“Once you are a musician you will always be a musician”, Abegaz Kibrework Shiota

Abegaz Kibrework ShiotaMusic composers have the ability to transform songs into something that captures the ears of audiences and, for music producer, composer, arranger, teacher and musician, Abegaz Kibrework, this is what he feels about real music. Abegaz is a household name in the Ethiopian music industry and is known as the master composer of Ethiopian music. He is behind the soulful songs of Aster Awoke, Tewodros Tadesse, Ephrem Tamiru, Niway Debebe, Hamelmal Abate and Tewodros Kassahun. 

Somehow, he transcends age and is able to connect people through music. Moving back here from his long stay abroad he is giving back to the community. Nowadays, he is busy with different projects and spends most of his time in his comfy studio. Some of his interesting projects include working on a musical project ‘Yegna’ which aims to empower women. He is also working on Ephrem Tamiru’s latest album. Tibebeselassie Tigabu of The Reporter sat with the media-shy Abegaz for an exclusive interview. Excerpts:

The Reporter: How did you get involved in the ‘Yegna’ project?

Abegaz Kibrework Shiota: One of the Nike Foundation managers, who is backing this project, approached me. First time around it was just an abstract idea and most of the things were not formulated so my task was not clear. It came back to me a year later and it was well constructed. That is when I sort of jumped into it.

What was the thing that you were interested in, or was it just another project?

At first it was just another project, just gigs and to be busy. When I heard the concept behind this project it became clear to me that this was something new. The purpose caught my attention and it got me. The objective is girls’ empowerment, so that sort of grabbed my attention. The other thing was to work with undiscovered artists and shape five musicians, which seems to be a challenge and at the same time interesting. It coincidentally went along with what I want to do right now, which is artist development. I am in that phase. Read more