Thursday, March 31, 2016

Abraham Afewerki - Kozli Gaba [1991] [eritrea]

Abraham Afewerki (1966–2006)

Abraham Afewerki (1966–2006) was an Eritrean singer, songwriter and music producer. Noted for his unique Tigrinya-based compositions and lyrics, he was one of the most recognized figures among Eritrean musicians and celebrities.

Abraham was born in Asmara, Eritrea. From an early age Abraham was fascinated with musical instruments and by age nine had learned to play a musical instrument independently. Due to the Eritrean War of Independence, Abraham, with his family, fled to Sudan and soon after to Italy, where he further pursued his dream to be a professional musician. While studying in Rome, Abraham continued to expand his musical skills by working with internationally known musical celebrities in live performances as well as recordings.

Abraham’s first CD, Kozli Gaba was released in 1991, which was produced and distributed by Virgin Records in Europe. The album was the first by an Eritrean artist that was produced by an International recording company and made available to the global audience. Abraham’s music, in due course, was covered by a number of International media outlets. All his songs are legally distributed and protected by Ella Records currently.

During the following 15 years, Abraham released two more albums which further propelled his popularity among Eritreans. His songs were popular because his lyrics expressed strong and poetic images of Eritrea’s culture. His socially conscious words were evocative and his fans often described his music as inspiring. Abraham is also credited with being one of Eritrea’s master live entertainers.

In his newest CD titled Semai ("Sky" in Tigrinya), Abraham collaborates with several Eritrean musicians, the result of which was an exquisite sound. Abraham continued to blend his music with jazz, R&B, and Reggae rhythms at the same time maintaining his music’s originality and authenticity.

In 2006, Abraham drowned while swimming in Massawa during the filming of his next music video.

Abraham was described as an Eritrean musical tour-de-force. Held in high regard by his fellow Eritrean artists, his work garnered appreciation and admiration from his peers. His musical influence also crossed borders to Eritrea's neighboring countries where his music is reproduced by other musicians singing in a different language other than his native Tigrinya.

Abraham Afewerki - Kozli Gaba (4:48)
Abraham Afewerki - Wegahta (6:36)
Abraham Afewerki - Meley (7:50)
Abraham Afewerki - Aygodelen (5:55)
Abraham Afewerki - Hisebilu (6:54)
Abraham Afewerki - Misay (6:11)


2b0rn0t0b said...

Palix said...


MARCH 14, 1935 - APRIL 4, 2016

Getatchew passed away today. At the age of 81 and after a musical career of 68 years. He was a truely unique saxophone player. Born in the countryside of Ethiopia, he heard the saxophone on the radio at the age of 13 and went to Addis Abeba straight away. He wanted to play saxophone! And soon after that he got himself into the Municipality Band. Later he played in the Haile Selassie Orchestra's, the National Theatre Orchestra and more.
Since 2004 he played regularly with The Ex. It was his choice after hearing us at one of our festivals. He recognized something in our music which reminded him of the early groups he was in, like the Fetan Band (Speed Band). He loved playing with us and for us it was also an incredible experience. He was always totally himself, full-on intense and dedicated. We played more than 100 concerts and made two beautiful albums together.
The last few years, his health was not very good. He couldn't really go on tour anymore. As a kind of farewell concert for his fans, we organized a big event in the National Theatre in Addis Abeba. He got lots of attention and respect that night: 1500 people in the audience, three TV stations and a legendary concert. Getatchew was playing while sitting on a chair, but his playing was stronger than ever.
His whole life was music. With his unique sound and approach he leaves behind an eternal inspiration!
We will miss him.
The Ex & Friends

2b0rn0t0b said...

@ Palix : thanks palix for this sad news ... he was truly unique!!!!

Feilimid O'Broin said...

Thank you for this Afewerki post. He was a great talent who was too soon gone.

There are some musicians who because of the longevity and consistent artistry of their careers seem immortal. Mulatu Astatke is one and is fortunately still with us. Getatchew Mekuria was another and it is truly sad to learn of his passing. Thank you, Palix, for making us aware of this loss to Ethiopian and, indeed, world music.

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