Hailu Mergia will release his first new album in over 15 years early next year
Hailu Mergia has announced a new album, his first in over 15 years, set for release via Awesome Tapes From Africa early next year. You can hear lead track ‘Gum Gum’ above.
Entitled Lala Belu, the album follows on from a remarkable career resurgence in recent years kickstarted by the 2013 reissue of Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument via Awesome Tapes From Africa, which was followed by a number of other reissue releases on the label.
Tony Buck (drums) and Mike Majkowski (bass), who have backed Mergia on tour throughout Europe and Australia in recent years, form the bass-drums trio on the recording, with the group and label wanting to capture Mergia’s current sound on record via this new release.
“It is a very historical album for me,” says Mergia. “And I am extremely excited. All of it feels like a big comeback. A different kind of audience, playing with a different kind of band and working with a different kind of record company. The album is very different from all the albums I did after I left Ethiopia.”