Home > Music > Gossaye’s ‘Satamagn Bila’

Gossaye’s ‘Satamagn Bila’

It’s been some three weeks since Gossaye Tesfaye’s newest Amharic CD, ‘Satamagn bila’ was released.The Amharic phrase ‘Satamagn Bila’ is normally used to higlight political conflict when one party is trying to rationalize its act of bad deeds.But here it is refreshingly used to carry messages of the sexual politics between a husband and a wife.

Having said that about the title track, let me get my verdict out.Well, from the moment,I put the CD on I knew that it wasn’t going to be another album.And I was right.It’s an album that reminded me of a good meal- the moment it’s finished you feel like starting all over again.

Every one of the thirteen tracks here is compelling, each with a different rhythm and feel.‘Ko ya Ababo’, a track with a title meaning ‘Come, My Flower’ in Oromo, is more fun than most, employing tuneful and eclectic hybrid of musical influences, with lines like ‘kotu si yama, kotu mele, kelo’, mixing Amharic and Oromo rhythmic interest.Getachew Hailemariam, the noted Oromo singer,had his hands on it and gave it an authentic feel.

Another track whch I found appealing is ‘Yene neger’ (Alas, me) has arrangements akin to those of Muluken Melesse’s hit of the 1980’s.Yet whilst comparison can be flattering, they can also mask the true creativeness that Gossaye oozes from every digit.Muluken’s devoted fan might be a little disappointed by the resemblances, but stick with him, press “rewind” and i guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

For those of who are looking for a hit with distinctive ‘Kirar’ sound, I recmmend you ‘Konjiye‘ (My Beautiful) for its blend of acoustic strumming with a home-made instrument.

The album has an impressive line up of heavyweights including Abegaz Shiyota.I recommend it to you.

Categories: Music
  1. Yeneta
    July 24, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Were you paid to write that? all are crap songs in this album

  2. Jama-Jama
    July 24, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    I wasn’t impressed either.All the songs I heaerd are Keber Chacha.all fanfare and nothing of a serious art.The t-shirt in the poster has more artistic than the hit themselves.The music was adsipointment.

  3. Rado
    July 25, 2007 at 8:16 am

    I think it is a matter of taste.I find it enjoyable and fun, too.

  4. Bekele
    July 26, 2007 at 9:10 am

    You must be kidding.This should be the best album of the year.Gossaye’s album is a real melting pot of styles and rightly deserves the praise which has been heaped on it. Every track feels original, and belongs on the record.He is one of the only groups out there that dosen’t need special marketing support, controversy, or tired old collaborations to draw intrest.This will remain the best album on my list until Teddy Afro releases his next one.

  5. Gebriel
    July 26, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Yes he did get it right – simple as that really- this album is incredible – it’ll take you months to digest but is worth it! Those who disagree simply haven’t heard it. It has everything – rock, jazz, funk, folk, pop, drum ,chifera and bass, classical and of course hip hop! Even the interludes are brilliantly funny .

  6. Adnaki
    July 26, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    People who comment here can be so beastly. I feel this album is immensly complex and if you have the knowledge and the musical skills as i do, then the layers of harmonies and complex arrangements and scales really stand out as the workings of a brilliant mind. A real thinking mans album which is why i love it!!

  7. Aba Koran
    July 26, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    This album is great! second best this year, after Tedi.”you could…”. Putting aside all the things about musical complicatedness, and all that, this is just a great album, full of great songs, from a great musician.

  8. July 26, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    you can not compare him to reddy afro. teddy is so matured.

  9. MH
    July 31, 2007 at 9:51 am

    The album is great including the cover pic. He tries to be simple and down to earth. That is life.

  10. Mirkuzz
    August 2, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    I think we got some shabias on this board, who try to downplay or discredit anything good that comes out of Ethiopia. I think Gossaye is one of the best musicians in Ethiopia and this album is the best of all of his albums todate.

  11. Mesfin
    August 2, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Yes, he was littel for , but he did great job, I like it

  12. belayneh
    August 8, 2007 at 9:03 am

    wow GOSI, that is fantastic go ahead with it. greatfull lyrics, insturument. I love your vacal

  13. Yaya
    August 8, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    I find it disgusting how there is a lack of orginiality in the so-called modern Ethiopian music these days.Yeaer after year, record producers in this country seem to be thriving on the dull business of bringing out different versions of the same song with slightly changed melodies and lyrics.When I try to buy a new record I find out that it’s only the old commodity in a new wrappper,including this CD.

  14. Kebede
    August 9, 2007 at 4:07 am

    You’ve a choice not to buy. why don’t you come up with something new instead of complaining. I doubted you’ve a talent listening it let alone coming up with new and original. Leave the guy alone. He did his best.

