Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Black Love" 16mm short film directed by Shimby

Black Love: A short film directed by Shimby & produced by NSOROMMA
"something bout your happiness feels like freedom"

Check the short film for "Black Love" by Gabriel Teodros & SoulChef featuring Sarah MK, which debuted on earlier today! Shot on a 16mm camera, the film was completely hand edited with no digital enhancements, and experimented on by the filmmaker using, among other things, dyes created from roses, frankincense and sage.

This work is like a prequel to my upcoming full-length album with SoulChef on production, entitled Evidence Of Things Not Seen, to be released October 28, 2014. For everyone asking about lyrics, there will be a limited-edition book that comes with the album.

NSOROMMA co-founders Luam KidaneHawa Y. Mire recently did a very relevant interview with The Feminist Wire about Black arts, feminism and the decolonial aesthetic. Definitely check that out and learn more about NSOROMMA.

In honor of the short film being released today, I decided to leak a remix of "Black Love" by one of my favorite producers, OCnotes. If you've ever seen my brother do a DJ set, you know that what he does falls more easily under the category of electronic jazz... taking musical elements you would never expect to hear together and making something brand new. If you can dig that, you might dig this.

See you in a minute
-- gt

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Save Fendika! An Ethiopian cultural treasure

I wrote a new piece for okayafrica about Melaku Belay and Fendika. Help these musicians buy the land that the Azmari Bet they made famous is built upon today! (time is of the essence here)

"In Addis Ababa today, cranes litter the sky like an alien invasion. With bare feet, workers balance on ancient scaffolding wrapped around modern highrises. The air is a certain spice mixed with the kind of smog that could give anyone asthma in a week. The city is overpopulated and growing fast. I see pictures of where I stayed last time I was in the country and barely recognize a thing. Needless to say, the price of real estate is climbing high… save Fendika.

Melaku Belay dances like lightning; or like traditional acoustic instruments are electrocuting his entire body. He was orphaned as a youth and slept in the streets for 6 months, dancing for tips. The previous owner of Fendika allowed Melaku to sleep in the club while he continued to dance for tips and grow with his craft, until 12 years later he had saved up enough tips to buy the club. Since that day in 2008, Fendika has been an Azmari bet (traditional music house) unlike any other."

Read the rest over at okayafrica:

...and if you missed it last week, I made a 10-song playlist for Ethiopian New Years on okayafrica, that you can also check here:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Home [Away From] Home

Home [Away From] Home
An Ethiopian and Eritrean Arts Festival in Oakland, CA

So excited to be a part of this brilliance brought together by Meklit Hadero, Sephora WolduEllias Fullmore (in partnership with YBCA) next week in The Bay Area! Learn more about the project here, and don’t miss this absolutely free all-ages festival on Sunday, September 14th featuring musical performances by Gabriel Teodros, CopperWire, Melted States, Zena Konjo and more. There will also be a Braiding as Sculpture competition, Umbrella Painting, a Family Portrait Salon, traditional coffee served all day, food vendors and a children’s play area.

This is all taking place on Lake Merritt, next to the Gojo/Adgo we are building, which is housing events and new artwork created by the likes of Natasha Shompol, Zena Carlota Pearl Alen, Sedey Gebreyes, Esther & Noah Kibreab, Selam Bekele, Andre Jones, Joseph Gebre, Nesima Aberra and Mahader Tesfai for the entire week leading up to the festival!

I also wanted to point ya’ll to some cool interviews I did that went up over the last few months. The first one is in the July issue of Re-Volt Magazine where I talked to Big Hass in Saudi Arabia about style, influences and Hip Hop today. Before that I got to talk to Veronica Bayetti Flores at about redefining concepts of masculinity and home, and I also got a cool feature in the current issue of Seattle Magazine as one of "The 50 Bands Rocking Seattle Music Right Now". Much love to everyone supporting the new album! If you haven’t gotten Children Of The Dragon in your life yet, what are you waiting for? Bandcamp. iTunes.

There will be a lot more news about an even newer album with SoulChef on production very soon…

In the meantime check this out: Ferguson - Seattle Solidarity Cypher featuring EarDr.Umz the MetroGnome on production and raps from Gabriel Teodros, JDFlow, Spekulation, Zar, Ant, Orbitron, Yze & King Khazm.

See ya’ll in a minute,
- gt

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gabriel Teodros LIVE in Montreal, New York City & Washington, DC...

Gabriel Teodros Children Of The Dragon East Coast Tour Dates!

Montreal, QC
Tuesday, July 8th 2014
8PM | $5 before 8:30 / $8 after | 19+
at Les Bobards (4328 Boulevard Saint-Laurent) 

Brooklyn, NY
Sunday, July 13th 2014
Suena la Diaspora! with Quilomboarte (Bocafloja + Hache ST + Cambio), Sol Liebiskind & De La Cieba
8PM | $10 | All Ages
at Palisades (906 Broadway)

Washington, DC
Wednesday, July 16th 2014
9PM | $5 | 21+ at Bossa (2464 18th St NW)

* I don't have a normal facebook page. If you do, please add yourself to the events and invite all your homies!

