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WOMEX Top Label Award 08
The Third Annual WOMEX Top Label Award

A joint presentation by WOMEX and the World Music Charts Europe

In 2006 we inaugurated the Top Label Awards, honouring the top-20 charttopping music labels. Each of the top-3 receives an official framed plaque. Created as a joint project with the World Music Charts Europe, the selection is made using the charts of over 50 radio broadcasters from 25 countries. 540 different labels charted last year. The 07 WOMEX & World Music Charts Europe framed Award went to: Stern’s (UK), Cumbancha (USA) and Crammed (Belgium).

The competition was fierce, but we have our WOMEX Top Label for 2008, the US-based Cumbancha, who have been experiencing a great run these past two years thanks to their own innovative A&R'ing and to their collaboration with Stonetree Records in Belize.


WOMEX Top Label Award 2008

Cumbancha Cumbancha (USA)
Chart-topping CDs:
The Garifuna Women's Project: Umalali
Habib Koité: Afriki
Rupa & The April Fishes: Extraordinary Rendition

Here are the remaining Top-20 labels with their chart-topping CDs. All 20 winners can use the WOMEX Top Label Award logo on ads, in brochures, on CDs – wherever they’d like to advertise their accomplishment:

  • Sterns (UK)
    • Les Amazones de Guinea: Wamato
    • Tabu Ley Rochereau: The Voice of Lightness
    • Mbilia Bel: Bel Canto – Best of the Genidia Years

  • Crammed / Ziriguiboom (Belgium)
    • Taraf de Haidouks: Maskarada
    • DJ Dolores: 1 Real
    • Kasai All Stars: Congotronics 3: In the 7th Moon

  • Doublemoon (Turkey)
    • Mercan Dede: 800
    • Various Artists: Doublemoon Remixed

  • Naïve (France)
    • Melingo: Maldito Tango
    • Hadouk Trio: Baldamore

  • Riverboat/World Music Network (UK)
    • Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Chronicles
    • Bob Brozman Orchestra: Lumiere

  • Network Medien (Germany)
    • Djivan Gasparyan: The Soul of Armenia
    • Various Artists: Desert Blues 3

  • World Circuit (UK)
    • Orchestra Baobab: Made in Dakar
    • Toumani Diabate: The Mande Variations

  • Six Degrees (USA)
    • Niyaz: Nine Heavens
    • Issa Bagayogo: Mali Koura

  • Lusafrica (Cape Verde / France)
    • Tcheka: Lonji
    • Teofilo Chantre: Viaja

  • Piranha (Germany)
    • Watcha Clan: Diaspora Hi-Fi

  • Contre-Jour (Belgium)
    • Project 3MA (Rajery/Ballaké Sissoko/Driss el Maloumi): 3MA

  • Wrasse (UK)
    • Sa Dingding: Alive

  • World Connection (The Netherlands)
    • Neco Novellas: New Dawn – Ku Khata

  • Galileo MC (Germany/Spain)
    • Al Andaluz Project: Deus et Diabolus

  • Jaro Medien (Germany)
    • Dona Rosa: Alma Livre

  • Temps (Spain)
    • Lidia Pujol: Els Amants de Lilith

  • The Act Company (Germany)
    • Huong Thanh & Nguyen Le: Fragile Beauty

  • Nonesuch (USA)
    • Youssou N'Dour: Rokku Mi Rokka

  • Rounder (USA)
    • Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: Raising Sand

Top World Music Majors
  • Universal
    • Rokia Traore: Tchamantche; Juanes: La Vida es un Ratico

  • Virgin/EMI
    • Sevara: Sen; Soha: D'Ici et D'Ailleurs

  • Sony/BMG
    • Mayra Andrade: Navega; Zdob si Zdub: Ethnomecanica

  • Warner
    • Various Artists: Sound of the World 2007
    • Maria Rita: Samba Meu

Top-20 World Music CDs of the year
  • Mercan Dede: 800 (Doublemoon, Turkey)

  • The Garifuna Women’s Project: Umalili
    (Cumbancha – USA, Stonetree – Belize)

  • Project 3MA; Rajery/Ballaké Sissoko/Driss El Maloumi:
    3MA (Contre-Jour, Belgium)

  • Orchestra Baobab: Made in Dakar (World Circuit, UK)

  • Habib Koité: Afriki (Cumbancha, USA)

  • Huong Thanh & Nguyen Le:
    Fragile Beauty (The Act Company, Germany)

  • Djivan Gasparyan: The Soul of Armenia (Network Medien, Germany)

  • Shantel: Disko Partizani (Crammed – Belgium, Essay – Germany)

  • Youssou N'Dour: Rokku mi Rokka (Nonesuch, USA)

  • Sa Dingding: Alive (Wrasse, UK)

  • Toumani Diabate: The Mande Variations (World Circuit, UK)

  • Melingo: Maldito Tango (Naïve, France)

  • Manu Chao: La Radiolina (Because, France)

  • Watcha Clan: Diaspora Hi-Fi (Piranha, Germany)

  • Taksim Trio: Taksim Trio (Doublemoon, Turkey)

  • Les Amazones de Guineé: Wamato (Sterns, UK)

  • Rokia Traore: Tchamantche (Universal)

  • Various Artists: Desert Blues 3 (Network Medien, Germany)

  • Justin Adams & Juldeh Camera: Soul Science (Wayward, UK)

  • Neco Novellas: New Dawn – Ku Khata (World Connection, The Netherlands)

Congratulations Everyone!

The rules: Since we are awarding chart success in creative production, we are counting the work of A&R teams from individual companies. Two or more labels in the same overall company under one direction are counted together. Different, autonomous A&R teams from different company locations are counted separately. In this way, Crammed Discs and their sub-label Ziriguiboom are counted as one. And the World Music Network (The Rough Guides) and Riverboat are counted as one, since all releases are created by the same team. But Virgin and EMI, Unversal and Wrasse, though the same overall parent or marketing company, are counted separately, since they function as different companies with different A&R teams. Finally if a given CD is simultaneously released by two different labels, it is credited to the label that has it in the greater number of territories. The eligible period is 10/2007 through 9/2008.

Special thanks to: Johannes Theurer, World Music Charts Europe and Radiomultikulti, for compiling the list.