  15. antish
    August 9, 2007 at 4:59 am

    are you kidding, gossayes album is way better than teddy’s. the songs in gossaye’s album kept the usuall modern amharic beat and tempo with better composition. Ethiopians can digest the lyrics to themselves in a musical way rather than talking about other controversial topics like politics and “ras tafari” stuff as teddy did. and belive me, gossaye is a better vocalist than teddy. full stop

  16. B.Y
    August 9, 2007 at 8:25 am

    From what I have seen in this commment section, some of you are making comparisons between Tedy Afro and Gossaye.This is an amateurish act.Here the discussion is about Gossaye and it is better to dwell on the subject.
    Bringing Teddy Afro here is uncalled for.One has a right to express his love and admiration for Gossaye but that doesn’t mean he should use this opportunity to heap insults on Teddy.That is not very reasonable and sensible.
    For some, this might be a way of expressing appprecation at the cost of someone else.But we forget an audience could like both of them in their own terms.
    People have been doing this before between Aster and G.G and in the olden days between Tilahun and Mohammmed by malking unnecceary copmparisns and creating perhaps strife between the singers.

  17. Rahel
    August 21, 2007 at 7:25 am

    I like Gossay album very much until Tedy Afro releases another song Gossaye is the best.

  18. nigussie
    August 21, 2007 at 9:39 am

    a little did i know about gossay is he is good enough to join holly wood.nothig coud come to bring you down from your leading possition unless you give up on your faith

  19. Onelove
    August 22, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Its all new and authentic to me!Good job…

  20. August 26, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    gossaye stop playing i heard your CD and i only choose two song the rest is crap.

  21. August 26, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    gossaye stop playing i heard your CD and i only choose two song the rest is crap

  22. beti
    September 1, 2007 at 9:34 pm


  23. 2g
    September 4, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    It is lovely music but still difficult to compare with tedy

  24. Abe
    September 13, 2007 at 2:20 am

    Making music involves a number of things that are beyond our understanding and comprehension, unless of course, we are Musician ourselves. Making a music is the arrangement, sequence and engineering of many layers that comes to life. Reading some of the comments here posted by some, I can easily assess that some of you are clueless and ignorant about music and have no knowledge and appreciation of musical art. Criticizing a Musician’s work is one thing, but saying something like “crappy songs in this album” is definitely a comment a clueless dimwit makes.

    This is the BEST album by far. Gossaye is a musical genius with a mesmerizing and awesome vocal whose talent and work speaks for itself. This album has it all…different tunes, melodies, originality, musical and instrumental arrangements not been seen by his predessors’.

    I don’t have any affiliation with his work (in case some of you think so), but an admiration and appreciation for his talent and work rarely seen. An Artist doesn’t have to be better than Teddy in order for his work to be appreciated; they both can be equally good. After listening to it a few times, I literally got ADDICTED to it. It’s captivating to hear his various harmonic beats (pop, jazz,rock), awesome melodies and lyrics. This is certainly a work of brilliant mind and I certainly hope more will come from this young, vibrant and talented entertainer in the future. For now, Gossaye rules!!!

  25. September 20, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    wow ………. Every plece and every wher ther is a singer teddy afro is
    by choice I love you tedeye yene konjo betam adenakik negn wedehalew.

  26. October 16, 2007 at 1:53 am

    tedye wow u r great u r so smart yelegge magna neh ante betam new yemewedh

  27. eyasu
    October 25, 2007 at 7:08 am

    listen men, this album is the best so far this year. Gossaye, you are the best and keep up the good work. Believe me, this is one of your best work. Thank u!!!

  28. Tsegaw
    November 17, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    dats my song men

  29. love
    November 24, 2007 at 7:05 am

    Great job Gossaye! I love his new album..

  30. me
    November 27, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    I loved this Album gossaye did a great job. The lyrics and beats are amazing he is the man. I can’t wait till he comes to Oakland dec15th we are gonna party like a rock star go gossish!!!! we love ya. All u haters out there Don’t u guys have ears ?

  31. Tsega
    December 2, 2007 at 3:21 am

    Wuz yall i realy like the album and i am listening to it right know so make some noise for gossayeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  32. December 16, 2007 at 5:53 am

    I know I am a few decades late, but I want to chime in here with my 2 cents. Actually, when you posted this article was around the time I first started to listen to this CD. I wanted to comment then but I only heard a couple of songs only, which I enjoyed.

