Saturday, May 12, 2012

A conversation with Robel Afeworki

Part Two

Robel Afeworki (left) and Simret Haile (Bucchi)

Issayas: Why did you want to combine "geez music" and "trance music"?

Robel: If the ground failed to move for you, it may not be your fault. Music is evolving in new dimension with remarkable dynamics and pace of novelty. If it weren’t for entertainment, the global music industry would collapse, cultural literature would vanish and no-one would reap its social benefits. For as long as Homo Sapiens have trod the earth, the power of emotion has made human brain to experience excitement and relaxation in comparably more than the mundane survival habits of other primates. Nature selected us to experience the gratitude of music where pleasure incentives are entangled through evolutionary pavements of change, but, the question is that do we really want to be part of the change? Does it matter to follow the path of musical rhythm? Are they over- rated all too brief flashes of fabulous moments or do they signify an elevated level of cultural messages conveyed through out the course? It is true in practice the journey is more important than the destination. As Confucius once said “Study the past, if you would divine the future.” The fundamental conception of Eritronic is arisen from key theoretical framework which embraces the culture and originality of Eritrean context. We need change and variety in Eritrean music. Although, the cultural “Guya-la” is our cultural heritage, undeniable fact, still we are missing the flavor of creativity and similar pattern of musical styles have been evident in contemporary Eritrean music; repetition of alike beats confined with only musical instruments like saxophone, drum machine and “ Deg -dime” kibro beats everywhere. These are my personal empirical observations through out my experience which I have decided to experiment new stuff. Remember, I am not degrading the Eritrean contemporary artistic works but we need to catch the spirit of change for the betterment of our culture and society.

In music, you are either in or you are out. If you are in, you need an ear for every beat, rhythm and tunes through out the globe to create the wholesome panoramic musical concept of understanding. The pragmatic idea of combining "geez music" and "trance music" came to me on one Friday night when I was chilling with friend , Simret Haile (Bucchi), in a relaxed mood in a pub. There was a boring local song and, suddenly, David Guetta’s “sexy chick” was hitting the surround stereo. We shared the musical experience of progressive, trance music, and its global domination. After, Simret persuaded me that we needed to revolutionize Eritrean music. I started with trance beats and he followed with it with geez ziema. The next morning it took us away from energetic excitement of listening and ended up in professional music studio.We galvanized the whole team in Gerry studio and embarked with Eritronic project. The rest, as they say,  is history! It was meant to happen. I had my heart set on a career in radio host from an early age though I have never imagined it would include music producing in a real studio. These past years have metamorphosed from wild child ambitions to sophisticated leading person who is making great strides with my radio career, music and confidence. The experience I have acquired in this project is awesome. Eritronic is zero (non) profit, non-commercial product dedicated for young Eritrean people to serve as a slingshot for change and platform of improvements. It is a peanut advancement made in music industry just like an iceberg; where you have seen only 1/ 5 of our achievements. I promise you  lots are coming in subsequent years from our team and expect more from every Eritrean interested in music and culture.

Issayas:  Are there similar traditional music in Eritrea that resemble trance or geez music?

Robel: I think trance music is the first experience in Eritrea, we are far away from progressive music. Well , almost all Tigrigna songs of Eritrean music build on the bases of geez ziema excluding some  ethinic Eritrean cultural music which has their own traces of geneaology of music to classical Zema.The most important thing should be reminded here is geez ziema yet haven’t be expressed with notes, scales and chords of musical sciences.

To check for a sampler of Eritonic music:

Issayas: Robel, thank you for your time and insight.

Robel: Thank you.


  1. It's so so amazing i never heard some thing like this as a new idea will motivate our cultural music to introduce world wide and it shows the quality of our traditional musical instrument for making a real flavor to a music.keep up doing the good job and expecting more!!!

  2. Yemane said.....

    I think it is huge jumping step in the Eritrean music context. The Eritronic music has catchy flavour and trance mixing with tigrygna ziema is awesome.

  3. hey robel

    It is awsome..................
    exhilaratingly catchy trip to the dance floor. It sounds like moving forward to the international arena.

  4. Hi, Robel

    Your work is pretty impressive which reflects your creative ideas in music The gorgeous vocals and empowering words from traditional the lyrics is fantastic.The impact flows over me like a wave crashing on the shore. It is still relatively simplistic in structure, but the sounds are quite beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Hi, robel......I wanna put some comments about your work.

    After the plucked opening piano part that opens the song, the first buildup into the chorus of "Debabina" is exhilarating. Abeba's voice not only gains your attention when she is quietly delivering the verse, but also has the sheer power to soar above the dance beats. The negatives about the song are endemic to much of TRANCE-DJ work. The structure is simplistic and can become repetitive hearing "debabina" multiple times.
    I am like expecting more to come up with strong elements of geez.


    Your music strips down much of the production here to its dance essentials. The beat leaves a lot of open sonic space and shines the spotlight squarely on the lyrical and vocal power of Nago and Abeba. The beat is both energetic and uplifting.

  7. Study of Eritonic seems new to the public.
    The interpretation of it though seems very close to meanings and goals of music.
    The essence of music, was first created as a trans or beyond human capability.

    I think the Eritronic feature has some new things to add, and hope good tools to reach the goals are available in the next future. To build such meaningful harmony, and to fill the gap between the forkloristic and Ziema-geez hymnal song is one of challenging talk.

    I would love to see the closeness of this program. The habesha songs have some interchanging visibility with the european style of music. While the Geez-song seems to have hidden sounds and melodies of its nature which we like to see a guide to narrowing the gaps.

    I believe with many talented Geez-song lovers, a connection to this kind could be possible.

    Great job dear Robel. I hope you give to all of us an insight to solve the node that exist in our music culture.

    Thank you for your revivals in music art and in Geez-music art.
    A. Berhanemeskel Matiewos

  8. Hi Robel,
    I'm very proud of you. Keep it up your good work.
    Ertrawit Haftka,