Exotic vocal

Let's make it female vocal. I'll start:
Wow! She's good! Thanks for sharing, Inna.

Here's my contribution from Xena soundtrack:


Ofra Haza...
Sussan Deyhim was born and raised in Iran and first became a dancer. She started recording when she moved to the US. This is her best album as far as I know. The entire album is excellent. The song that I posted is called Nocturnal Dialogue.
Her name is Azam Ali, born in Iran and raised in India, I think.
Not "exotic" in origin, but definitely in sound, she sounds like a recorder or Chinese dizi flute, Jenna Mammina.

Hauntingly beautiful


I hope this is the beginning of a great thread, I've been looking for exotic vocals. Ofra Haza is in my collection; here's one by her


Sussan Deyhim seems more haunting than exotic, but definitely both.


I like the message on this one; it's one that's not realized in this country, or maybe all countries that are supposed to be free. When every phone is tapped, and possibly even your PC; freedom is an illusion.

While this is an "Audiophile" forum, a brain should have the capacity to handle more than one subject.


Enjoy the subject
Julee Cruise -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxGtQQhV4xM
Orpheus10, I am sure our brains have the capacity to handle many subjects at the same time, but let's stay with exotic singing. I saw many videos with Sussan, the longer she lived outside her place of origin the more she was losing her undeniable talent and sense of the land she came from. She maintain her voice but became trivial and uninteresting, at least to me.
I wouldn't exactly call it exotic but it is certainly unusual. Kim Waters, I think, is her name. Devotion album by Rasa. She sings Indian devotional songs. Good sound quality for a digital.
How to define exotic singing? Does the female singer have to have an exotic look like Ofra Haza? Ofra has an incredible and powerful voice, but still not sure how exotic would fit in...
There are many Arab, Persian and Indian singers that are extremely good as perhaps anywhere else...
We have a freedom of interpretation of the exotic and have no need to define it in exact terms.
I thought that Ofra was okay, but Sussan's voice is much more powerful and has a lot of depth. She might also be a little frightening.

I'll complete the list with most extra-ordinary female singers I've learned throughout my musical devotion...

Dimanda Galas often with Gothic appearance... Pure free spirit and mind

Meridith Monk mixes minimal piano with incredible voice improvisations

LHasa De Sela -- French Canadian born to Jewish mother and Mexican dad chosen to perform gypsy songs in Spanish with incredibly deep voice. Unfortunately she did not live long life and did not create enough work to enjoy her. This is one of her last performances before terminal disease took away her life... If you won't get goose bumps and chills on your skin, than there's something you miss


And finally (can you consider that exotic?) Nina Hagen -- mother of Punk. Many of us know her huge voice range from low male tenor to coloratura soprano... I enjoy this one of my favorite her late 70's video

Czarivey, I of course liked Lhasa de Sela most. She's got charm and sense of sound. Very good.
I wouldn't call it Gypsy song, you know.
One more Lisa Gerrard... Remember Gladiator soundtrack? Dead Can Dance?
It's definitely gothic and definitely EXOTIC

Yeah, Lisa Gerrard is mostly excellent, sometimes great. I just thought that everyone knew her singing and didn't mention it.
But Lhasa and Sussan are much more sensual, right? Lisa is quite cold and abstarct if you get into her voice.
Damn, that was supposed to be "abstract" but didn't come out right.
Yes that's Lisa's style more abstract than cold.
Lhasa and Sussan have got a lot of pain in them, both of similar and differend kind. You can hear it.
Same song by Lhasa that you posted, Czarivey. Slightly different take.
Lhasa was definitely influenced by French chanson and Portugese fado, besides other things. Quite a 'fusion' of a sort.
Nah, Sade's voice is thin and superficial. She's got some of something but you have to guess it more than you can actually hear it.
Elizabeth Fraser of This Mortal Coil (and Cocteau Twins) ...
Song To The Siren

Very different from all other versions.
Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953), most notably as far as I am concerned in her 1947 recording of Brahms' Alto Rhapsody.

