Meklit’s music is imbued with poetry and multiplicity, from hybridized sounds of Tizita (haunting and nostalgic music) drawing from her Ethiopian heritage, to jazz, folk songs, hip-hop and art rock. She aptly describes her music as emanating from “in-between-spaces.” Listening to Meklit transports us to the post-national space of Africa and America, inspiring us to bridge the frontiers between language, tribes and disciplines. Her songs celebrate the newness of life and the hyphens that bring us together.
Meklit released her debut solo album On A Day Like This in 2010, and her follow up We Are Alive in 2014. This Was Made Here, her newest body of music, was commissioned by the MAP Fund and is set to be released in Spring of 2017 by Six Degrees Records. She has also been a part of three collaborative albums - CopperWire: Earthbound, Meklit & Quinn and the Nile Project: Aswan.
Meklit is a TED Senior Fellow, and her TED talk, The Unexpected Beauty Of Everyday Sounds, has been watched by more than 1 million people. She was a featured singer in both An African Tribute to James Brown - a project of musical legend, Pee Wee Ellis, as well as the UN Women Theme Song, One Woman.
In April 2016, Meklit was commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to compose the song cycle, There Is No Sound Barrier. She has toured extensively across the US, UK, and East Africa at festivals and venues such as
- Bumbershoot Music Festival, SXSW, The Kennedy Center, Southbank Centre (London 2013 and 2015), Moods (Zurich), the Hollywood Bowl, the TED Conferences (Edinburgh, Rio di Janeiro, Long Beach), Monterey Jazz Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Nuits D’Afrique (Montreal), SFJazz Center, the Gondar Castles (World Heritage Site, Ethiopia), Blankets and Wine Music Festival (Nairobi) and many more.
Meklit and her projects have been covered by numerous press outlets, including:
- USA Today, the Wall St. Journal, NPR, The New Yorker, New York Times, WNYC, KEXP Seattle, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun Times, PBS, PRI’s The World, Time Out New York, BBC Radio 4 - Front Row, BBC Women's Hour, BBC World Service - Focus on Africa + Arts Daily, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, National Geographic World Music, Huffington Post, Filter Magazine, Le Presse (Montreal), MTV Iggy, OkayAfrica, The Village Voice, Google Music, Relix Magazine, Pidgeons and Planes, WIRED Magazine UK and many more.
Meklit has been an artist-in-residence at multiple Universities, including NYU, Purdue and the University of Missouri. In 2011, she co-founded the Nile Project with Egyptian Ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis, which the New York Times called "a committed, euphoric, international coalition."
Meklit sits on the board of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, on the Artist Council of the de Young Museum, and holds a BA from Yale University.