Immigrant Nostalgia for Another Time (Part 1)

This show is a reminder to myself, of who I am, and where I come. The songs are a reflection of my family’s history as lived through music.

I grew up in a small Bosnian town 70 miles east of Sarajevo, Gorazde, in a country that was once called Yugoslavia. That country doesn’t exist anymore. My Dad traveled a lot and always used to bring home the music from faraway places like Rio, Lima, Paris, Warsaw, Prague, Rome and New York. I think that’s where he first heard Harry Belafonte, one of his favorites, along with Charles Aznavour and Gilbert Becaud — of whom would become my favorites too.

When I was ten-years-old, my whole family moved to Baghdad and that’s when the world of Arabic music opened up. My Dad worked for a Yugoslav conglomerate, UNIS, and my Mom, a journalist and an on-air radio Gorazde host and news/culture program producer, reported on the Iraq/Iran war for radio and TV Sarajevo. My sister and I attended the Baghdad International School, along with 300 other kids. Those were some of the best years of my life.

So here are some songs, in somewhat particular order, that were a staple from age 0-18. The French chanson, bossa nova, samba, traditional Inca music, ex-Yugoslav evergreen, disco and new wave, intermingled with Arabic, Italian, African, Roma (Tsigane), and Island sounds. Buckle up, and don’t forget to bring your eclectic taste — you’ll need it for this one! 

Hope you dig, and please let me know which songs were a cool discovery. I’d love to know! My email is or you can reach me on Instagram @valida.

As always, thank you for tuning in!