The highly anticipated upcoming season of Coke Studio Africa is set to hit the screens across Africa and in Ethiopia from Feb 2019. Known to bring artists from across different genres and countries to collaborate, the new season will unveil a whole new set of Ethiopian acts all making their debut on the Pan African music show.
In rare fashion, Coke Studio Africa has enlisted Rophnan—the multi talented electronic dance music star from Ethiopia to join the show as a performing artist and music producer. This is the first time the show is enlisting an artist in both capacities. Rophnan will be making his big debut on the show, paired with Zambian rapper Chef 187. On top of lending his voice, lyrics, compositions and extraordinary mix of Ethiopian traditional Ethiopian sounds with EDM music on the collaborations, Rophnan will also be producing all of the pairing’s music fusions.
Striking a remarkable chemistry during the recording of the show, Rophnan expressed his admiration for Chef’s distinct tact and craft. Speaking at the recording studios on their upcoming collaboration, Rophnan said, “I am an experimental artist; of course I brought traditional instrumentals from Ethiopia so we added that as an element. We also have an amazing percussion instrumental style from Zambia on top of it. Musically it’s going to be really wide and am sure you are all going to love it,” adding, “Working with Chef 187 is like one of the great experiences I have had in my music career. He is such an amazing artist. Trust me after one or two years, he is going to be performing at an even bigger stage.”
Celebrated for his distinct style of mashing up traditional Ethiopian music elements in music production, Rophnan is a pioneer in the genre of EDM music and is today counted among the leading African acts creating innovative sounds while defining new frontiers for African music.
Following the release of his debut album “Netsabraq” in May 2018, the renowned DJ, producer and songwriter has become one of the most celebrated musicians in Ethiopia having made history as the first electronic dance music album published in Ethiopia.
He also spoke on his passion for Electronic music: “Technology allows you to be what you want to be. Electronic music is the new thing as it represents my generation. As Africans, we have a lot of instrumentals and languages to show therefore we can be experimental with the EDM sound by adding cultural instruments,” adding, “It’s like the new jazz and that is why I found it very interesting.”
Rophnan has established himself as Ethiopia’s go to DJ, playing a pivotal role in the rise of the DJ scene. Hits such as “Get To Work” – a Guragegna based beat that has been one of his signature tracks over the years – helped elevate him onto the international scene when it was featured on Major Lazer’s “Africa To The World” mixtape. The release of his album has injected a new flavor in Ethiopian music winning him accolades and recognition when he won 3 awards at the Leza Awards (2018) including Album of The Year.
Coke Studio Africa is a non-competitive music collaboration show, which seeks to bring together, and celebrate the diversity of African music and talent. It also gives upcoming artists the opportunity to work with some of the best local and international music and production talent. The artists are drawn from different genres, eras and regions and put in pairs to create a modern and authentic African sound through musical fusion. As the artists interact and produce music documented by the show’s producers, they also get to learn about each other’s music and styles while exchanging cultures. The show takes the viewers inside the recording studio to watch a diverse range of artists. Official partners of Coke Studio Africa 2019 include: Sankara Hotel, PACE Africa, Yallo and Home 254.