Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NPR Music 2022 Staff Picks: Suraya Mohamed

Courtesy of RCA Records

It's just impossible to include all of the great music that was produced in 2022, so that's why I decided to share some favorites that (mostly) did not appear in our Best Albums and Songs lists. I'll take this opportunity to shout out "Why We Speak" by Robert Glasper, featuring Q-Tip and esperanza spalding, which was my absolute favorite song this year. It's cheerful and uplifting; it's funky and jazzy. Q-Tip's vocal resonance and rapping cadence is always a comfort while esperanza's melodic lines soar on top of her gorgeous harmonies.

Top 10 Albums of 2022


• IDK, Simple.
• The Smile, A Light for Attracting Attention
• Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Leo Genovese, esperanza spalding, Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival
• Fousheé, softCORE
• Mary Halvorson, Amaryllis
• Moor Mother, Jazz Codes
• Leikeli47, Shape Up
• Sarathy Korwar, KALAK
• Jensen McRae, Are You Happy Now?
• Flo Milli, You Still Here, Ho?

Top 10 Songs of 2022


• Robert Glasper feat. Q-Tip & esperanza spalding, "Why We Speak"
• Girl Ultra, "Nada q hacer"
• Drake, "Massive"
• Saba feat. Black Thought and Eryn Allen Kane, "Few Good Things"
• Chronixx, "Never Give Up"
• Tokischa & Treintisiete, "Sistema De Patio"
• Nilüfer Yanya, "midnight sun"
• Bonny Light Horseman, "California"
• Lava La Rue feat. Biig Piig, "Hi-Fidelity"
• Donia Wael & El Waili, "Bekya"

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

Suraya Mohamed is a three-time Peabody Award-winning producer, sound designer and editor. She currently serves as the project manager for Jazz Night In America and is a contributing producer on the Alt.Latino podcast. She also produces NPR's holiday specials package, including Tinsel Tales, Hanukkah Lights, Toast Of The Nation, Pink Martini's Joy To The World: A Holiday Spectacular and most recently Hamilton: A Story Of US. You'll also find her work on the Tiny Desk series as either a producer or engineer.