Ethio-American singer, songwriter and cultural activist Meklit shares her ultimate Spotify playlist.

A TED Senior Fellow, Meklit co-founded the internationally renowned Nile Project, bringing together artists from eleven countries to overcome politics and conflict through musical collaboration. In April 2016, she was commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to compose the song cycle, There Is No Sound Barrier, and she is currently completing a commission from the prestigious MAP Fund for the composition of her Ethio-Jazz inspired work, This Was Made Here. She has toured extensively across the US, UK and East Africa.

Meklit lands in Manchester this weekend to lead ‘My Music, My Manchester’, a MyHub creative residency and performance project for musicians aged 13-18. Over the course of a week, Meklit will be working with a group of talented young musicians to creatively explore questions of home, place, city, belonging and identity. The Manchester song-cycle – complete with digital projections  will be unveiled at the BBC Philharmonic Studio on Sunday 30 October. Find out more and apply to take part…


Meklit’s Spotify Playlist

These are a few of the songs that have been filling my life in the last few months. These are all hybrid souls, making gorgeous boundary crossing music that sounds great and will make you feel alive.

Sudanese born, Brooklyn based Alsarah – who performs what she called East African Retro Pop – has created haunting and powerful songs as part of her new album Manara. Red Baraat, who plays a fiery mix of Indian and funk music, was famously dubbed “the best party band in years” by NPR. Esperanza Spalding shines with her instrumental prowess and stage presence. Mahmoud Ahmed and Mulatu Astatke are two of my biggest inspirations in Ethio-Jazz. Caetano Veloso will quite simply break your heart with his vibrato. Quetzal are my dear friends based in LA, playing Chicano rock that will get you moving. Enjoy!

Ya Watan – Alsarah & The Nubatones

Four African Women Somi

Shruggy Ji  Red Baraat

Aynotché tèrabu – Mahmoud Ahmed

Estoy aquí (I Am Here) – Quetzal

Tzenni – Noura Mint Seymali

I Know You Know  Esperanza Spalding, Leo Genovese

Gubèlyé (My Gubel) – Mulatu Astatke

Cucurrucucu Paloma – Live 1995  – Caetano Veloso

In A Sentimental Mood – Duke Ellington, John Coltrane