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

Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Comedian Munya Chawawa Signs Major Deal with Atlantic Records

Zimbabwean-born, UK-based comedian Munya Chawawa, known for his hilarious online skits, has recently signed a lucrative deal with Atlantic Records.