NPR Blog

Happy to announce that NPR's newest blog gave us some love just last week. We talked Afros, a brief detour to the Arctic, the Nile Project and gave a first listen to Dub Colossus' remix of Kemekem (I Like Your Afro), featuring Samuel Yirga. Check it out here!

 

Calling All Afros for the Kemekem Music Video

Friends! We are filming the music video for my version of the Ethiopian traditional love song, Kemekem (I like your Afro) featuring Samuel Yirga. We are searching for Afro coiffed folks of all ages and all Afro sizes to feature!!!! In fact.....

WE ARE CROWD SOURCING AFROS!!! You can send in a 15-30 (ish) second video of you and your Afro representing you however you would like. You can be talking on the phone, cooking, dancing, looking in the mirror, picking out, braiding, unbraiding, smiling, frowning, clowning... it can be a group shot, a selfie, a duo, trio, any matter of Afro beauty. One section of the video will feature these videos. 

Click here to upload your Afro video via jotform. 

Submissions are open from now until July 23rd!

Please contact: theperfectafro@gmail.com for questions and concerns. 

Kemekem: Literal meaning - freshly mown grass. Old slang for the perfect Afro. 

Opening for Mulatu Astatke

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I am beyond thrilled to announce that I'll be opening for the Godfather of Ethio-Jazz, the great Mulatu Astatke Feb 21st, 2015 at Royce Hall at UCLA. When I met Gash Mulatu in Ethiopia three years ago, he admonished me to keep on innovating and to never make the music in the same way that he had forty years ago.  I found his advice so moving, and true to the way that the musical greats think. There's nothing about this man that is stuck. Instead, he is IN the onwards. Can't wait for this moment. The only thing that would make it even better is singing with him. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!!!!!!!!

Meklit Receives MAP Fund Grant!

I'm thrilled to announce that I am one of 2014's MAP Fund Grantees!!!! With their beautiful support, I'll be creating a new body of music that I have been dreaming of writing for YEARS... looking at core elements of Ethiopian Jazz, and working on a new deconstructive body of music based on it. To add to the excitement, I'll be studying Ethiopian poetry as well. I'm so grateful to the MAP Fund and to my fiscal sponsors, Fractured Atlas. Oh YEAH!!!!!

http://mapfund.org/grant_815.html


We Are Alive! is Now Available

Friends, music lovers, humanity at large!!! It's here... the birthday of my new record, We Are Alive! That's right, the record is O-U-T!!!

Pick it up HERE, direct from me to you, our sounds to your ears; (also available on iTunes, Six Degrees, and Amazon).

I can't tell you how much I  have appreciated your support over the last years. 

See you on the beautiful road...starting March 20!

CLICK HERE FOR TOUR DATES 

Meklit 'On The Rise' // Bay Guardian Spotlight

Be sure to grab a copy of this week's SF Bay Guardian, and CLICK HERE to read the full feature on sfbg.com!

"What sucks you in, what keeps your eyes and ears locked on Meklit, what makes an unselfconscious 'Damn!' start to grow at the back of your mouth is her voice: lilting, sensuous, capable of the leap from staccato jazz-cat to honeyed songbird, she conveys both fragility and great strength in a single line.”

- Emma Silvers (Bay Guardian)

USA Today Exclusive album stream: Meklit's 'We Are Alive'

Head over to USA Today for an exclusive first listen of We Are Alive!

"As someone who listens to dozens of bands each week, the music can really start to blend together after a while. It's particularly exciting, then, when I encounter something that sounds like absolutely nothing else.

Meklit is one such musician. Born in Ethiopia and based in San Francisco, the singer-songwriter draws upon a spectrum of influences, crafting tunes that sound soulful, experimental, jazzy and even retro. (Case in point: She covers a song by The Police on her new record..."  Read More

Source: Whitney Matheson, USA TODAY

Meklit Featured On Wall Street Journal

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Singer and songwriter Meklit Hadero covers a lot of ground, geographically and musically. Born in Ethiopia, Meklit (who goes by her first name) now lives in San Francisco, where she makes music that lands somewhere in the intersection of jazz, sultry pop, the traditional music of her homeland and Police covers. All of them are in evidence on “We Are Alive,” her second full-length album. Speakeasy today premieres “Slow,” one of 11 original tunes on the album.

It’s a captivating song that frames Meklit’s silky voice with rich, low horns and an easy-rolling bassline that ties the whole thing together. The song, like the album, reflects the singer’s belief that life is worth embracing, bumps and all.

