I agree that we ought to use local models for songs if available. I would assume many of these can be found on YouTube, or by asking the students themselves for favourite artists.
Of course, we should also recognise that the musical tastes of our students will vary too. While some might like a particular singer, others might loathe them. Some might love 'rap' music and hate 'pop'. Either way, it will reduce possible cultural imperialism slightly.
For lower level, elementary school students one has to be careful of the music chosen not just on cultural grounds, but from a number of other aspects. As popular songs are not written generally for classroom use, adaptation and explanation will often be required. For example, I haven't heard Rain's ABC song yet.
I would argue however that it won't completely eliminate cultural imperialism, as many locals simply copy the styles of Western artists. I have yet to see any videos of Korean musicians using traditional instruments and singing traditional Korean music in English. That WOULD be someone special!
I'll check out the International Music discussion link you provided shortly. Thanks.
Originally posted at http://eflclassroom.ning.com/profiles/blogs/culturally-specific-music-for?xg_source=shorten_twitter