As someone said in a comment to the video:
This has to be one of the most beautiful and moving pieces in all of Western music.
-- Al
The undisputed queen of the exotica genre is Yma Sumac from the 1950's when the genre was at it's apex. She was Peruvian-American and was famous for her extreme vocal range said to be well over 5 octaves. Check her out here hitting 4 1/2 octaves and singing in "double voice".
Oh boy, that I would call exotic. It feels like you are in the middle of Amazonian rainforest. Incredible range.
Yma's records are collectible and rare. Near-impossible to get in great shape.
Yma is certainly impressive. Another very unique sounding singer I would include here is Ethiopian-American Aster Aweke. Check her out on Y'Shebellu (Name of a River).
Aauugh! I have never been able to tolerate Middle Eastern music. It just doesn't work for me. However, I can add to the list of exotic singers. Please check out Zhu Zhe-qin or as some would know her Dadawa from her album Yellow Children. This was also released in an English version but I prefer her native Chinese....

Ofra Haza was in Physical Graphiti album by Led Zeppelin in song Kashmire. That's LZ's journey to Middle Eastern music. Start from there and then perhaps will learn to appreciate.
Of all Middle Eastern singers I would say she is the most tolerable but there is something about the structure of the music that doesn't work for me.
Western music has very much its origin in the Middle Eastern music, like Westerners themselves. Another root is West African music and rhythms. I am mostly indifferent to Indian and Chinese music with some exceptions, like ragas played by Shankar. Still, won't listen to it much or often. Japanese music doesn't touch me either, I don't get it.
Ms. Haza did not appear on the Physical Graffiti album. She did a cover of the song. The only woman to have ever shared a mic with Robert Plant on an album was Sandy Denny on the song "Battle of Evermore" and what a voice she had!
Lene Lovich. She sounds like she's from Mars.
I won't post it here and it is mostly male singing, but try Mongolian throat singing on youtube, there is a lot of that there. Quite unique.
Little Jimmy Scott
Exotic? Yes. Female? Not really, but you be the judge....




Throat singing? Tuvan throat singing??
Try Paul Pena in Genghis Blues. Pena, by the way, wrote the Steve Miller hit, Jet Airliner.
Not female, of course.


Surprised no one has yet mentioned Bjork.  
Hey many still to mention...
Not only Bjork, but I believe Sinead O'Connor uses throat singing as well.
Hmmm.  Czarivey - didn't mention Bjork 'cause I associated her with throat singing but that's an interesting connection.  


I have al of her SACD's.
Her semi-acapella version of Moon River is one of the finest. 
I really enjoy the deep intakes of air between passages.

Lisa Gerrard, Yma Sumak, Cocteau Twins, you guys beat me to my all-time favorites (it is totally sick how many copies of original pressings LPs, 180g LPs, Japanese mini-LP CDs, SACDs copies I collected but not listening to...).
Since Bjork had been mentioned, let me add "Miranda Sex Garden": not exactly EXOTIC singers/dancers but beautiful Goth-oriented Bjork for all of us.
To move this thread off dead-serious Opera/Mid-Eastern direction, let me add Lene Nystrøm, the lead singer for Aqua: She sounds like a chipmunk on my fav "barbie" tunes, but, unfortunately, her ego got a shot and she decided to go mainstreem, Abba-style and she got Aqua disbanded.
Think this was asked before in the thread, but what do you guys mean by "exotic"? Does it mean not mainstream, or not common, or not white, or not western, or third-world, or "ethnic" ? Or all of the above or is it that it makes you feel that the music was otherworldly?
Not mainstream, not expected as per Western cultural standards, my guess... As when Debussy infused Eastern tunes into Western mainstream 100+ years ago. Not that easy to define nowadays that we r all mixed and racially-"corrected" but some genetic/racial knowledge tells us what that is.
like for me, Tchaikovsky's 4th under Karajan sounds "exotic": the guy never heard Russian folk tune "the birch in the meadow" so his take is beautiful but "exotic" to my ears. 

Natalie Merchant