Yale Political Science graduate.
You can call Meklit Hadero by any of these titles and you’d be correct. She melds elements from various aspects of her life into a sound that’s truly her own, although she prefers to call it Ethio-jazz.
Her new album, When the People Move The Music Moves Too comes out on June 22 (digital version) and June 23 (CD). Meklit collaborated with Grammy Award winning songwriter and producer Dan Wilson (Adele, Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift) and features the Preservation Jazz Band. (Check out the video for the song I Want to Sing for them All, here.)
To get a sense of how Meklit approaches music, watch her TED talk, The Unexpected Beauty of Everyday Sounds. She hears rhythms everywhere she goes, and incorporates a lot of everyday sounds into her writing process.
“In the TED talk, I’m talking about inspiration from everyday sounds… One night, I was cooking lentils and took the lid off and it started rolling back and forth across the counter in this really cool, weird swing. I recorded it right then, and decided to write a song using that rhythm. That’s one of the songs on the (new) record.”
Meklit’s musical playground spans from New York to San Francisco, with a stop in Seattle, where she has family; including an aunt who helped sponsor Meklit’s family’s journey to the US from Ethiopia, and cousin, iconic hip hop artist Gabriel Teodros. Meklit moved to Seattle after college (she graduated from Yale University with a political science degree), to reconnect with family and Seattle’s large, Ethiopian community; and to immerse herself into Seattle’s music scene.
“There’s this city’s love of music and the way that music is embedded in so many parts of Seattle life; that was something that was really special for me.”
She recalls the first time she performed in Seattle. “The very first show was at Bumbershoot in 2007. That was with Gabriel, my cousin. It was right when his album Lovework had come out, which was a huge moment in music for him, and I think also for the Seattle hip hop world. He brought me up and I did two songs with him on his Bumbershoot set.”
She’s performed in the Emerald City many times since then, and is eager to hit the stage again Friday night (May 12) for her CD release party at The Crocodile. Joining her are DJ WD4D and her cousin Gabriel Teodros. This time, though, she’s the headliner. (CLICK HERE for showtime and tickets)