Singer to fully donate album sales proceeds to charity
Ethiopian artist Abby Lakew announced at a press conference arranged by her management company on Tuesday at Sapphire Hotel that she will be donating all proceeds from her latest album to charity. ‘Mekedonia Home for the Elderly and Mentally Disabled’ is to be the recipient of the gesture from the star.
One hundred thousand copies of her album are to be released in the coming weeks, with more to be followed. Her latest work, her second full-length album is a follow up to the hit – “Man’ale” a bilingual album of Amharic and English songs from 2007 which cost USD 40,000 to make. It was produced at a studio in New York made famous by the likes of Boys II Men and Tony Braxton in their heydays.
Abby most recently released single songs, “Yene Habesha” and “Befikir Eskista”.
The album release date was delayed multiple of times as the artist was facing personal issues, including the loss of her elder sister to a surgery mishap as she recently revealed in an interview on the Seifu Fantahun Show on EBS. She became a guardian of her sister’s children in addition to her son, who is now six years old.
This year marks her 10th years in the music industry. She has been involved in charities all throughout her career, helping build schools, hospitals in Ethiopia and paying the medical cost of her fans, according to her manager, Aman Yirga Woldemariam.
In 2012, she acted on the movie, “Eyerus”, portraying a countryside girl who moved to a big city and her own struggle of survival and adjustment. Her performance was critically acclaimed, perhaps as one that is reminiscent of her own journey to the United States at the age of 13 from her hometown of Gondar.
“After visiting various non-governmental organizations while in Addis Ababa to take part in “Addis Ababa Concert 2” which was held last year, I decided to donate all proceeds from the CD sales of my new album to Mekedonia,” Abby told The Reporter in an exclusive interview from Dallas, Texas where she is currently based.
Abby wrote and produced most of the music on her album but the song “Sheshete” stands out for her. It was said to have been written overnight as she was watching footage from tragedies that hit home.
“I wrote “Sheshet” to educate the youth on the dangers associated with illegal migrations who often take the horrendous journey across the Sahara desert,” she said. “This came after watching the deliberate deadly action and tragedies committed against our people by human traffickers in North Africa and the Middle East.”
To the up and coming musicians, the veteran artist has a parting message.
“Believe in yourselves. Make sure you study the music industry and try to be unique. Reach out and help up and coming singers just like others have helped you. Share everything you have learned”.