A 21st century label celebrating music from the global south. Singers, storytellers and culture-makers. Folklore in conversation with Modernity. We celebrate hybridity and in-between spaces. Messages and mysteries carried by the human voice. We invite belonging and incite joy. Welcome home.

A Note from our Founder

The word folkalist came to me during a layover in Addis Ababa, on a whirlwind voyage from Cape Verde to Dakar, Bamako to Tanzania. As I was singing with Ethic-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke and local musicians who effortlessly crossed folk genres and identities, something in me clicked: I realized that I feel most at home at the crossroads where diverse cultures meet, and that my calling as an artist is to do my part to advance the music found in these places of encounter.

Traditions are not static. History shows us that they have always been in flux, shaped by constant contact with other societies and ideas. This dynamism is all the more true in our current age of hyperconnectivity. Folkalist strives to elevate music that thrives in the fertile space between genres, music that transcends boundaries and binaries, music that speaks to the reality of today’s global citizens who do not possess one whole culture, but fragments of many.

With Folkalist, my dream is not just to highlight marginalized music and music-makers, especially women, but to build a digital platform through which artists and audiences everywhere–from Ethiopia to Argentina, Cabo Verde to India–can find one another, discover novel connections, and in so doing, create a new type of global music community.

Welcome to Folkalist. Welcome home.

- Kavita Shah