Aster Aweke

Aster Aweke

Country: Ethiopia

Biography of Aster Aweke

Ethiopian singer Aster Aweke, the most successful Ethiopian star of "world music," was born in 1961 near Gondar, the ancient capital of the country. When Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974, Aweke was already preparing for a musical career. In 1977, under the strong influence of the then Addis Ababa musical idol Bezunesh Bekele, she first sang with various groups and then as a solo artist. She was "discovered" by the producer and owner of a music store, Ali Tango, for whom she released several cassettes and 45-rpm singles. Her exceptional voice became widely known, and in 1978, she joined the Roha Band.

By 1979, the revolutionary climate in Ethiopia had become unbearable for Aweke's free spirit, and she left for the United States. She eventually settled in the company of diplomats and African immigrants in Washington, where she began to rebuild her musical career by performing in clubs and restaurants. A relentless careerist ("I have never been in love"), she paved a direct path to stardom, never allowing her luxurious vocals and fiery lyrics to be overwhelmed by arrangements. Currently, the singer resides in Los Angeles.