and a whole lot of tears.

1. You Make My Dreams Come True || Hall and Oates


When was the first time you saw them? The way they looked, the things they said, the way they smiled at you just made your dreams come true.

2. Drunk in Love || Beyoncé and Jay Z


And then comes the lust. That’s right, you know what I’m talking about; heart racing, other things… throbbing. You get the idea. Thinking about your crush makes you feel drunk in love.

3. A Thousand Years || Christina Perri


And then you start wondering what your wedding will look like. Will you wear your mom’s old wedding dress? Can you ever have enough flowers to rival Edward and Bella’s Twilight wedding? You’re not together (yet) but imagining a thousand years with them makes you giddy.

4. He Needs Me || Nina Simone


Unrequited love. When you’ve fallen head over heels for someone, having them not love you back can be devastating. Simone’s beautiful voice perfectly encapsulates that feeling of knowing that he needs you but just won’t realize it.

5. I Try || Macy Gray


And what if you’re trying but they just won’t see how much you’re a prisoner of their love?

6. Samson || Regina Spektor


Some of us look up to love stories you don’t see in mainstream Hollywood; quiet, difficult, but full. Samson turns the story of Samson and Delilah on its head in this tear-jerker song.

7. Poke || Frightened Rabbit


Nope, we don’t mean Facebook poking your crush till they block you. Is that still a thing? But we do mean the kind of love that’s meant to be despite everything. You and your crush may be worlds apart, but fate feels stronger than ever.

8. Pagan Poetry || Bjork


But sometimes you realize that your crush isn’t who you thought they were. Did they play with your feelings? Pull you in for their own games? Pagan Poetry will make you feel that burning confusion of loving someone you know isn’t good for you.

9. Fool For You || ZAYN


But then again, your crush might just turn out to love you back. And maybe you will have that alternative love story, and get married in a Twilight wedding, and maybe, just maybe, your crush is a fool for you.

[cue id=”63601″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual


I am completely and utterly Bollywood obsessed. I’ve grown up on Bollywood movies and songs, and I have so many memories that I’m instantly reminded of every time I listen to any specific Hindi song. I remember dancing to Hindi songs as a kid, even singing along (read: screaming) the songs at the top of my lungs.

Till this day, one of my favorite ways to relieve stress is by having impromptu one-person dance parties to Bollywood songs. Here I present to you a few of my dance favorites.

1. Yeh Sama – Bally Sagoo

This list would not be complete without this song. This is the very first song I remember dancing to, and it is just such a feel good remix to a slow romantic number, sung in the melodious voice of Lata Mangeshkar. I’m pretty sure we have me dancing to this recorded somewhere on tape too!

2. Sweety Tera Drama – Dev Negi, Pawni Pandey, Shraddha Pandit

One of the recent songs in Bollywood, this song had me waiting excitedly since I heard it in the trailer of this movie. Released last week, this song has me wanting to jump up and dance every time I listen to it! I absolutely love the sheer desiness of this song, and just how youthful it is. That spirit of carefree singing and dancing is definitely what I live for.

3. Kala Chashma – Amar Arshi, Badshah, Neha Kakkar

One of the biggest hits of last year, this one is going to be danced to for years to come! Also, can we just take a note of, and appreciate, Katrina’s amazing abs? Like damn, watching this song for the first time genuinely made me want to hit the gym! Nothing like a good fitspirtion from a Bollywood dance number.

4. Le Gayi Le Gayi – Asha Bhosle

Confession time: if there is one old school movie that I can watch without getting bored halfway, it’s most definitely this one. The songs, the choreography, the story- everything was just perfect for the 90’s. Another embarrassing confession: it is because of this movie that I have an undying love for heart-shaped balloons. And I am rather sad to report, I have yet to come across balloons as glorious as depicted in this movie!

5. Mann Mera (Remix) – Gajendra Verma

The original version of this song is a soothing, romantic number. Personally, I’m always a bit wary of slow romantic numbers being turned into fast-paced dance numbers, but this song is one of the few that really takes the original song, and makes the remix sound even better than the original.

6. The Disco Song – Benny Dayal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Nazia Hassan

This remix of the cult classic is too good to pass up on. I know I killed that replay button until I learnt the dance steps to it. I learnt it, took the lead, taught it to my brother, and eventually, we danced together at one of our cousin’s wedding.

