This week we were lucky to catch Ethio-American singer-songwriter Meklit for a phone interview as she prepared to kick-off a tour at DC’s legendary jazz venue Blues Alley. We discussed her musical journey from introspective acoustic compositions to the more groove oriented sound on her latest album scheduled for release in Spring 2017 (Six Degrees Records). Meklit’s third album is produced by multi-GRAMMY winning artist/songwriter Dan Wilson (Adele, John Legend, Dixie Chicks) and deeply inspired by Mulatu Astatke (the Godfather of Ethio-Jazz). The songs shine with pentatonic melodies, Ethio groove, and a singer-songwriter’s poetic core. We also discussed Meklit’s work as a self-described cultural instigator wearing beaucoup hats as co-founder of the Nile Project, TED Senior Fellow, board member of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and a member of the Artist Council of the de Young Museum in addition to years of work with universities and community organizations to explore the ways music and art can help us ask questions about who we are and where we want to go collectively. Meklit’s is a unique and engaging voice on the new African music scene. It was a joy to chat with her and to watch her artistry and activism soar!
[Click Play for our full interview with Meklit – April 5, 2017]