Weekly feature for the award-winning The New European, the voice of the 48%
Issue 155, 1-7 August 2019: SONGS OF FREEDOM (Berlin). Sophia Deboick kicks off a new feature, looking at the musical history of a different city each week. First an examination of Berlin’s remarkably creative heritage, from Dietrich to Depeche Mode, with many in between.
Issue 156, 8-21 August 2019: COUNTRY CITY (Nashville). The spiritual home of white America’s very own music genre, Nashville is country music. But it’s not always been all about rhinestones and 10-gallon hats.
Issue 157, 22-28 August 2019: SOUNDS OF FREEDOM (Tehran). Music in Iran provides a challenge not just to the authorities but to our perceptions of the country.
Issue 158, 29 August-4 September 2019. STEEL CITY SOUNDS (Sheffield). A city with a musical pedigree to match any, Sheffield is still producing acts that could not have come from anywhere else.
Issue 159, 5-11 September 2019. THE FONT OF FLAMENCO (Seville). Few cities possess as intimate a connection to a musical style as Seville.
Issue 160, 12-18 September 2019. CHORAL NATION (Tallinn). In the past, Estonians have literally sung for their freedom. And their capital city remains the crucible of this national pastime.
Issue 161, 19-25 September 2019. THE HOME OF HYMNS (Salt Lake City). Mormonism is a movement with music in its soul, from its earliest days to the most modern sounds.
Issue 162, 26 September-2 October 2019. SEOUL MUSIC (Seoul). The South Korean capital is known for its slick and boundlessly exuberant pop. Yet the ebullience belies a complex and dark history.
Issue 163, 3-9 October 2019. FAVELA FUNK (Rio). From bossa nova to baile, the Brazilian city has always danced to its own beat.
Issue 164, 10-16 October 2019. SPECIAL CITY (Coventry). Battered by the bombs and the collapse of its motor industry, the West Midlands hub responded with regeneration through sound.
Issue 165, 17-23 October 2019. ROCK’S DEMIS GOD (Athens). He might have ended up as a byword for naffness, but Demis Roussos had taken an eventful and experimental route to get there. Sophia Deboick reports on the singer and other Greek greats.
Issue 166, 24-30 October 2019. CHANSON CITY (Paris). For centuries the French capital has been a centre for freedom of expression, a status that has produced legendary artists and venues.
Issue 167, 31 October-6 November 2019. THE TUNES OF GABORONE. Botswana’s capital is home to a diverse musical culture, where traditional sounds infuse many genres – not least its thriving heavy metal scene.
Issue 168, 7-13 November, 2019. CITY OF FUN AND FAKERY (Las Vegas). Musicians have always reflected the two sides of Vegas, the glitz on the surface and the pathos that lies below.
Issue 169, 14-20 November 2019. SYMPHONY CENTRAL (Vienna). The Austrian capital’s somewhat stuffy image as the home of classical music overlooks the fact it has always been keen on celebration.
Issue 170, 21-27 November 2019. TEES-MADE TUNES (Stockton-on-Tees). It may lack the glitz of more renowned musical hubs, but in Stockton it’s the soul that counts.
Issue 171, 28 November-4 December 2019. CLASSIC FINNISH (Helsinki). Classical music may have played a central role in Finland’s history, but so has classic rock.
Issue 172, 5-9 December 2019. SIEGE MUSICALITY (Saint Petersburg). The Russian city has not only produced brilliant musical talent but – amid the horrors of war – one of history’s greatest performances.
Issue 173, 10-13 December 2019. TREASURE ISLAND (Kingston). Jamaica’s capital not only gave the world one of its greatest music stars, it produced a sound that has taken root around the globe.
Issue 175, 19 December 2019-1 January 2020. LONDON’S CALLING. Never mind the musicians the capital has produced, Sophia Deboick concentrates on the songs it has inspired.
Issue 176, 2-8 January 2020. CITY OF PIPERS THAT CALLS THE TUNES (Edinburgh). Sophia Deboick on the sounds of the Scottish capital.
Issue 177, 9-15 January 2020. CAREFULLY KRAFTED (Düsseldorf). The German city has had a long association with elegance and fashion, and a more recent one with ground-breaking music.
Issue 178, 16-22 January 2020. WHERE AUSSIE ROCK RULES (Sydney). The city’s legendarily sweaty pub circuit has produced some unforgettable rock sounds, some macho, some political, some sentimental.
Issue 179, 23-29 January 2020. THE HOME OF BOLLYPOP (Mumbai). The great city is known for melding different cultural influences, says Sophia Deboick, but that does not means it lacks a voice of its own.
Issue 180, 30 January-5 February 2020. GOTH GROUND ZERO (Leeds). Sophia Deboick on how the Yorkshire city, unbound by fashion, political orthodoxy or gender division, spawned a look and a sound that lasted.
Issue 181, 6-12 February 2020. CENTRE STAGE (Orange). The French town may not have produced much of its own musical heritage, yet it boasts one of the greatest venues in the world.
Issue 182, 13-19 February 2020. THE MEGA MUSIC CITY (Shanghai). Once a byword for glamour and exuberance, the Chinese city was effectively silenced for much of the 20th century. But it is now finding its voice again.
Issue 183, 20-26 February 2020. MORE THAN MOTOWN (Detroit). The immense contribution of its most famous record label has unfairly overshadowed the city’s other musical heritage.
… and now listen to the A City in Music playlists on Spotify.