7. Piya Piya – Pinky, Preeti, Prashant

Who can deny, this movie was “best friend” goals! That hook step of the song was all the rage back then, and this was one of the most played songs back in the day. I remember this particular party we had, where these neighbor girls of ours danced to this song. This song brings me back to that party every single time I listen to it, and since I love that slice of time so much, I absolutely love this song too!

8. Sooraj Dooba Hain – Arijit Singh, Aditi Singh Sharma

Who can resist dancing to this amazing number? Still one of my absolute favorites to add to the playlist for those solo dance parties! There are two separate versions of this song, and when I first heard them on separate occasions, I thought I was going crazy. This version is the one that I like best!

9. Nashe Si Chadh Gayi – Arijit Singh

What can I say about this song except that it’s one of my absolute favorites, and it is my ultimate dream to learn those dance moves, all the while still looking as hot as Vaani Kapoor! People bashed this movie, maybe for good reason, but you can’t deny that the album of this movie has some of the best songs of recent years.

10. It’s The Time To Disco – Vasundhara Das, KK, Shaan, Loy Mendonsa

Another cult favorite! Definitely never getting old, this one. There’s always time to disco!

There are two more songs that aren’t on this list, but definitely deserve an honorary mention. Any child growing up in the 90’s will most definitely remember O O Jaane Jaana, as well as Ole Ole. Today’s generation will probably never even hear these songs, much less remember them, but truly, 90’s and 2000’s  Bollywood had some of the best music of all time.

[cue id=”62791″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

DIASPORA: The Alternative Arabic Mix

In an age of travel bans, refugee crises, political protests, and rebellion against stereotypes, there are also musical artists here to talk about it all.

This is a list that focuses on Arab musicians who refuse to let things passively happen to them, who reclaim their narratives by engaging with concepts of identity, politics, and culture. And they do so in a very fresh style that I like to call “alternative Arabic.” They go beyond the sappy modern Arabic pop styles by including rap or electronic beats, with lyrics that mean something. At the same time, they don’t disregard their Arab roots for a more favored Western musical style. They are inspired by classical Arabic lyrics, traditions, and rhythms.

These artists all differ in how much Arabic they include – Mashrou Leila is all in Arabic, Mona Haydar incorporates some Arabic phrases, and Odissee doesn’t include any – but what unites them all in my mind is that they redefine the path of what it means to be Arab and what Arab music consists of.

Feel free to listen to this while browsing through calligraffiti or reading about Middle Eastern politics and sipping some tea.

1. Lifting Shadows || Oddisee

The Couch Sessions

This movement of new Arabic music is very much led by Sudanese artists. There are 4 others on this list, but Odissee is one of my favorites. His lyrics specifically capture what it’s like to be a Sudanese-American and speak directly to present American fears. Even if you’re not a hip-hop fan, his lyrics are just too accurate to ignore.

2. Marikh || Mashrou’ Leila

Between Arabs

This is probably one of the saddest songs I’ve heard, and I only understand parts of it. ‘Marikh’ means Mars in Arabic, and Hamed Sinno’s voice will make you feel like you’re literally drifting into space. If you’re looking for more songs from the Lebanese band (and who wouldn’t after hearing this?), I would listen to their haunting Tiny Desk concert.

3. Figurine || Nawel Ben Kraïem


This French-Tunisian singer’s song may sound like an ordinary, pretty French song at the start, but the language switches halfway through to Arabic then back to French. The two tongues intermingle, just like Kraïem’s identities. She is focused on bringing the two cultures together and has also spoken about the Tunisian revolution.

4. Beirut || Yasmine Hamdan

Strictly Confidential

‘Beirut’ is actually a take on a traditional 1940s Lebanese song, and Hamdan turns into something haunting, nostalgic, and proud. Her acoustic version on Tiny Desk is also really good. Hamdan herself reminds me of a Lebanese Lana del Rey who bases a lot of her work on past Arabic musical tradition.

5. Hamdulillah || Narcy ft. Shadia Mansour

We Are the Media

Narcy is a Candian-Iraqi hip-hop artist known for his almost aggressive rap and moving lyrics. He tends to mix both Arabic and English lyrics while also combining Western hip-hop with classical Arabic music. Shadia Mansour, a British-Palestenian rapper also does the same, focusing especially on politics.

