Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ethiopian Music Videos Worth Watching

By Fikru Helebo

I just read Meles Zenawi's interview with Al Jazeera and found nothing in it to give me hope for the future of Ethiopia. This fellow has the audacity to say that he would like to be remembered as the person who started Ethiopia on "a good track, a democratic one". He had a slim chance to be remembered in that way pre-May 2005, but not any more!
He must be living in some kind of Wonderland!

If any one has a chance to be remembered in the way Meles wants to be remembered, it is one of the folks in Meles Zenawi's jails who are voluntarily sacrificing their comfortable lives for the sake of democracy and justice in Ethiopia! While we wait for a hopeful time where the democratic process will begin in earnest, let's cheer ourselves by watching some well put together Ethiopian videos.

I watched these Ethiopian music videos yesterday at a friend's place and I really enjoyed them. Quite frankly, I find most Ethiopian music videos boring to watch because they are too repetitive and lack creativity. But these videos, which I found on YouTube and linked below, are not only well done but pleasing to the ear as well.

The first one is called "Leul Aaswodedegn" by Fikir-Addis Neke-A-Tibeb. This lady has
mesmerizing vocals and she delivers the song very well on the video, which is not an easy thing to do. Her delivery of the song reminded me of Tsehaye Yohannes in his younger days.

The second one is by two youngsters, named Henok Abebe and Nati, and it is called "Tchiiferraw Derra". I am not a fan of hip-hop music, but these dudes won me over with their creative blending of American hip-hop rhythm with beautiful Guraghe dance and melody.

The third and the last one is "Seleme" by Teddy Afro (featuring Amy). In this video, Teddy does a good job of fusing the most well known Hadiya traditional wedding song with modern techno beat and a Dorze (Gamo?) tune. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I greatly enjoyed Tedi, Bravo Tedi.

Anonymous said...

Dear Blogger,
As much as i enjoy Teddy Afro's music, i was a little disappointed by some of the concepts that Mr. Afro incorporated in the song (Boya Selemme). Even though i am not a critic of music or anything to that matter, i could not help but notice how Mr. Afro took a song that is dear to most Hadiya people and misrepresented the culture. I think if an artist takes or borrows an idea,a symbol or in this case a music, the artist should and must give credit to the originator. The music is entertaining but misleading and did i mention the dancing was despicable!! And did i hear him say Haizo Dorze?? Why the confusion in the identity of the song? If you ask me.....i would your homework Mr. Afro.

Sumore :)

enset said...

Sumore: Thanks for comment. Your assertion about Teddy Afro misrepresenting Hadiya culture with this song would be valid if we assume that the goal Mr. Afro's was trying to accomplish with "Seleme" was to introduce people to Hadiya music and culture. I doubt that is the case. It seems to me what Mr. Afro is doing in this song is exercise his artistic liberty by borrowing hints of melodies and rhythms from various sources, in this case from Hadiya, Techno music , Dorze (Gamo?) and perhaps other sources, and fuse them together to produce an entertaining music. Other than the minor voice synch issue and misspelling of some words on the video, I do think that he has accomplished the latter objective well.

I do agree that the blending of the Dorze (Gamo?) tune in the latter third of the song/video may create confusion on the part of those who are not well versed in the diversity of cultures in Southern Ethiopia to assume that "Boya Seleme" and "Hayzo Dorze" are parts of the same song. They are not. But what can you do? Mr. Afro is the musician and we are the consumers.

Anonymous said...

Hi to say some about Tedi,

He is talented a very good artist.
bravo tedi.
Think for as whom we are living in Bangkok.

from Bangkok

Anonymous said...

biravo taidy i love your music contenue from maza mulugeta

Wachemo said...

Even though Teddy did good by nationalizing the wonderful Hadiya song 'Boya Selemae', a bit more internationalizing it as well, yes I agree there were some confusions on the identity of the song because of some phrases he included such as 'Hazo dorze'. Anyway, he deserves an upload for his good job.