Songlines Music Awards 2016

Launched in 2008, the Songlines Music Awards celebrate and acknowledge the myriad of musical talents across the world, featured in Songlines magazine. For details of winners to date, check out the links above, and see our Songlines Music Awards 2015 winners' video below.

Songlines Music Awards 2015 Winners

We take great pleasure in announcing the nominees in the Songlines Music Awards 2016. Votes came from Songlines readers, contributors and the general public.

Here we reveal the top four nominees in each category: Best Artist and Best Group as well as our five new geographical categories based on the CD reviews sections in the magazine: Africa & Middle East; Americas; Europe; Asia & South Pacific and Fusion.

Click the category headings below for profiles and excerpts of each of the nominated artists:

And the nominees are...


  • Lura (for the album Heranca on Lusafrica)
  • Mariza (for the album Mundo on Warner Music)
  • Pascuala Ilabaca y Fauna (for the album Busco Paraiso on Petit Indie)
  • Seckou Keita (for the album 22 Strings on ARC Music)


  • Africa Express (for the album Terry Riley's I n C Mali on Transgressive Records)
  • Kapela Maliszow (for the album Inconceivable Mazurkas on Karrot Kommando)
  • Khiyo (for the album Khiyo on ARC Music)
  • Monsieur Doumani (for the album Sikoses on Monsieur Doumani)


  • Blick Bassy (for the album Ako on No Format!)
  • Songhoy Blues (for the album Music in Exile on Transgressive Records)
  • Seckou Keita (for the album 22 Strings on ARC Music)
  • The Gurdjieff Ensemble (for the album Komitas on ECM Records)


  • Punch Brothers (for the album The Phosphorescent Blues on Nonesuch Records)
  • Lila Downs (for the album Balas y Chocolate on Sony Music)
  • Tom & Ben Paley (for the album Paley & Son on Hornbeam Recordings)
  • Le Vent du Nord (for the album Tetu on Borealis Records)


  • Monsieur Doumani (for the album Sikoses on Monsieur Doumani)
  • Sam Lee & Friends (for the album The Fade in Time on The Nest Collective Records)
  • Spiro (for the album Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow on Real World)
  • Tcha Limberger's Budapest Gypsy Orchestra (for the album Fekete Ejszaka Borulj a Vilagra on Lejazzetal)


  • Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band (for the album 21st Century Molam on Studio Lam)
  • Debashish Bhattacharya (for the album Slide Guitar Ragas from Dusk Till Dawn on Riverboat Records)
  • Anoushka Shankar (for the album Home on Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Frank Yamma (for the album Uncle on Wantok Musik)


  • Faris (for the album Mississippi to Sahara on Wrasse Records)
  • Ibeyi (for the album Ibeyi on XL)
  • Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal (for the album Musique de Nuit on No Format!)
  • Mahsa Vahdat (for the album Traces of an Old Vineyard on Kirkelig Kulturverksted)

The winners of these seven categories as well as our Newcomer and World Pioneer Award, will be announced in the June 2016 issue of Songlines, #118, on sale in the UK from May 6.

Songlines Music Awards 2016 CD

A compilation album, featuring 19 of the nominated artists in the five geographical categories, is available on CD exclusively from:

Music Awards 2016 CD Amazon Buy Now