6. Syrianamericana || Omar Offendum


Though this is not one of Offendum’s more well known songs, this is definitely favorite. It takes a more upbeat tone than most of his other songs, but his smooth Arabic rapping does not falter. My favorite part is when he brings in his last name into the lyrics. Like Narcy and Mansour, who he has collaborated with, he mixes two musical and poetic traditions and sends a message with his music, usually focusing on his home country Syria. He also just released a new album you should check out here.

7. 3roos Elneel || Alsarah & The Nubatones


Alsarah describes the story behind this song, translated to ‘The Bride of the Nile,” as stemming from Sudanese folklore. She is a Sudanese-American ethnomusicologist, singer, and songwriter who used music to help her cope with her transition into America from Sudan. While her and her band’s songs are in Arabic and give strong East African vibes, there is a retro pop element to it that makes the combination so unique. Their music videos also offer a fitting, colorful supplement.

8. Alright || TooDope feat. MaMan (produced by Omar Majid)


I can’t get over the first part of this song. It’s conversational and musical, and just fun to listen to. TooDope brings in images and sounds familiar to those from Sudan: 3aseeda, curly hair, and the ‘aye’ in the back. He couples that with the very American words ‘dope’ and ‘y’all’ for a very lighthearted mix of the two identities.

9. Nouh Al Hamam || Maryam Saleh (produced by Oddisee)

Saint Heron

Egyptian singer, songwriter, and actress Maryam Saleh has a unique and captivating voice that adds a lot to the Middle Eastern alternative music scene. Her lyrics are also very poetic, with this song translating as ‘Moan of the Pigeon.’ And hey there’s Oddisee’s name again, demonstrating the strong ties and collaborations all these different artists from different backgrounds have had.

10. Born Here || DAM ft. Abeer Al Zinati


I personally prefer the Arabic version of this song (“Hon Enwaladet”), but the Arab-Israeli band has a music video for the Hebrew version with English translations here. Growing up as second-class citizens in Israel, they talk about their experiences and identity as Arab Israelis and unite the two through language. The word ‘dam’ means ‘blood’ in Hebrew and in ‘eternity’ in Arabic (also resembling the Arabic word for blood). In this song specifically, the image of their neighborhood as an embarrassed bride is something so unique but so effective at getting the point across.

11. Son || Sinkane

Huck Magazine

“We both know a home is not an origin / We both know a home is where one finds it,” Sinkane sings softly. He’s a Sudanese-American who speaks directly to anyone who struggles with the concept of home and identity. But don’t mistake him for losing his roots and Westernizing his music just because of this more American-leaning song. Other songs of his like “U’Huh” remind me of that pop East African tone Alsarah takes, while incorporating Arabic lyrics (and its music video is stunning).

12. Ya Sah || Khebez Dawle


This band may look like a typical hipster bunch, but their story is more complex. They are Syrian refugees, one member of whom was drafted into and left the army, another who was killed for his activism in the country. Their latest album reflects a shift in the revolution, starting with hope and ending with a more mournful tone. Though they are trained in classical Arabic music, they choose a rock approach, which still sounds just as hurtful, inspiring, and plain beautiful.

13. Cycles || Methal ft. X Ambassadors


In response to the travel ban, Spotify started an initiative in which they brought artists from the six banned countries to collaborate with American artists and create a playlist called “I’m with the Banned.” One of the songs to come out of this is Cycles, by Tunisian refugee Methal and the X Ambassadors. The lyrics and her story are haunting, and her voice is reminiscent of Shakira’s. It’s a wonderful song, and I recommend you listen the rest of the playlist.

14. Dog || Mona Haydar ft. Jackie Cruz


Syrian-American poet-turned-rapper recently released this song that has us at The Tempest totally inspired. Though her songs are for the entire Muslim community, I have her on this list because she is an Arab woman reclaiming her identity and being through her music while also utilizing Arabic phrases like, “Sawt al mara thowra” (“a woman’s voice is revolution.”)

15. Dyarom || Sammany Hajo


I think it fitting to frame this playlist with our final Sudanese artist: Sammany Hajo. He describes himself on Twitter as an “audio painter,” which I think is very fitting. He takes old and classic Sudanese songs and turns them into modern masterpieces by remixing them. The songs he produces sound amazing while paying homage to his homeland. His whole album is brilliant and sums up the essence of all these artists perfectly.

