Roughly a decade ago, Amanuel Mussie, 22, joined Ethiopia’s Balageru Idol singing competition due of his passion of music. That was his first step to becoming a famous artist worldwide. He sang Never Say Never by Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith. He was encouraged to pursue his dream by the judges’ amusement.
His mother, who is also his biggest fan, encouraged him to enter the competition to pursue his passion for singing and music. He was beaten in the fourth round after four years. He did not give up. He joined EBS’s Merewa tournament afresh. This time, he made the top 12. Albeit the show was subsequently terminated for unknown reasons before the winner was announced, Aman established an important network there.
With three other musicians, he founded Znar Zema. They worked on two songs, one of which was a 2017 success. Though less successful than their 2017 debut, their 2018 follow-up did well. After their second song, they decided to split up. Since he was still in high school, Amanuel put his music on wait for two years to focus on education. Studio 30, an Abol TV program that produced an album with 30 performers, including him, drew him back into music. He produced a TikTok smash last year with the show’s aid. Minew Minew, a song that flooded social media, helping him get fans by having them duet with his work. It is almost watched by a million viewers on YouTube too.
Music has always been Amanuel’s passion. His music and job are important to him. Despite this, he plays music because he likes it, not only for the audience. Amanuel used social media to promote his work. “I started TikTok on a dare, and I didn’t plan on singing covers of other artists.” Amanuel found his motivation to be a musician again through social media. It helped him define his artistic style and the music he wanted to make.
Once he started posting his videos, he saw how many fans and followers he could obtain and how important the interactions were for his music career. The singer believes social media “become a need at some point to reach out to my followers and the public, and it helps me understand the kind of music they love and see how many people embrace my music and my work.” His posts taught him what it meant to be an influencer and how much responsibility he had to his fans and followers.
Amanuel added, “I constantly get messages and many of my young followers also send me personal messages thanking me for inspiring them to start singing and pursuing their own aspirations.” Amanuel thinks social media helped him realize his significance and define his artistic identity at the right time. At 22, he is working with Yamlu Molla, who composed and produced most of Amanuel’s debut album.
They’ve been making an R&B album for seven months. Amanuel says he prefers Amapiano, even though they strive to cover other genres. With this album, Amanuel and Yamlu tried to bring 80s soft rock to Amharic music. The album is expected to be released in December via Sewasew Media’s music platform.
Amanuel advises his younger self to do what he did since everything happens for a reason. “The only thing I wish I had done but didn’t is learn to play at least one instrument,” he says. Amanuel’s ambition of being a famous artist worldwide hasn’t changed with age. He’s grateful for every opportunity that lead him to where he is now.