June 25, 2015
Not an expert in analyzing music in any way. just sharing common sense. Art is relevant to the artist to the extent that it enables the task of self-expression to be an accurate one. Yet, when an artist locates himself well within the society through his art work as opposed to drifting away or rebelling against the society to which he belongs, it is more than a happy state of affairs.
The writer would say Teddy Afro is exceptionally successful in that from the new generation of Ethiopian singers. For example, in terms of moderation,theme,captivating power of the songs, connecting culture to spirituality – among other things, you do not find much of a difference between Lema Gebrehiwot’s or Getamesay Abebe’s Zelesegna. That is why one could say Tewodros’ work represent much of continuity rather than mediocre,shallow and perplexed march away from the cultural and social context that Ethiopian songs need to reflect.
Many Ethiopian singers have tried to pick songs from the 50’s ,60’s and 70 but very few of them appear to understand the social and cultural context that need to resonates to the songs and more importantly the message. Tons of examples could be given on that. But it may seem for some rather polarizing and for that reason it is probably good to avoid touching on that point.
What needs to be underscored, however, is that the fact that millions and millions of people have given full attention to Tedy’s songs could be a manifestation of desire to see more relevant artists like Tedros. How many of Ethiopian singers would understand that is a question in itself.