[cue id=”63268″]

The Tempest Radio Uncategorized Mixes Audio + Visual

STICK IT TO THE MAN: The Challenging Authority Mix

To quote Jack Black’s character from School of Rock, “the world is run by the man.” Every day we face oppressive forces in our society be it racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. that are meant to hold us back. But we don’t have to sit idly by and take the injustice. This mixtape is all about standing up for yourself and sticking it the man. It features female artists who, like yourself, are sick and tired of the stereotypes, expectations, and constraints society has placed on them. If the man’s got you feeling down know that you’re not alone, and find inspiration in these songs so you can go out there and stick it to the man yourself.

Aretha Franklin- Respect 

Aretha Franklin
The Daily Beast

Aretha Franklin knows that she deserves her partner’s respect, and she’s not going to give in until she gets it. This song is a great reminder to all women that we deserve respect in our relationships. And it can also be applied as an anthem to the civil rights movement and fight for equality, because the basis of human rights is respect for all people regardless of identity. 

Joan Jett-Bad Reputation 

Joan Jett
Guitar World

In this song, Joan Jett offers up the ultimate middle finger to outdated gender roles and anybody who tries to police women’s behavior. As the lyrics express, Jett doesn’t give a damn if her behavior has given her a bad reputation, because “a girl can do what she wants to do” regardless of if society approves or not.

M.I.A- Paper Planes

Always Judging

This song is a parody for how people in the US, as well as the government, view immigrants as scary and threatening. M.I.A mocks the idea that immigrants and refugees are just here to “take your money” without contributing anything to society. Although this has become a popular talking point by some politicians, immigrants are no different than people born in American in that they’re just trying to do their best to get by.

Destiny’s Child- Survivor

Destiny's Child

This song is the perfect anthem for anyone who’s ever had been told by an ex partner that you wouldn’t be able to live without them. This is obviously not true and Beyoncé, Michelle, and Kelly are here to remind you that you’re a survivor and don’t need that kind of negativity. After all, the best revenge is to just live your life and show how much better off you are without them.

Hayley Kioko- Girls Like Girls 

Hayley Kioko
Way Too Indie

Hayley Kioko is here to steal yo girl. This song is an anthem about a girl who steals another guy’s girlfriend and it repeats the line “girls like girls like boys do”. It’s a simple and seemingly obvious statement, but is also very necessary because girl-girl relationships are often depicted as over-sexualized and for male consumption. The song reminds listeners that romantic relationships between women are just as legitimate as heterosexual relationships.

Halsey- Hurricane


Halsey sings about how she can’t be pinned down or claimed by anyone or anything. She’s doesn’t belong to a man or a city, but is rather “a wandress, a one night stand”. The song also embraces the fact that she is disruptive and takes up space rather than apologizing for, it which women so often unfairly feel the need to do.

Bikini Kill- Rebel Girl

Bikini Kill

The song starts off sounding like a petty and jealous take down of a woman, objecting that another girl “thinks she’s the queen of the neighborhood”. But it is shortly revealed that the singer actually has a crush on this girl, and it develops into a love song from one woman to another and an anthem for female solidarity.

Meredith Brooks- Bitch

Meredith Brooks
AV Club

In the song, Brooks lists off the many sides to herself. She doesn’t hold back and embraces the good, the bad, and the ugly. In her own words, she’s “a bitch…a lover…a child…a mother…a sinner…a saint” and she feels no shame, proving that women are multi faceted and complex and can’t be put in a box or defined by societal stereotypes.

[cue id=”56639″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

INSPIRATION MIX: Music to keep you going

I’ve always had those moments in which I just didn’t know what to do in order to feel inspired. Reading quotes, watching motivational videos, and asking a friend for a pep talk don’t always work. But one thing which never fails to recharge my motivational battery is listening to certain songs. Music has this power to uplift even the lowest spirits. If you ever find yourself feeling a lack of energy when it comes towards pursuing your goals, grab your headphones and press play:

1. I Was Here || Beyonce

The go-to song for when you feel like you don’t make a difference in the world. It gets me every time. “The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave, that I made a difference, and this world will see, I was here.” Beyonce will blow you away in her performance.

2. The Climb || Miley Cyrus

Top Cools

This one’s a classic! No matter what I’m going through, when I listen to The Climb, I feel like all the struggles are worth it. Because it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Cheesy? Perhaps. But I’ve learned that all those cliches and corny quotes are true 98% of the time.

