Folk music derives from traditional culture and has a distinct flavor in each country and among its people. For generations, Ethiopian folk music has been interwoven with the sound of Ethiopian culture and handed down from generation to generation.
Wegdayit, an up-and-coming songwriter and singer of folk music, is experimenting with indigenous Ethiopian and African sounds and literature to create his own folk music.
There were numerous indigenous sounds and music played throughout Africa and Ethiopia that lacked an archive and were the unadulterated sounds of the tribes, according to Wegdayit. Among the sounds utilized by the artist are the Kushitic sound of Africa, the Yared sound from religious sounds, and a great deal of other indigenous sounds that had limited exposure in Ethiopia.
“We took these sounds from all over Ethiopian and African cultures that had no solid archives and recorded them so that we could infuse them with the modern musical sound. We tried to use its influence in the modern music that we made,” Wegdayit explained.
Wegdayit was introduced to literature and music by his family while growing up in Addis Ababa. Since childhood, he has dabbled in different areas of music and writing. Wegdayit followed in the footsteps of his father, a writer, and mother, a church choir singer, who were both actively involved in the arts.
In addition to the influence that led him into the realm of music, he claims to have many other motivations in his life. “Life was one of the many factors that inspired me to pursue a career in the music industry. Life and the purpose of life continue to motivate me to this day,” said Wegdayit.
He says he thrives on creating authentic sounds of music by interweaving Ethiopian and African folk music to create a musical genre he labels Tiru Musica.
Simply put, Wegdayit is associated with Tiru Musica. In musical terms, he performs fusion and experimental music due to the intertwining of numerous genres in his compositions. His music consists of a fusion of Ethiopian music, reggae, jazz, and hip-hop.
“We cannot categorize my songs as belonging to a specific genre. Instead of categorizing my tracks as reggae, jazz, or any other specific genre, we categorize them as fusion and experimental music. In order to describe the fact that my music is compatible with any of these genres, we dubbed it Tiru Musica,” he explained.
When Wegdayit began his musical career, he encountered many obstacles, most notably the Ethiopian music market’s adoption of certain works of art. There were musicians who created certain artistic styles of music, but the likelihood that the music market would accept and distribute new items was low, he says.
Wegdayit asserts that the situation is improving and that he has observed changes over time. “I have seen a lot of changes these days, and I can see that there is a glimpse of hope for the music industry in Ethiopia. He draws inspiration for his art and music from his surroundings as well. His source of creativity, which he applies to his work, is the ambient sounds that he hears in his daily existence.
The sounds that he recognizes from nature, including church chimes, bustling markets, and the chirping of birds, have been incorporated into his music.
Currently, the artist is experimenting with the concept of noises known collectively as “Weg.” He is presently recording and producing an album, which he plans to release in the near future.
The album is a traditional work that combines cultural folk tales and norms that spread by word of mouth with sound and melody, as well as the feel of the Yared musical style, to create his own distinctive sounds.
Wegdayit, who is collaborating with Meedo Records on his album, believes that it will contribute to the musical revolution in Ethiopia and Africa. He expects the album to be released soon and intends to continue his folk music work and spread the sounds and art he creates through it.