Premiere: Meklit Pays Homage To Her Ethiopian Influences On “I Want to Sing For Them All”


Ethiopian Jazz musician Meklit Hadero gives us an amazing tune that shows love to her musical roots, titled “I Want to Sing for Them All,” it features violinist and whistler Andrew Bird. The track is the latest single from her forthcoming album, When The People Move, The Music Moves Too.

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“I Want to Sing for Them All” is a beautiful medley of lush and rich sounds from the African diaspora that inspired the song. The spirit of the record aims to uplift and captivates your spirits, and its eclectic, colorful, and artistic video channels the vibrant spirit of Ethic-Jazz in such a way that will make you dance.

Meklit’s beautiful visuals pay homage to every sound and artist that crossed her path since she was a child. Her soulful melody shows all of her cultural influences — from hip-hop, soul, and American pop music to Ethiopian jazz music, which shapes her stylistic range. The former TED fellow explains how “I Want to Sing For Them All” is her musical manifesto, and how she intertwines both of the music of American and Ethiopian heritages.

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“’I Want to Sing for Them All’ is my anthem,” Meklit tells VIBE. “I’m laying out exactly how Ethiopian music and American music intertwine inside my history and sound. Michael Jackson and Aster Aweke, Prince and Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu Astatke and John Coltrane. They are my touchstones. When I was growing up in Iowa and Brooklyn, we would go back and forth between my parent’s old tapes of Ethiopian music and the American radio dial. I was built from both. And I want to show that those two [types of] music can fit together, that they can have a relationship, especially inside of pentatonics, like the blues is built from, where African-American and African music meet.

She adds, “We came to this country when I was about two. I am an immigrant, so I guess you could say this is immigrant music. But I would not be who I am without Jazz, and Blues and Hip-Hop and Soul. This music is Ethio-American, just like me. I find joy in the bigness of that space.”

Meklit’s album, When The People Move, The Music Moves Too, will be available on June 23.