GiGi

Genres: Electronic & Ambient World Music
Decades Active: 2000s

Biography

Ejigayehu Shibabaw, 1974, Ethiopia. The multi-octave voice of New York-based Ethiopian singer GiGi has been dubbed a ‘Gift of God’ in her home country. Ironically, however, although Shibabaw grew up singing in the Ethiopian Church (and was given voice lessons by a local priest), this practice was not strictly permitted for women. Prompted by such repression, at the age of 18 Shibabaw absconded from her home in the coffee-farming area of northern Ethiopia to Kenya where she was allowed to sing. When she returned to Ethiopia in 1996 she joined the Ethiopian National Theatre and worked in a musical trio with Fantahun Shewankochew and Wores Egziabher, touring around Africa and even visiting France. At the age of 24, Shibabaw relocated to the USA where she recorded her solo debut, One Ethiopia. However, it was the singer’s self-titled 2001 collection that propelled her to international attention. Dubbed (and perhaps overstated as) ‘the best, and most...

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