GOSSAYE TESFAYE

Born in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopian in April, 1975 Gossaye Tesfaye grew up a locality known as “Merkato”, labeled as the largest open market in Africa. Gossaye started his elementary education at Yekatit 23 elementary school, after which he followed up and completed secondary school at Kolfe Comprehensive Secondary School, the institution he completed high school. Gossaye’s singing career started during is high school days, when he used to sing and entertain fellow students as member of a music group, formed by the students’ Red Cross Society.

After performing as a student singer for approximately five month at the above mentioned Red Cross Society Music Group, Gossaye joined a music and theater group, called “Mestawet”, where he built up his career along with other Ethiopian vocalist of his age. This was in the year 1992-93 Gossaye, who is endowed with a magnificent voice and marvelous singing talent kept on with his career and started performing in Addis Ababa’s night clubs since 1993. The restaurant and club, called “Shewaget” was the place, where Gossaye performed for four years, admired by many music lover and stated to become famous. Right before this, Gossaye was hired by the “Kistane Band”, where he performed for one year. Apart from his wonderful voice, Gossaye is also talented in composing melodies. Having released the following three music albums, Gossaye has become one of the well-reputed young Ethiopian male vocalist in today’s music industry(popular music) of the country.

MAHMOUD AHMED

Born in Addis Ababa's Mercato district, Ahmed was enthralled with the music he heard on Ethiopian radio from in early age. Having done poorly he school, he shined shoes before becoming a handyman at the Arizona Club, which was the after hours hangout of Emperor Haile Sellassie's Imperial Body Guard Band. One night in 1962 when the band's singer didn't show up, Ahmed asked to sing a few songs. He soon became part of the band's regular lineup, where he remained until 1974.

By 1978, censorship laws prevented Ahmed from releasing his music on vinyl and so he switched to releasing cassettes. In the 1980s Ahmed operated his own music store in Addis Ababa's Piazza district while continuing his singing career. With many Ethiopian refugees living abroad, Ahmed became one of the first modern Ethiopian music makers to perform in the United States on a 1980-81 tour with the Wallias Band, Gétatchew Kassa, and Webeshed Fisseha. Ahmed soon began releasing records with the Roha Band and became popular in diaspora communities.

In 1986, Ahmed's music reached a larger western audience when the Belgian label Crammed Discs released the collection Ere Mela Mela drawn from two Kaifa LPs Ahmed had recorded in Addis with the Ibex Band a decade earlier. Ethiopia was making headlines in the west because of political repression and famine, and the contrasting tone of Ahmed's first international release received much acclaim in the burgeoning world music community. Ahmed gained even greater international popularity in the late 1990s after Buda Musique launched the Ethiopiques series on compact disc. This led to new recordings and tours in Europe and the United States with Boston's Either/Orchestra and Badume's Band.

Gossaye Tesfaye + Mahmoud Ahmed »