3. The Greatest || Sia

The 405

It may get stuck in your head for a while afterwards, but honestly, it’s worth it because it’ll remind you how great you are. It’s hard to stay unmotivated while listening to it.

4. Try Everything || Shakira


This one is so catchy and has amazing messages in the lyrics. It’ll make you want to try everything to fulfill your dreams. The fact that it’s the featured song in Disney’s Zootopia makes it 100 times better.

5. How Far I’ll Go || Alessia Cara


This song is so empowering, especially for when you’re going through a period of uncertainty about your future. When I was applying for grad school and was having self-doubts, I kept this song on replay. Somehow, singing along to it day after day made me realize that I have so much potential to tap into, and that the only thing getting in the way of my dreams was me.

6. Born This Way || Lady Gaga

For a more upbeat song to keep you going, this one’s awesome. Helps you embrace your imperfections and keep your eye on the prize.

[cue id=”62599″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual


Growing up, I knew my dad’s family were “orange men,” or Scottish protestants living in Ireland, and my mom’s family were forced to leave County Cork during the Potato famine. It wasn’t until I had to read Jonathan Swift’s satire A Modest Proposal in high school that I really understood the political conflict bred into me. Suddenly, it seemed way more reasonable that my great-grandmother objected to my parents’ marriage because my dad would “force” my mom to convert. Since that realization, I have been fascinated by Irish political divides and putting together this playlist has been an eye-opening trek through Irish (and Irish-American) political pop music.

1. U2 || Sunday Bloody Sunday

Unless you live under a rock, you know that U2 is hands down the biggest band out of Ireland. This song is my favorite, as it describes the horrors of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and cemented the band’s political activism. The lyrics beautifully decry sectarian violence: “And the battle’s just begun / There’s many lost, but tell me who has won /The trench is dug within our hearts / And mothers, children, brothers, sisters / Torn apart.” It’s easy to get lost in the hypnotic drumbeat and vocals, but the pacifist message can’t be glossed over as the effects of the Troubles are still felt in Ireland today.

2. Sinéad O’Connor || Nothing Compares 2 U

This song was originally written by Prince, but Sinéad O’Connor’s rendition became iconic in the 1990s. The music video is haunting, consisting mostly of O’Connor’s head, floating like a ghost over a black background. O’Connor quickly became a controversial figure after her protest of the Catholic Church’s cover up of child abuse on Saturday Night Live.

3. Sinéad O’Connor || Take Me to Church

I really enjoy the juxtaposition of these two Sinéad O’Connor songs, and its obvious its a comparison she wants listeners to be aware of. The Take Me to Church music video begins with Nothing Compare’s 2 U’s video projected on O’Connor’s face. It’s both a rejection of her previous image and a continuation of her previous protests. She sings in the chorus, “Take me to church/  But not the ones that hurt / ‘Cause that ain’t the truth / And that’s not what it’s worth,” continuing her rejection of traditional Roman Catholicism. Even the musicality is a complete 180, as its a fun and bouncy pop tune, rather than a lamenting ballad.

4. Hozier || Take Me to Church

I couldn’t put an Irish song called “Take Me to Church” without acknowledging Hozier’s wildly popular ballad. Call him the male Adele if you want, he’s an amazing Irish crooner nonetheless. The song deals with Hozier’s frustration with the Catholic view on homosexuality. He said in an interview with Rolling Stone that “Growing up, I always saw the hypocrisy of the Catholic church… The history speaks for itself and I grew incredibly frustrated and angry. I essentially just put that into my words.”

5. The Cranberries || Linger

If you didn’t whine this song in an attempt to mimic the The Cranberries’ accents, were you even a 90s kid? The Cranberries can be grouped into the same sub-genre as Sinéad O’Connor – female-driven Irish alt-rock of the 1990s. It’s incredibly nostalgic for me, and I couldn’t resist including this song.

6. Flogging Molly || Drunken Lullabies

This is where this playlist starts to delve into Irish-American band – so while headed by an Irish singer, Flogging Molly is based out of LA. There sound can be described as “pirate-like,” in a Celtic punk kind of way. I love this song because it feels like an old-school drinking song you’d hear at a pub. It’s got the right combination of traditional instruments and a more modern rock feel.

7. Flogging Molly || If I Ever Leave This World Alive

This song shows Flogging Molly’s softer side. I like to think that this is a modern retelling of a folk song like Red is the Rose. There are definitely still modern elements present in the song, like the electric guitar, but the fiddle and walking drumbeat stay true to the folk tradition.

