Music: ‘Erotalehu’ by Eyob Mekonnen

The late Eyob Mekonnen

A new music album by Eyob Mekonnen will be released next week after three years of the death of the Reggae star.

Eyob’s ‘Erotalehu’ album consists of new 14 songs that were arranged by different composers. All except two were recorded by Eyob before his death. The two songs feature other artists who voices resemble.

During the announcement a new single ‘Tew Yalshign’ was also released.

Eyob’s debut album Ende Kal came out in 2007 to great national acclaim. This album is still popular throughout Ethiopia.

Born in 1975 in the small town of Jijiga, in eastern Ethiopia, Eyob joined a five-person band called the Zion Band, which was described as having a “reggae beat with a distinctive Ethiopian cast”. The band became a fixture at popular clubs in Addis Ababa, performing opening acts for popular singers. His musical style was unique, not only mixing popular music with reggae, but also counting Ali Birra as one of his major influences, alongside Bob Marley. In 2010, he released his first album, Ende Kal. Although lukewarmly received by audiences at first, as it differed from the often synthesized, electronic music that had prevailed since the era of the Derg and the demise of the big bands of the Haile Selassie era. Slowly, however, the album gained a following and “great national acclaim”.

His songs dealt with issues of equality and promoted “morality, love, peace and social consciousness”, themes that made them popular and hard-hitting. In 2010 he embarked on a campaign called “Finding Peace” to help heal rifts caused by the disputes in the parliamentary elections.

In 2012 he released one single known as “Negen Layew” and Haile Root’s song as featuring named “Yelayegnawin.” He was beginning to tour abroad, particularly in Canada, Germany, and the Netherland

On 13 August 2013, Eyob suffered a ischemic stroke brought on by atrial fibrillation and entered a coma, however he was in otherwise good health. His fans and his promoter, Yisakal Entertainment, took to Facebook to post updates on his conditions and raise funds for his treatment on a page called “Let Us Pray for Eyob Mekonnen”. Despite these efforts, Eyob was moved to Nairobi, Kenya on 17 August, however he died on 18 August due to complications. He was credited with sparking a movement towards live music and away from so called “one man bands” and furthering the popularity of reggae and roots music in Ethiopia.



3 thoughts on “Music: ‘Erotalehu’ by Eyob Mekonnen

  1. eyob is reggae star in ethiopia i used to listen it every day …. his album were amazing all of it RIP .. eyoba

  2. I listen to eyob everyday! RIP Eyoba your legacy will live on!!! Excited for the new album!

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