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Teddy Afro » Shashemene (Promise)


10 December 2015

Shashemene (Promise)

We are about to point out the main issue why Teddy is different from his national and foreign counter musicians. Some music genres are not only created by the creative skill of the artists but are also the results of the time’s general life style. If we go a little bit further back we find the genre Blues. Blues was a type of music that the black children of Adam that were considered less of an animal by their owners and how were laboring in cotton plantations and mining sites in south America two hundred years ago were singing to express their plight and grief. Blues is not a song. Blues is expression of agony. Blue is rebellion. There fore a person that really does not feel agony can not out of no where play it properly. This is why even talented musicians like Eric Clapton were not successful in pure Blues. Eric Clapton is not black hence he would not have tried blues if he had known there was no sadness that would give rise to Blues.

When we come to our century and see the sixties we found another type of music that was created as a result of rebellion. And this is Rock and Roll. Rock and Roll was born when youngsters who were still at the shock of World War II for the next two decades in which there was low self esteem, lack of vision and living in unnecessary principles that their father kept during peaceful times wanted to express their problems in stiff manner and liberate their spirit. As such Rock and Roll is not just a song but a rebellion that rose from the time’s pressure. It is an attitude and philosophy that opposed the old system. An artist who hasn’t realized this principle can’t be successful in Rock and Roll.

It is the same with Reggae. The creator and king of this genre Bob Marley is a unique artist who has deep character that sings not with his throat but with his heart, spine, spirit as well as his beautiful soul that every one sees. It is only possible to find out Reggae music style’s right shape and content by looking trough this artist’s song with serenity. Though after Bob Marley there has been numerous Reggae music artists the question whether these artists have really understood Reggae is not that much debating. They haven’t understood reggae is the answer. Very few have tried to come close. In this sense the difference between Marley’s reggae and his followers’ reggae is too big like the ocean. If we simply represent Marley by “mustard” then his followers (Peter Tosh, Denis Brown, Gregory Isaac, Alpha Blondy before he joined The Wailers band etc) then can be represented by mayonnaise. Mustard and mayonnaise might seem the same at glance but we realized when we taste each one.

The trend in our country is not that much different. . Many tried to play reggae music. The think they have played the style. But the thing is just because there is a familiar bit between the base guitarists’ stroke it doesn’t make it a reggae music. Our article limits us to start to give analysis on the features of the right kind of reggae music. Let’s just pass it by saying it is helpful to carefully compare the works the style’s creator with the others’ work.

Teddy has sung such song like “Girmawinto”, “Leman Limash” and especially later on “Eyerusalem” as well as “Shashemene” in reggae style. If we study each work we can see how teddy is close to the right reggae music style. The content of the lyrics, the weight and depth of the issue, the shape and aura of the melody, the singer’s sound rhythm and color and in general the arrangement, musical flavor etc without a doubt had a right reggae taste. All in all the reggae style has been tried both our country’s and foreign singers. However there were few who understood the essence and who came close to try it in the right way. According to the writer of this article, Teddy afro is the one that has been seen to adapt the style’s essence better than others.