8. Dropkick Murphys || Green Fields of France

This is a famous anti-war protest song that people love to cover, but the Dropkick Murphys’ is my favorite version. The song, more popularly known as No Man’s Land, tells the story of an Irish teenager killed during World War I. The most poignant lyrics come in the last verse:

“And I can’t help but wonder oh Willy McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause
Did you really believe that this war would end wars
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing and dying it was all done in vain
Oh Willy McBride it all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again.”

So much of the Irish collective identity is tied to loss, from English occupation, to the Potato Famine, to The Troubles. So if it’s not obvious at this point, I love me a good Irish protest song,

9. Dropkick Murphys || I’m Shipping Up to Boston

I had to end this playlist with what I think is the most stereotypical/iconic Irish song – thanks to the 2006 film, The Departed this is the American touchstone for Irish music. And I don’t really have a problem with that. I remember sitting in my mom’s minivan as a preteen listening to this song and being so grateful that my heritage was ~cool~ for once.

[cue id=”62921″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

INTRO TO AFROBEAT: Worldwide Takeover Mix

For generations, Western media has cast Africa as the dark continent in movies, books like The Heart of Darkness, on radio, and in magazines. Although images of poverty and endless war are still associated with Africa due to this history, modern African artists, writers,  musicians, and cultural creators are reclaiming this narrative. Afrobeat artists are at the cutting edge of creating media that reflects the complexities of life in Africa today. The tide is shifting: the continent is seen as rising and has become a source of inspiration for many, especially in the American music industry. From Drake’s collaboration with Nigerian artist Wizkid to Beyoncè using Yoruba spiritual references in Lemonade, African beats, dance, and visual ideas are slowly taking over the entire world. Join Tempest Fellows Beverly Wakiaga and Adelaide Agyemang as they break down the hottest jams in Afrobeat for all those new to the genre, including the massive hits long time listeners will recognize.

1. Antenna || Fuse ODG (Feat. Wyclef Jean)

Fuse ODG Antenna cover

This is the artist I think of when I think of the popularization of Afrobeat. The beats make you want to dance and let go of your stress. On top of that, the song features Wyclef Jean who is Haitian. Can someone say #PanAfricanism!

2. Bad || Tiwa Savage (Feat. Wizkid)


Two of the highest ranking African musicians joined forces and blessed the world with a song that lets everybody know, they are badder than bad. Tiwa’s declarations and Wizkids backing vocals make for the perfect “I don’t care what you think of me” turn up song.

3. Take Over || Kwamz & Flava


The dynamic UK based duo Kwamz & Flava  have a passion for African culture which they weave into all of their music. With their first break-out hit, the group is one of many stand out UK Afrobeat artists who are changing the game. Their music videos are international sensations, racking over 2 million views on one song alone.  Clearly, the takeover has already begun.

4. Marry Me || Falz (Feat. Yemi Alade & Poe)


Falz is one of the funniest rappers on the continent. On this song he takes on the pressures that women face to get married and how it affects him as a man. The storytelling is amusing and the video simply adds to the general cheekiness of the song.

5. Too Risky || Medikal (Feat. Sister Derby)

Medikal is a Ghanian rapper who comes in and out of the spotlight. Every time he releases new music, it makes you wonder where you’ve heard this unique flow before. Too Risky, featuring the fantastic female rapper Sister Derby was a 2016  fan favorite for its blending of Afrobeat and dancehall, and the fact that Medikal shouts out the hustle of local regions including Tema, Medina, Kumasi, and Takoradi by using thier slang throughout the song.

6. Fall || Davido

Davido Fall

From his dance song “Skelewu” to his romantic song “If”, Davido never fails to deliver. His latest  “Fall” is no different, his declarations that he has changed his player ways are not really convincing but the beat will get you. Plus one of his lyrics in the song is “money fall on you,” as a broke college student I encourage such positivity and pray that money will also fall on me .  

7. Enemy Solo ||  P-Square (Feat. Awilo Longomba)

Pretty much everything the Nigerian twin singers P-Square releases is an infectious hit, with expensive budgets and beats that withstand countless replays. This collaboration with Congolese legend Awilo Longomba was no exception. The song, sung in both Lingala and Pidgin is a celebration of triumphing over evil wishes or “Enemy Solo” (“Bad Enemy Smell” or “Bad Pelle” people) and having the courage to keep on succeeding no matter what or in this case who gets in your way.

8. Skin Tight || Mr Eazi (Feat. Efya)


With his tradermark slogan “Zagadat” Mr Eazi is a rising force in the African music scene. He combines Ghanaian and Nigerian influences to create songs that are super catchy. At one of  his concerts everyone was singing this romantic song word for word. By the end of the song you will be promising to never do your partner basa basa and to hold them like skin tight.

Because we love you, we compiled all your new favorite songs in one playlist. Enjoy!

[cue id=”56860″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

DYSTOPIAN MIX: Drowning in Dystopia

Dystopian novels have been trending as a genre lately with the political disasters that people are watching right here in the United States.

Dystopias typically depict the dangers of government entities threatening the authentic freedom of the public, and/or sci-fi disasters that threaten existence. The fun thing about dystopian works is that they may be far-fetched, but their tales are still conceivable, possible, and their dark elements do indeed manifest in our world.

Dystopias can even be worlds where things seem fine, but under the surface, they are not. There is an element of darkness that lurks in the theme. Similarly, the following music is a collection of lovely, but also uncomfortably dark selections. Some pieces sound bright but are actually sad, and the others sound melancholy simply because they are.

Tune into (or use the music to tune out) the sound of the world falling apart.

1. My Life in Rewind by Eagulls

Related image
Filter Magazine

Dark and lovely reverberations make your life in rewind eerily bearable. This song is such a well-made recording of the sound of melancholy that you wonder why its so beautiful. “A thousand regrets” sound fine in retrospect if they sound like this.

2. True Faith by New Order

Image result for new order

Don’t you dare tap your foot to the intro or enjoy the music. The “morning sun” isn’t the happy bright thing you want to believe it is. The song is great to listen to as long as you don’t think about the reality of drug abuse and addiction problems in our world. As great as New Order’s music is (as it is beautiful and unique), the very founding of the band is actually sad to recall. Other sordid associations with the song might make you a little nauseas when it plays, but if you love the song for what it is, you will be fine.

3. Fascination Street by The Cure

Related image

I’m warning you ahead of time that Robert Smith’s singing style is not something most of us are used to, especially in darker songs. The song even sounds like it was put together by accident at first. However, its the instrumentals in Fascination Street (as is the value of all the songs off the Disintegration album) which put it on this list.

Sad piano notes struggle past an aggressive guitar, bringing the hope of softer notes. We know the music won’t get softer though- the piano becomes a part of the sound of misery. It is dark, and maybe scary for some, yet it can grow on you.

Whatever “Fascination Street” is, Robby doesn’t sound happy about it.

If you need to recover, switch to the classic “Friday I’m in Love” and try your best not to sing along.

4. There is a Light that Never Goes Out by The Smiths

Image result for the smiths

Sweet, sad, gone. What else should we make of Morrissey’s descriptions of the road accidents he imagines dying in? We love them. “To die by your side, well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine.” The sound of the song is a short walk under the sun, even as the brightness dissolves. “Driving in your car, I never never want to go home- because I haven’t got one.” Morrissey himself describes the light that never goes out as hope. “It’s a fallacy, of course, but it’s a form of religion. You have to believe. There is a light that never goes out and it’s called hope.”

5. Mad World by Tears for Fears

Image result for mad world tears for fears
The Quietus

The song is legendary, and a cover by Gary Jules is prominent for being featured in Donnie DarkoTears for Fears’ version has doses of that uppity 80s sound, but it doesn’t dare overshadow the sadder music. Though it sounds sorrowful, its kind of a nice reminder that life is pointless. What else could better describe the darkest implications of our favorite dystopian work?

Many old school songs carry an element of cheeriness with dark lyrics and meanings, but these are the best I can give you. In the meantime, don’t worry too much about humankind shooting itself in the foot everyday. Just be happy that you’re here to see this world and appreciate some wonderful eery art.

[cue id=”52403″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

PERIOD MIX: The playlist for your uterus

When I first watched No Strings Attached, the one thing that always stuck with me was the idea of a Period Mix. Ever since then, every year I make myself a list to listen to every month as my periods go by. Some days I’m happy, some days I’m angry and others I’m in pain. Here are some of the songs you can listen to with me, as we go through the hormonal and emotional rollercoaster one more time.

