MusicClick on link below (Adwa) to hear a short audio clip. To listen to sample you'll need Windows Media Player...
.... SONG TITLE:"Adwa"
About me:Visit my OFFICIAL WEBSITE : GigiMusic.com
From an ancient kingdom fixed in the popular imagination as civilization's cradle, birthplace of biblical consorts to the Hebrew kings and would-be messiahs, emerges the voice of Gigi Shibabaw. Gigi, a stunning young Ethiopian singer, reaches from the past with a spriritual vision for the future, reminding us of the most fundamental human truths: devotion, harmony, and beauty. Her self-titled album, is a space odyssey that takes us back home, to what really matters.
Produced by world music mastermind Bill Laswell, who has worked with artists ranging from Herbie Hancock to Morocco's Master Musicians of Joujouka, Gigi's album is an organic flowering of ancient Nile rhythms, contemporary jazz virtuosity, pan-African rhythm, and dub-reggae studio wizardry. Percolating around Gigi's rich, affectless voice are a team of master musicians that include saxophonists Wayne Shorter, Henry Thredgill, and Pharoah Sanders; guitarist Nicky Skopelitis; percussinists Aiyb Dieng and Karsh Kale; and Laswell himself on bass. From "Guramayle," a sweeping pop number kitted out in soulful organ swells, to the West African styled "Mengedegna," the rugged horn-laden Ethio-funk of "Tew Ante Sew," and dark dub energy of "Sew Argegn," Gigi's debut captures the many facest of this unique artist.
Twenty-seven years old, tall, dusky and crowned with a nest of sun-kissed curls, Gigi embodies polar possibilities with disarming grace. From a tiny corner of East Africa, she has emerged with an effortlessly cosmopolitan voice. Gigi is conversant in the ancient language of Agew, a root language and lingua franca of ancient norther states of Ethiopia. "For an Ethiopian artist, my work is different," she explains, sequestered in Laswell's Orange Music Souns Studio during the recording of this album. And not only because Gigi writes all of her own songs, "I grew up singing in the Ethiopian Church, which is actually not allowed for women, but there was a priest at my home who taught me how to sing the songs. And I listen to a lot of West African music, South African music, hip hop, and funk, so you feel all that in the melodies. Even if it's in Amharic, people can appreciate this music." Those who know Ethiopia's pop superstars Aster Aweke and Mahmoud Ahmed will find Gigi's music markedly different. Her varied musical interests leaven the rigid Ethiopian scales; her voice is just as likely to soar fullbodied like the Malian songbird Oumou Sangare as it is to break into breathy falsetto.
Fifth child in a family of ten, Ejigayew "Gigi" Shibabaw was raised in a far-off hamlet by conscientious parents who'd turned their backs on the squalor of the city. Her family's life was directly dependent on the water from the river Ardi to irrigate their coffee plant crops. "I always knew I wanted to be a singer," she recalls. "We always had a lot of entertainment in my house. When people would come over, my parents would have the kids perform for them." A loyal daughter with a rebellious streak -- some things truly are universal -- Gigi sought her artistic fortunes abroad when her tradition-minded father initially forbade her to make way in the world as an entertainer. Living first in Nairobi, Kenya, and performing with an Ensemble of East African expats, Gigi returned to Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, where she quickly established herself as a singer and songwriter to be reckoned with.
Cast in a French theatre production of the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, which featured an all-Ethiopian ensemble, Gigi toured East and South Africa, and eventually France, where she was invited to perform at a Paris World Music Festival. Seeing the world stage as her true home, Gigi relocated to San Fransisco at age 24. It wasn't long before her music, released for the local Ethiopian community, caught the attention of Chris Blackwell, Palm Pictures founder.
Her music derives from celebrations of Genna (Ethiopian Christmas), when men and women used to assemble at her home for two months of feasting, games, and of course, zefen (songs) and chifera (group dancing). Her poetry is inspired by the land, by scripture, the ancient Ethiopian church, and the beauty of the Ethiopian civilization.
Gigi entrusted her songs to an international cast of musicians -- fellow Ethiopians, West Africans, Americans, and Indian-Americans. "I thought it would be difficult to work with people who weren't Ethiopian and didn't know our music," she admits, "but everything we've done is magic. Bill Laswell is incredible. It's like when we got all these musicians together, it just happened -- they're playing my heart." .. .. ..
Who I'd like to meet:
- Status: Married
- Hometown: Addis Ababa
- Zodiac Sign: Capricorn