Interview With Kirubel Assefa: Taza Records’ Upcoming Album ‘Dimtsepia’

Kirubel Assefa Kebede is a California-based Ethiopian musician and the co-owner of the start-up label Taza Records. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff | Art Talk

Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – We hear from industry insiders in Ethiopia to expect a wave of new CD releases in the next few months. One such upcoming album is entitled Dimtsepia, led by Los Angeles-based Ethiopian bassist, drummer and keyboard player Kirubel Assefa. The CD features various musicians, including Fitsum Mahadere, Tsedenia Gebremarkos, and Teklish and is being distributed under Kirubel’s own label Taza Records.

“Our plan is to release the album in Ethiopia in early June and in the U.S. and abroad in late June,” Kirubel told Tadias Magazine.

Dimtsepia is a contraction of the Amharic word Dimtse or sound and Ethiopia,” he said, in response to our inquires regarding the CD’s title. “It means ‘The Sound of Ethiopia’ which is a comprehensive overview of the music contained within.” He added: “The various singers give the songs different vibes. It’s also an excellent format to promote their work, giving them a boost and more visibility.”

As to Taza Records, Kirubel said it is a joint project with an American friend, and that the label is designed to tap into the growing popularity of Ethiopian music outside the country. “The idea behind the label is to create a fair business model for the artists” he said. “While the core audience will be the Ethiopian community, we intend on servicing the music to mainstream outlets. There are many musicians out there who make the music, but the business is left on the table.”

Kirubel Assefa Kebede. (Courtesy photo)

Kirubel grew up in Ethiopia and moved to the States in the late 80’s. He studied music at the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles. “I began playing at a young age in Ethiopia and was inspired by the many great musicians that dominated the music scene during the early 1970’s,” Kirubel said. “The Roha Band, The Ethio Star and the Walias Band all had significant impact on my playing and sensibilities.” He added: “My neighbor, Gedub Alfred was the drummer for the Wabe Shabelle Band. I saw him on television and from that time onwards I was committed to learning the drums and developing my musical skills.”

What’s his perspective on the globalization of Ethiopian music? “Riffs of African music have found their way into many popular mainstream songs for many years,” Kirubel said. “With elements of jazz and African rhythms, it becomes a fusion of various traditions and the outcome can be absolutely marvelous.”

You can learn more about the new album and hear sample music at

7 Responses to “Interview With Kirubel Assefa: Taza Records’ Upcoming Album ‘Dimtsepia’”

  1. 1 Fassil - Abebe May 1st, 2012 at 6:04 pm


    Way to go and keep up the good work. We’re all proud of you here in LA.

  2. 2 SELAMINO May 1st, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Kudos to you my friend…Coraggio !

  3. 3 Belew Girma May 1st, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Kirubel I like the name DIMTSEPIA. any reason to release the album early june and late? Can’t wait brother I wish you the best I am behind you keep up the the good work.

    God bless.

  4. 4 Kuku May 2nd, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Kiru – I wish all the best my friend! Looking forward to it!

  5. 5 Vahak Sakadjian May 2nd, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Good Job !!!!! KIRUBEL, I am So Proud of you . I support you and be the first one to purchase too. Keep up !!!!!

  6. 6 Yared Tesahle Jul 27th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I wish you all the best Kirubel you are the bests of the best!!!

  1. 1 Tadias Magazine gives a head’s up on Kirubel’s Dimtsepia | Taza Records Pingback on May 1st, 2012 at 8:37 pm
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