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Abraham Afewerki(1966 – 2006)An Eritrean singer, song writer,and music producer drowned in the Red Sea at the age of 40.It was a big shock for all Eritreans all over the World. In addition to his humble personality, Abraham was one of the most gifted contemporary Eritrean musical artists. A genius of Tigrinya music writing, and a unique Tigrinya lyricist, Abraham was one of the most recognized figures among Eritrean musicians and celebrities.
Abraham Afewerki is described as an Eritrean musical tour-de-force. Held in high regard by his fellow Eritrean artists his work garners appreciation and admiration from his peers. His musical influence also crosses borders to Eritrea’s neighboring countries where his music is reproduced by other musicians singing in a different language other than his native Tigrinya.
Abraham was born in Asmara, Eritrea. From an early age Abraham was fascinated with musical instruments and by age nine had learned to play a musical instrument independently. Due to the Eritrean War of Independence Abraham, with his family, fled to Sudan and soon after to Italy where he further pursued his dream to be a professional musician. While studying in Rome, Abraham continued to expand his musical skills by working with internationally known musical celebrities in live performances as well as recordings.
Abraham’s first CD, Kozli Gaba was released in 1991, which was produced and distributed by Virgin Records in Europe.
The album was the first by an Eritrean artist that was produced by an International recording company and made available to the global audience. Abraham’s music, in due course, was covered by a number of International media outlets.
During the following 15 years Abraham released two more albums which further propelled his popularity among Eritreans.
Abraham Afewerki was popular because his lyrics expressed strong and poetic images of Eritrea’s culture. His socially conscious words were evocative and his fans often described his music as inspiring. Abraham is also credited with being one of Eritrea’s master live entertainers.
In his newest CD titled Semai ("Sky" in Tigrinya), Abraham collaborates with several Eritrean musicians, the result of which was an exquisite sound. Abraham continued to blend his music with jazz, R&B, and Reggae rhythms at the same time maintaining his music’s originality and authenticity.
He died in 2006, when he drowned while swimming in Massawa whilst filming his next music video.
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