Mikael Seifu is an Ethiopian electronic music producer committed to “Ethiopiyawi Electronic” – a coinage Seifu uses to describe the music he and his peers are producing in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis-Ababa.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Seifu attended the French school Lycee Guebre-Mariam as a child, and went on to study music production & the music industry at Ramapo College of New Jersey, a small school about 45 minutes outside of Manhattan. Here Seifu met a mentor in Ben Neill, the composer and music technologist who trained with La Monte Young. Seifu was inspired by Neil to take serious his calling in music.
Mikael’s music does not westernize or electronicize extant Ethiopian music. Instead, Seifu uses Ethio-Jazz’s spirit of brewing estranged styles for his own musical tincturing. Seifu’s passion above all else is to create something befitting of its time, yet “eternally Ethiopian.” The latter phrase was the mantra guiding Seifu through the creation of Zelalem, his debut EP on RVNG.
Zelalem, follows 2015’s “The Lost Drum Beat” and its B-side, the 13-minute epic, “Brass,” which was released on Washington, D.C. label 1432 R, after his 2014 debut Yarada Lij.