Ethiopia: The late Mikaya Behailu’s final works released

Some artists attain success in their lifetimes, others achive it after death. Recently, key players in the music industry have taken it upon themselves to ensure that artists’ music lives on even after their death. And those in Ethiopia’s music scene came together to revive Mikaya’s works.

Mikaya shot to the limelight with her debut album Shemametew, which became a success due to her soulful voice and lyrics that talked about love and principles. In September 2013, Mikaya was disgnosed with systemic lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. On 24 December 2013, after being rushed to Tirkur Anbessa Hospital in Addis Ababa, Mikaya passed away a few hours before midnight.

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Other than music, the artist was also known for her youth and women empowerment projects. In an effort to create awareness about infant mortality, some of her songs’ lyrics were about child birth and nutrition. Before she passed away, Mikaya was working to launch a talk show that solely focused on women.

During her first anniversary, Dagi’s View Show held a memorial program where her unfinished works came to light. The show’s host, Dagmawi, contacted her family and initiated the conversation about finalising her works. These were collected from different composers and handed to Robel Dagne, a music mix and arrangement professional, whom she was working with before her death. According to Addis Insight, Dagne improved the quality of her music and worked on the arrangement of the tracks. Gracela Liogi and Mekbib Mekoya, Ethiopian vocalists, featured in three of her songs. Collin Jordan, a veteran mastering engineer at The Boiler Room in Chicago, also worked on the album.

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The final album, Gize Binegudim, has 12 tracks whose lyrics were written by Mikaya. The lyrics are deep and the album appeals to a wide fan base. The album is available on iTunes and CD Baby. The original CD can also be bought from distributors.

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