I'm honored to be on the road this summer sharing stages with so many inspiring artists! A good way to stay tuned in to the journey is on instagram. This whole tour started in Detroit a few weeks ago, where I performed and presented at one of my favorite annual gatherings, the Allied Media Conference, with one of my favorite projects I've ever been so lucky to be a part of, Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements! To get a taste of what happened, check this video Scott Macklin just posted from the Octavia's Brood event we had in Seattle earlier this year:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Video: Hightek Lowlives ft. Gabriel Teodros "Humanoid Void" (Live on KEXP)

My family Hightek Lowlives had an in-studio performance at KEXP last month, and the video just went up! We did one of our songs off their superdope sci-fi themed album Humanoid Void. Check the full performance here.

If you are in Seattle you can catch us all live in concert Saturday, June 14th at Festival Sundiata! To see us, you should get there around 3pm at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Gabriel Teodros & AirMe - Children Of The Dragon

I dreamed about making this album. To make an album with someone who spoke the languages of Ethiopian music as fluently as Hip Hop was perhaps as important to me as actually going to Ethiopia for the first time.

Children Of The Dragon was created in the Washington, DC area (aka Ethiopia's 2nd Capitol) mostly in a small office studio (that had no mic booth) that on most days was shared with a graphic designer/film maker, a painter, and a few singers. The conversations and the energy of everyone who shared a space with us is in all of these songs. (and of everyone in the studio I spoke the least amount of Amharic!)

The title is based on mythology I first heard of in Haile Gerima's film Teza. I also think of Audre Lorde's term biomythography when describing the album as a whole. The first voice you hear on the record is my sister Luam Kidane who also just published this incredible piece on calling ourselves into freedom: Black art and decolonial asthetics which you can read on The Feminist Wire now.

This album is the first music I made after my first trip to my mother's homeland. I actually met AirMe and we started working together when I was on a 24 hour layover in DC... between Addis Ababa and Seattle. I didn't take any pictures when I was in Ethiopia but it's all in the music. Needless to say, this album is very special to me. We pushed each other to make the best music we were capable of creating at the time, we're putting it out completely independently, and I hope to break as many so-called rules along the way as possible.

Enjoy an exclusive first listen on YouTube and get the album from Bandcamp (or send it as a gift!) before anyone else has it. If you feel it, please share the music far and wide.

The YouTube stream features footage from traffic in Addis Ababa, filmed and edited by Brandon Eversole (who also is responsible for all the footage of us in Ethiopia that was featured in the video for CopperWire's "Phone Home")

If you are in Seattle, come party with us on Wednesday, May 7th (the actual day I turn 33 1/3) at Jaam Rek (aka the old Hidmo building on 20th & Jackson) Tickets and more information here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

May 7, 2014: "Children Of The Dragon" Seattle Release Party!

Wednesday May 7th, 2014

Gabriel Teodros "Children Of The Dragon" Seattle Release and 33 1/3 Birthday Party!

with special guests
Jennifer Johns (from Oakland, CA and debuting music from her brand new album "Chronicles Of The Aquarian Mind")
Hightek Lowlives
DJ's OCnotesWD4D

8PM. $15. All Ages.

@ Jaam Rek
(a.k.a. the old Hidmo building - 20th & Jackson - Seattle, WA)

Tickets available at
(this event will most likely sell out, you want to get your tickets now!)

Gabriel Teodros & AirMe "Frida Kahlo"

Some more grown-up rap. Love to okayafrica for premiering the single! This one is all about being 30-something, not settled down... and increasingly isolated as a result.

I love Frida Kahlo for so many reasons, but one reason I think her art resonates with so many people is because she painted from a place of pain and turned that pain into medicine. I think the isolation she felt might of been amongst the deepest pain... hence all the self-portraits.

As a musician I feel like each song becomes another self-portrait too.

"just a pad and a pen, i sip my coffee slow, wake up late and take a walk alone..."

-- gt

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chiwoniso Maraire

Just caught this beautiful interview of Chiwoniso Maraire. Sad that I never got to meet her. Thankful for her music and time spent on this planet. Love to the entire Maraire family... shoutout to brothers Tendai & Draze. So much brilliance. Good music lives forever.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

10 years since the first Blue Scholars release!

Blue Scholars released their first album 10 years ago, today. They celebrated with a release party at Vesper Lounge. I opened up, along with Cancer Rising. I also remember Macklemore was in attendance, and he played me songs from his upcoming "The Language Of My World" album in the car that night. I remember tripping off the quality of everyone's work, including the Abyssinian Creole album we were still working on at the time. A little later in the year, I remember rolling with Geo (aka Prometheus Brown of Blue Scholars) to Teal's place to record his feature that ended up on that Abyssinian Creole album. We had on KEXP in the car, (I think just for a split second while changing CD's) and a Blue Scholars song came on. This was a big deal because it wasn't a Sunday Night, and before Blue Scholars, I don't remember KEXP playing local Hip Hop outside of Street Sounds. If I'm not mistaken, it was the first time Geo heard himself on the radio outside of a Hip Hop specialty show too. That was one of many doors Blue Scholars were able to kick down, and Hip Hop in Seattle has never been the same. Sending love, respect and gratitude to Blue Scholars on 10 years since that first record!