 We Heart it
We Heart it

1. Bleeding Love || Leona Lewis


The perfect song to belt out to when all you want to do is cry. As you keeeeep bleeding, keeeep keeeep bleeding, love.

2. Red Red Wine || UB40


If you haven’t served yourself a glass of wine yet, this song will force you to pour yourself one. It’s also a great tune to pick yourself up!

3. Bad Blood || Bastille

The Sun
The Sun

Apart from the name, this tune is amazing as Bastille’s lead has such a soothing voice and the beat is great for jamming out.

4. Bleeding out || Imagine Dragons


If the title doesn’t make you roll your eyes, then the lyrics might – the perfect hit as you’re bleeding out. Literally.

5. Waterfalls || TLC


On those heavy flow days, listen to this song and don’t go chasing after a waterfall

6. Fuck you || Lilly Collins

Christian Post
Christian Post

For those days when you just can’t deal with anything or anyone and all you want to say is fuck you, fuck you very very much.

7. Cold Water || Major Lazer feat. Justin Beiber


To enlighten your day, here’s a little Beibs. But, don’t go jumping into cold water.

8. Panda X Formation Mashup || Beyonce & Desiigner Remix

 How Land Echoes
How Land Echoes

When you’re nearing the end, just waiting to get into formation.

9.  Shake it off || Taylor Swift

Rolling Stone

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of your period/playlist. Now you can shake it off, until next time.


[cue id=”35734″]

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

TIME TO BHANGRA: The Wedding Mix

Weddings are important occasions in almost every culture, but Desis elevate this occasion from a one-day event to what can easily go on to a 7-day occasion. We love weddings, we love dancing, and we absolutely love bhangra. All this comes in handy when the bride and the groom’s sides of the family have an epic dance-off in an event called “Mehndi” (translates to Henna). Here’s the ultimate Desi wedding 101 mix. Keep the tissues ready, it’ll be rukhsati time soon.

1. Rab Rakha || Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal (Love Breakups Zindagi)

This song screams Desi weddings. It’s an incredibly feel-good song and gives the most positive vibes ever.

2. Kabira || Arijit Singh & Harshdeep Kaur (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)
This Arijit Singh masterpiece is an all-time favorite of mine. It’s great to listen to, but it’s also perfect for every Desi wedding. This has 2 versions, and the Rekha Bhardwaj & Tochi Raina is great but Arijit’s version more fitting for a wedding.

3. Chitta Kukkar || Neha Kakkar and Gippy Grewal
This is probably the oldest Mehndi song. I’m pretty sure it’s been sung and danced on, when the first-ever Mehndi was held (whenever that was). Play this remix to pump it up or go with the classic, and watch the older ladies in the room bring the house down.

4. Mehndi Ki Raat || Models

We’re going old-school with this track, because of course if it’s a Mehndi night, how can you not sing this?

5. Desi Thumka || Nouman Khalid ft. Osama Com Laude

Now we’re ready to pump it up, and I assure you this one is bound to get everyone on their feet. It’s just that catchy. It’s also an easier song to dance to because you can look up Mehndi dances and this one is definitely going to be there.

6. Angreji Beat || Gippy Grewal Feat. Honey Singh

This is addictively catchy, and you’ll find yourself playing it in your head. Don’t be shocked if you can sing the stupid Honey Singh rap word-to-word; it happens to everyone, knowing lyrics to a song that annoys you,

7. Shakar Wandaan || Ho Mann Jahaan

Songs in movie weddings have a probability of definitely becoming actual wedding favorites. Add in signature dance steps, and bingo you’ll have people on wedding events doing the exact same steps, which is literally what Shakar Wandaan is.

8. Balam Pichkari || Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

This one’s more fast-paced, but it’s also great because when it plays, you’re going to want to dance to it even if you haven’t rehearsed for it with your fam/friends.

9. Ballay Ballay || Bin Roye

Slightly slower-paced, but still a pretty upbeat song. If you’re preparing for a Mehndi dance, you’re probably already watching the song video and trying to copy all the stops. ‘Nuff said.

10. Sadi Gali || RDB

There should be a limit on the number of times I can use the word catchy, but this is the last time, I swear. This is THE catchiest song ever, and it is absolutely perfect for a Bhangra. I’ve seen people who don’t even dance get up and get their Bhangra mode on with this one. Is a Desi wedding really complete without this song? [aka the real question that should keep you up at night].

[cue id=”35780″]