The renowned Ethiopian singer Aster Aweke announced yesterday that her new album ‘Chewa’ would be released on July 3, 2019.”
Aster’s fans around the world waited for around six years to hear this news. Her last album Ewedihalehu (I love you) which was produced by one of the most known composers Abegasu Kibrework Shiota, was released in 2013. “I was wondering when the next one will be, thank you for this great news. Can’t wait to buy the album.” one fan commented.
Aster Aweke was born around 1959 in northern Ethiopia Gondar and raised in the capital Addis Ababa where she began singing in bars and clubs. Launching a solo career, she was encouraged by musical entrepreneur Ali Tango, who financed and released five cassettes and two singles of her music. Like many Ethiopian artists, Aster fled her country’s civil war and Mengistu’s military regime that censored music and relocated to Washington DC, where one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the USA existed. There, she became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community, performing in restaurants and clubs.
Aster managed to become popular in her homeland as well. In 1997, she performed in Addis Ababa for a crowd of over 50,000 people. In 2003, Aster also performed a two-part concert series to raise funds for relief, and school initiatives in Ethiopia and a total of more than 50,000 attended on both concerts. Her works even inspired artists like The Weeknd who adopted some of her works in his songs (The Hills)
Her distinct style has been influenced by other Ethiopian singers, such as Bizunesh Bekele. Many compare Aster Aweke’s charisma and vocal to legends such as Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin.