Sounds of Hope, Tune of Togetherness: Rophnan’s Tour
Music has the power to unite people across divides and Rophnan Nuri is doing just that through his “My Generation” tour of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian DJ and producer, known simply as Rophnan, is bringing fans together from towns and cities across the vast East African nation to celebrate his music – and in the process helping showcase the diversity of Ethiopian culture.
The tour kicked off in the capital Addis Ababa in 2021 after the release of Rophnan’s album “Sidist,” giving fans a chance to experience his unique blend of upbeat sounds and lyrics. And it’s not stopping there – Rophnan plans to take the tour to even more cities across Ethiopia and even the United States, where he’ll perform for the Ethiopian diaspora.
Rophnan has been causing a stir in Ethiopia’s music scene since bursting onto the scene in 2018 with the release of his debut album ‘Netsebrak’.
Since then, Rophnan’s talent and fame have grown with each new release. His unique artistry has found fans among Ethiopia’s youth, while his style, lyrics and ambition have also appealed to older listeners
In just five years, Rophnan has become a household name across Ethiopia and gained international attention by signing with Universal Records last year.
In 2021, Rophnan embarked on his highly anticipated “My Generation” nationwide Ethiopian tour, taking him to cities like Hawassa, Arba Minch and Dire Dawa. The tour showcased his wide appeal across the country.
The “My Generation” name, which Rophnan frequently uses in his art, signifies the faith he has in the current generation, according to Muluken Tekle of Tor Events and Records, which organized the tour.
“When people talk about this generation, it’s often in a negative way. Rophnan wanted to show the hope and faith he has for this generation, that they can positively impact their communities,” said Muluken.
The “My Generation” concept, Muluken says, expresses Rophnan’s belief in his generation’s kindness, ability to create through technology, new ideas and other avenues.
Through the tour, Rophnan was able to showcase the diversity of Ethiopian music and culture, and able to bring his art and music to fans all over the country. National concert tours are uncommon in Ethiopia’s music industry but the team still aimed to reach as many fans as possible.
“The youth of this generation are not just in Addis Ababa, they’re all over the country. There are young people in Mekelle, Gondar, Bahir Dar, Hawassa, Dire Dawa and more cities who are part of the generation, and we wanted to give them an equal opportunity to be a part of it,” explains Muluken.
The tour didn’t come without challenges. Muluken says planning concerts in all the cities Rophnan performed in, while ensuring the same production standards as the Addis Ababa concerts, was tough, especially given their desire to stage quality shows in each town.
“Ensuring we maintained the same standard in all other cities was very difficult, especially with the difficult situation the country was in. People didn’t think concerts were important, so it was hard to convince them to organize the concerts,” Muluken said.
Muluken claims it was very difficult overcoming bureaucracy and all the rules/laws in order to prepare the concerts, in addition to the financial restrictions they were already facing. But in the end, they were able to prepare concerts on a similar scale to the one prepared in Addis Ababa.
The “My Generation” tours ultimately succeeded, bringing together more than 100,000 fans who wanted to enjoy and experience Rophnan’s artistry. When the Tor team and Rophnan set out, they had certain expectations, but what they were met with was more than they expected. The way fans received Rophnan and engaged with his art and music was more than they had hoped for, according to Muluken.
The tour has continued after the release of Rophnan’s recent album, Sidist. It started with two shows in Addis Ababa, followed by concerts in Hawassa, Arba Minch and Dire Dawa, and they plan to continue to cities they haven’t yet reached. The tour will also continue in the US, giving Ethiopian youth the chance to enjoy Rophnan’s work.
The “My Generation” tour has not only showcased Rophnan’s artistic evolution but also highlighted his ability to unite people through music. Despite challenges in planning and organizing concerts across cities in Ethiopia, the tour has succeeded in bringing droves to enjoy his performances.