5 Things with... Kibrom A. Birhane

Kibrom Birhane is an "All African Music Award" Nominated Musician, Multi Instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, Record/Mix engineer, arranger and radio host for Coke Studio Radio Africa. Passionate about Ethiopian folk, world, Jazz, pop, Ethiojazz and gospel music. Kibrom started his musical career in a very early stage of his life; after he finished high school he joined a private music college "Mekane Yesus school of Jazz music"  and received his Associated Degree in music performance in 2007 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

EC: Take us back to your childhood what was your real first musical experience?

Learning how to play Kirar from my older brother Abrham and his friends, a five or six-stringed traditional Ethiopian instrument, at age of 8, I found myself enthralled by Ethiopian Orthodox Kidasse.  My first musical experience was trying to play one of Ethiopian traditional instrument Kirar, I remember I was 8 years old and saw my older brother Abraham and his friends playing and singing and wanted to play so bad so I did. After that I found myself enthralled by Ethiopian orthodox Kidasse. 

EC: Making music is different for everyone. Talk us through your process. Where do you work/get inspiration/decided direction and assemble the right musicians..?

I record my ideas at my home studio and then I choose the right musicians for the songs, after that I might do the final recording at my home studio or a different studio.  I usually get inspiration from moments, like going to different places, from what I see and observe and how I feel about life in general.  

EC: Who has been the biggest inspiration on your journey and how/why?

My older brother Abraham. he first introduced me to musical instruments like keyboards and kirar as I mentioned above and I grew up seeing him play so he is my biggest inspiration. 

EC: What to date has been your favorite performance and if you could replicate that performance in another country/city where would that be and why?

Last summer I played at African Jazz Village in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I would love to replicate that performance in other major cities in Ethiopia. The reason is, I want to inspire the younger generation through my music. 

EC: A difficult task we know but give us five reasons why everyone should listen to this new recording

1, A great way to get a break from our busy life and the chaos around us. 2, it is a unique combination of two different instruments, Piano and Masinko. 3, All the arrangements are in Ethiopian scales (Qignit) and each song represents the name and the sound of the scale. 4, I believe it is a bridge between the young and older generation. 5, I also believe it speaks to the heart. 


Willber Willberforce was talking to: