Sayat, a pop-star in the making?
Sayat Demissie was the 2004 Miss Ethiopia and the almost 2005 Miss World. Something for the high school drop-out who subsequently found herself in the front pages of local papers and magazines. Her petite frame and youthful face and her occasionally gaffe made her a target for the tabloids.
Two years ago, the slender girl emerged as the lead character in the Amharic movie, Sara. Nothing to write home about, it was all an amateur and second-rate performance. But she has got a look. It has given her recognition and probably an inflated ego, too. Her ego trip took her to think of developing her own talk show on ETV. For that, she came on Ethiopia Link and talked about her difficult childhood and sexual abuse, relating her experience to that of American talk-show host, Opra Winfrey.
But that radio appearance has gotten her in trouble for a supposedly unkind remark she made about disabled people. When asked how she survived the trauma, Sayat responded saying that even the disabled keep on living, let alone her. It triggered many comments voicing displeasure. The talk-show-thing never came into reality, at least upto now and her claim of being raped on Bole Street in her teen years was thought by many as an invented story intended to get sympathy from those allocating air times.
Now Sayat has unraveled yet another skill as musical performer. She has released her debut musical effort, a single song, “Tew Maneh”. Actually before the release, she was performing on stage at clubs, playing her rendition of Christinia Aguilera’s “Save me from myself.”
Looking at the reception, Sayat’s debut work seem to be working right. Radio programmers are finding it hard to ignore it and some even talked about the birth of a new star. The lively clip of the song has made it to many Ethiopian websites and blogs. It definitely serves as a sneak preview for her upcoming studio album, which she says will arrive this year.
But even judging from this song, performing doesn’t appear to come naturally to Sayat. For one thing, the material she chose is a recognized, well-known old hit, “Tew Maneh”.
She never took the trouble to write her own material and it didn’t demand much of her as singer. And even, her voice is not strongly projected enough and her inhibitions make it difficult for her to let go.
Although Sayat didn’t write her own music, too shy to perform solo in front of a big crowd, she has the charisma, drive, and determination- things important for a young performer. But of course, she has a long way to go to develop into mature female vocalist along the lines of Aster Awoke.
Photo by Benyam Mengesha
Find the clip here.