Maybe I’m kind of late to the game (shrug) but I love Jah Lude. He makes good Ethiopian style reggae music. According to an interview he did with The Reporter, he was born and raised in Addis. You might know him from his single titled “Yachin Neger,” which is basically a song about condoms. In it, he encourages couples to preserve their love until marriage but that’s not always realistic. It’s a positive song that sends an important message without sounding cheesy or like a lecture from your mom.
He has another song called “Feyamo,” which he sings mostly in Oromgina. I was surprised to learn that he doesn’t actually speak the language. But his family does, as well as a lot of the people in the neighborhood he grew up in. I appreciate the fact that he’s very aware of his Ethiopian and African-ness.
I have my own world that is called Ethiopia. When I merge my identity with my inner love for music, Ethiopia is my world. Wherever I am and wherever I go Ethiopia is always with me. Ethiopia is the country to which I give the most values in my life. I belong to Ethiopia and that is my world.
He appreciates his origins, his country and his culture in a very unique way, as he shows in “Hager Bet.” And that might partly be because he was away from Ethiopia for a while, living in neighboring Djibouti. He came back to live in Ethiopia five years ago. I don’t know how long he was away but I’m sure that experience shaped his worldview, his attachment to his home country and even his speech.
All around cool, conscious artist. Check him out.
And if like me, you want to learn about about the man behind the music, watch this interview Jah Lude Awol did on The Kassa Show (EBS).