    Now, after a few months, I have to say I have completely fallen in love with this CD. I think Gossaye is a poor man’s Teddy, and that’s saying a lot. I really think the guy is great and displays a wide range musical talent. All the songs with a possible exception of one or two, are done in a very tasteful and inviting manner. And I could not agree with you more about the title track ‘satamehagn belagn’. Like you said, it is very refreshing to hear the saying in a different meaning. The lyrics are very well written and I love the beat (the Wolo moslem beat). He is a great new addition to the Ethiopian music scene. BTW, he is on a US tour and he will be here in LA this Friday. I am hoping I can see him.

    Speaking of new talents, I just got a CD from Addis by another young man called Mandingo. Have you heard of him. He reminded me a little bit of Gossaye and a little bit of Teddy too. I am really enjoying his songs.

    Good job on the blog.

  33. dave
    December 31, 2007 at 1:00 am

    i found the music amazingly beautful he has done a good job keep up the good job

  34. January 23, 2008 at 7:57 am

    …it is the best Album of not only the year 2006/07 but 2007/08…for me

  35. babure
    January 23, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Gossie keep on……….on ur way okkkkk!!!!!!!

  36. March 4, 2008 at 11:11 am

    It is coolllll

  37. የዘንዬ አባት
    May 12, 2008 at 2:11 am

    ፈሳም ሻቢያዎች ናቸው የጎሳዬን ሙዚቃ የሚያንቋሽሹ
    Here is what NY Times Music Review wrote abot Gossaye’s music

    Music Review | Gossaye Tesfaye
    For Émigré Fans, Soothing Words and Spirited Rhythms From Home

    Published: January 7, 2008
    Women squealed as the headliner took the stage at S.O.B.’s late on Friday night, elegant in a dark suit with a yellow necktie. He started an anthemic ballad, and within moments, the audience was joyfully singing along and waving its arms overhead. The pop star onstage was Gossaye Tesfaye, a 32-year-old songwriter from Ethiopia, and he was singing love songs in the Amharic language. The crowd that filled the dance floor at 1 a.m. must have made up a considerable fraction of the 2,500 Ethiopians that the last census counted as living in New York City.

    Gossaye Tesfaye, a singer and songwriter from Addis Ababa, performing pop songs in Amharic that are grounded in Ethiopian traditions but show many foreign influences, too.
    Mr. Tesfaye, who was born in Addis Ababa, plays modern pop that is well aware of the world outside Ethiopia. The song that started his set could almost have been an American R&B ballad but for its vocals, and he followed it with a song that rode the brisk Afro-Latin beat of Congolese soukous. On his albums Mr. Tesfaye also dips into reggae and Nigerian Afrobeat. His band used Western instruments: bass, trap drums, keyboard, saxophone.

    But the melodies of Mr. Tesfaye’s songs were distinctively Ethiopian. They riffled up and down through pentatonic (five-note) scales, and when he sang sustained notes, they took on North African, Arabic-flavored quavers. Mr. Tesfaye has a high, sweet tenor voice that can break into a rich falsetto or add a hint of rasp; his tone is clear and genial, never pushy but never shy.

    As the set progressed, the band’s rhythms made their way back toward Ethiopia. One song moved to a brusquely swinging modal funk vamp that, to a Western ear, sounded something like Louisiana zydeco. Other tunes built galloping six-beat grooves that stirred up the dance floor. As the music dug into its homeland beats, Mr. Tesfaye tossed phrases back and forth with his saxophonist and with an audience that was eager to sing along or clap the complexities of those six-beat rhythms. Women climbed onstage to dance with him and pose for cellphone photographs; one plastered paper money on his forehead. What had started out looking like a typical pop event had turned into something unmistakably African.

    መዳህኔዓለም ይባርክህ ጎሳዬ

  38. mimi
    May 29, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    u r amazing. I love his new album

    November 3, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Wow,I am not seen or heard like this album before.Some peoples are want to compare gossy with tedros kasahun,its not agood job.It is not fair to compair who sings by his guroro with who sings by his noise.

    November 3, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Gossaye Ilove you so much.Please Iwant to see you very much.My address is 4KILLO UNIVERSITY,APPLIED MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT

    November 3, 2008 at 9:10 am


  42. solomon
    November 3, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    i love you gossy

  43. Senait
    November 8, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    It is fantastic. You did a good job. Though I can not buy your cd because i live in Holland, i hope someone will buy it for me and send it to me. Anyway good job.

    November 15, 2008 at 11:03 am


    November 15, 2008 at 11:12 am


    November 15, 2008 at 11:20 am


    November 24, 2008 at 9:07 am

    i love you gossaye

    December 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I appritiate your new “NETELA ZEMA”

    December 15, 2008 at 6:23 am


    January 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm


  51. January 21, 2009 at 6:35 am

    *wonders if DANIEL WORKNEH is Gossaye’s alter ego* 😮

    April 14, 2009 at 6:32 am


  1. July 30, 2007 at 9:35 pm

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