Ethiopian Artists Bringing East Africa to the Future

Recently, MTV Iggy spotlighted 8 Ethiopian artists predicted to bring “East Africa to the future”. While the feature dubbed Ethiopian music as “amazing” it described an Ethiopian pop music concert as “electrified lyres, auto-tuned vocal acrobatics, undulating digital synths, and extremely funky dance moves, all happening above the shoulders.”

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 2.09.53 PMEthiopia’s soundscape (traditionally) has seldom been influenced by and intermixed with ‘foreign styles’; nevertheless, its sound has been made popular abroad by the 28-disc Ethiopiques series. And in recent times, contemporary-young-artists are breaking the long tradition of non-fusion influenced by transnational social experiences. Same time, there is keen interest in the continual preservation of aspects of traditional style and sound.

After a review of MTV Iggy’s featured 8, though there’s plenty more than the featured to choose from, here’s AS4A’s top 4 selection:

Jah Lude, the latest sensation in Ethiopia, the reggae performer sings roots reggae in Amharic. Managed by Yisakal Entertainment  an entertainment company known to take Ethiopian music to the global stage, he’s been on tour, selling out concerts in the US and Europe.

Sample Jah Lude’s music on Soundcloud

Jano Band, a 10-piece “ethio-rock” band breathing “African soul into classic rock ‘n roll”. JANO fuses lucid guitar riffs with bright vocals and traditional, soulful ballads.

Listen to Jano Band here.

Ester Rada, an Ethiopian-Israeli singer’scross-cultural sound is a deep reflection of her Israeli born Ethiopian heritage. A fresh sound, her music combines Ethio-Jazz, funk, soul & r&b.

Check out more of her sound here

Jacky Gosee aka Gossaye Kellemu, is a young vocalist residing in Amsterdam. He brings a modern sound influenced by traditional style and sound.

Sample Gosee’s music here

Leave a Reply