Vik Sohonie on Music as an Instrument for Changing Historical Narratives

An interview with Ostinato Records for the Global Zomia project

An audio recording of an interview between Vik Sohonie and Bulat Khalilov, along with musical selections from Ostinato Records

Ostinato Records’ Vik Sohonie speaks with Bulat Khalilov, host of Global Zomia—a project, dedicated to DIY-ethnography and non-academic initiatives working with traditional and local music around the world. Vik was born in India and has lived all over South-East Asia, Africa, Europe, and the US where he worked in international news media. His label is primarily focused on sounds coming from the both coasts of Africa and from the Caribbean. Ostinato's reissues of 70's cassette music from Somalia were nominated for a Grammy back in 2018, yet acknowledgement in the West is only a part of Sohonie's strategies—he sees music as a method of decolonization. This perspective, along with music's other intersections with politics, history, and aesthetics, serve as some of main points of a discussion interspersed with samples from Ostinato's discography.

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Vik Sohonie
A Grammy-nominated producer who is committed to decolonizing image-making industries. Vik’s work in music and journalism centers around ensuring the West is not the sole interpreter of our world and uses his record label, Ostinato Records, to provide a soundtrack to the resistance.
Bulat Khalilov
Ethnographer, journalist, co-founder of the Ored Recordings label, specializing in field recordings of authentic traditional music from the Caucasus, Russia, and the world. Lives and works in Nalchik.