Audio

‘Zelalem,’ An EP & Vintage Ethiopian Folk Mixtape From Producer Mikael Seifu

Ethiopian beatmaker Mikael Seifu shares his new EP 'Zelalem' and a 50-minute vintage Ethiopian folk mixtape.

Zelalem EP cover.


As we’ve told you, we’re really excited for Mikael Seifu’s new EP Zelalem. The Addis-Ababa-based producer’s had a hold on our ears since we first came across his Ethiopiyawi Electronic style—a blend of traditional Ethiopian folk sounds with UK garage & house beats—and his latest EP only furthers those sonic experiments.

Zelalem, which means “Eternity” in Amharic, is made up of five songs that sample and reshape the Masenko and Krar instruments used by Ethiopia’s azmaris to create hypnotizing productions that Seifu calls “eternally Ethiopian.”

“Mikael’s music does not westernize or electronicize extant Ethiopian music," Seifu’s label RVNG Intl. adds. "Instead, Seifu uses Ethio-Jazz’s spirit of brewing estranged styles for his own musical tincturing.”

Zelalem, out today via RVNG Intl., is accompanied by a 50-minute cassette mixtape from Seifu that compiles Ethiopian and African folk music. There's no tracklist or much more info out there about the mix, so if you recognize any of the tracks give us a shout.

Stream the Zelalem mixtape below and, if you’re in NYC, head to Mikael Seifu's EP release party tonight (details in the flyer underneath).

Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Vinegar Pap Smear Saving Women’s Lives In Malawi

This simple diagnostic test is giving hope to thousands of women in Malawi.