“Nothing important takes the time you think it will,” Meklit told Speakeasy. “We all know this, yet we’re somehow always surprised. But why not just enjoy it, turn the process into a game and laugh at our very human tendency to rush through the very things we should be savoring. Slow, slow, slow.”

Along with the original tunes, “We Are Alive” features a version of the traditional Ethiopian song “Kemekem” and Meklit’s take on “Bring on the Night” by the Police. Eli Crews (Tune-Yards, Deerhoof) produced the album, which is due March 18 on Six Degrees Records (and is available here for pre-order). What do you think of “Slow?” Leave your thoughts in the comments.

For more music news, follow @erdanton.

New Album On The Way!

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Look out! I’m finally releasing my second full length solo album this March, titled We Are Alive. It’s been an amazing process, writing eleven original songs, interpreting an Ethiopian classic and an 80s classic and its finally ready for YOU!

We’re doing a PledgeMusic campaign, launched just a few days ago to build this record RIGHT. The theme of the album is simple, as hard as it gets, and as sweet as it gets, We Are Alive. This is not some come-and-go release. No, no, no. It feels like the biggest thing I’ve ever made, and I’m sooooooo proud of how it turned out. Yes indeed.

www.pledgemusic.com/meklit

Unlike other pledge campaigns, the campaign is not so much about raising the funds to record. That’s done. Instead, we are looking to build m-o-m-e-m-t-u-m!!! We’re gathering friends from different corners of our lives, all the folks we’ve met along the way, all the fans who’ve been in our audiences, all the listeners who’ve found us online….. That way, we can tell the world that there’s a tide of supporters out there. Bigger than they realized, and groooooooooowing.

So if you were planning on buying the release at some point, do it now!!!!! You are part of this crazy journey. May the music fly!!!

www.pledgemusic.com/meklit

And sometimes spreading the word is the best thing you can possibly do. Share away, my dear ones!

Oh, and I was just on the ted blog too…. http://blog.ted.com/2014/01/17/celebrating-the-cultural-in-between-fellows-friday-with-musician-meklit-hadero

With deepest thanks for your support!

Meklit

Music Expansions

Today we have our first official Nile Project concert in Aswan at the Cultural Palace. We’ve been rehearsing 8 hours a day, learning backing vocal parts in 6 languages, writing songs, finding new tunings for all our instruments, understanding entirely different approaches to improvisation. This residency has been deep musical expansion time. I can’t wait to see how it all trickles into everything that we make and do.

It’s been blowing my mind to see all these ways of understanding sound trying to come into conversation with one another. I think the most beautiful part of it is how eager everyone here is to listen. To listen with kindness. Think about it. Imagine you are sitting with a friend, and you are having a conversation with them, and they are truly present with you. Doesn’t it change what you say? Cant you say more to them? This happens musically too. When you have ears that are listening with kindness, you also sing differently, play differently, with more of yourself.

For audiences, this means that you have immense power! You are the shape of the bowl that the sound pours into….. You influence musicians, and change the course of a show. I dont know if people know this. Maybe I knew it at one level, but it’s deeper now. Onwards to tonights show!!!!

The Road Calls

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Hey friends! It’s a new year, with new songs, and you know what that means….. The road is calling!

We’re headed East for a WinterTime tour spreading songs from the snow country to the white sand land. NY, Pittsburgh, New Haven, Burlington, Portland ME, Portsmouth NH, Arlington, Raleigh, Savannah, Miami, and Sarasota. OOooOOooOOoo yes. Cant wait!

See you there for some good music nights.

http://www.meklithadero.com/shows

We Made an Album

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Hello friends! The weeks have passed and sound became tape and tape became digital. The band rehearsed, the band arranged, the band laid it all down solid and sweet, ready for the airwaves and for you… All that is to say, we made an album!!!

After spending a fabulous week at New and Improved Recording Studios in Oakland (and another week in studio withdrawal), we are ready to begin the mixing process. All the ingredients are there: 1 cup vocals, 1 cup upright bass, 1 cup trumpet, 1 cup drums, a pinch of viola, a dash of trombone, a splash of cello and… Well you know the rest. Mix well and serve hot!

But not till spring. It’ll all be ready then………

Meklit Signs to Six Degrees

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Oh my! I’m floating. Just signed a worldwide record deal with the fabulous folks at Six Degrees Records. Wooooooooooooooo! We’ll be recording in November, releasing in the early spring.

What more can I say…. May the music fly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!