Suriname has always had a prospering music scene with many well-known local artists that are performing very well nationally and internationally. The music in Suriname is known as a fusion of African, European, American and Indo-Caribbean styles. Suriname knows many types of music, and some of them are inflected with sounds from the many inhabitants and their cultural backgrounds.
Some of the popular music styles in Suriname are Kaseko, Kawina and Aleke among others.
Kaseko (kah-sih-koh) is the first style that became popular after the Emancipation of Slavery. The former enslaved learned to play instruments and used those instruments to interpret traditional music. Kaseko is arguably still one of the most popular styles of the Surinamese music.
Kawina (Kah-wee-nah) is traditionally a song and drum only type of music. The lyrics are oftentimes interwoven with religious themes, love themes, life experience themes and sometimes even bits of slavery times. The Kawina music is where all popular Surinamese types of music have their roots. It is widely played at celebrations and with typical Surinamese drums.
Aleke (ah-lih-kih) is basically a Maroon traditional music with a faster rhythm. It was inspired by a foreign worker and musician, Alexander in the fifties. From this time the Aleke kept being developed and is now one of the most popular music forms in Suriname, especially in the interior. The name Aleke is in fact a direct reference to Alexander, who was called Aleke by the locals.