The rich culture in Ethiopia has greatly influenced its music as each song has this soulful vibe and patriotic traditional harmony. In a country that has gone through a whole lot of hardships of war and torment, it is not surprising that such profound events impacted their great culture and musicality. Music is indeed a creative way to self expression. Traditional music helps form the foundation of Ethiopian culture and tradition. Ethiopian music basically makes use of just five notes – Do, Re, Mi, So, La but despite the fewer musical notes in use, Ethiopian music is one of the world’s musical sounds that has captured their audience with an unusual way of creating music and lyrics. Because some of the interesting Ethiopian music are in local dialect, not everyone can understand the words, it is expressive and soulful and shows how much they truly love music. Their music not only bespeaks about love between two people, but also endless love for country that is yearning for freedom and the simple life. [You can also read about Oromo music and Listen to cool selection of Oromo Music].

Today, Ethiopian music has evolved and gotten better over the years as Ethiopian songs make their way into the international music industry; propelled by music videos and use of modern synthesizers. Here are 20 Ethiopian music you should definitely listen to:

Interesting Ethiopian Music

1. Yene Deha – Mikiyas Chernet

It is a modern song that talks about a man longing for love and misses his partner who has chosen to work abroad. Literally, yene deha means “my poor”. It is a relaxing music that holds deeper meaning and is greatly sentimental.

2. Elelta – Samvod

A feel-good hip hop dance hit featuring a new form of Ethiopian musicality and talent. The music and video shows how the artiste has expressed the influence of hip hop culture that is mostly identified with the west. It is one of the latest musical vibes that surfaces from the modern generation of artists in Ethiopian music.

3. Tew Man Nehe – Sayat Demissie

It is a beautiful music from a fashion model and beauty queen with a song that resonates the fusion of new music and tradition as how the younger generation views it.

4. Alex – Wey Mela Nesh Alu

It is a modern song that focuses on Habesha hip hop music but still carries the great Amharic traditional influence. It is one of the interesting Ethiopian music one can listen to.

5. Alebsise – Zema Sabawiyan

It is the perfect example of what Hadiya music is. The girl group which is lead by Bethelehem Belete showed the world what traditional music and singing is all about.

6. Hasrabum Mesekie- Sayat Demissie

It is an awesome new song with the familiar cool beat associated with Ethiopian music. It mostly addresses the younger audience because of its upbeat tempo and sleek music video.

7. Selamawit Gebru – Konjo Mewded

An ideal example of how the Ethiopian sound has come to be. The video projects various unique dance moves with dancers in purple and white against a yellow background.

8. Yezina Negash – Gedamu

It highlights the great love of Ethiopians for party and self expression. It greatly shows their fondness and love for the good and sweet life. A song from 2009 but remains evergreen.

9. Abby Lakew – Audra / Awo Bel

It is a modern and awesome dance music that evokes their sense of fun. Sang in English and has an upbeat cool tempo with traces of traditional tunes in the background.

10. Fesum Yelesh Acha – TilaHun Gessese

TilaHun Gessese is a late contemporary music artiste who has always shown his patriotism in most of the songs he sang. The song shows great love for one’s country and hunger for freedom.