“Ethiopia await, all Prince and Princess!”—so chants famed reggae artist Buju Banton on his album ‘Til Shiloh, but what Buju didn’t know was that the wait would soon be over; Ethiopia birthed an artist. “Ethiopia await, all Prince and Princess!”—so chants famed reggae artist Buju Banton on his album ‘Til Shiloh, but what Buju didn’t know was that the wait would soon be over; Ethiopia birthed an artist--a true embodiment of the Reggae movement’s romantic longing for Ethiopia. Her name: SHEBA Sahlemariam.
A refugee from the majestic war-torn land of Ethiopia, Sheba was reared among the concrete jungles of New York City, Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. Named after the Queen of Sheba, famed empress of Ethiopia, to whom her family traces direct ancestry, Sheba is a cousin to Emperor Haile Selassie, which highlights the serendipitous circumstances that moved her family from Ethiopia to Guyana, where she spent her early childhood and later, Jamaica, which deepened her connection to Reggae and Dancehall, the glue to her global and urban sound. Sheba stirs up a unique musical brew that is a mélange of Reggae grooves, Afro-beat, Ethiopian traditional music and jazz, R&B riffs, 16 bar rhymes, and Dancehall Sing-Jaying --souvenirs from her nomadic life, having lived and traveled all over the world.
After an impromptu post of Sheba’s freshly recorded song, “Love This Lifetime”, drew an instant crowd on YouTube, Sheba Sahlemariam’s first single was decided by movement of the people: within hours of the post, requests for the song began to pour in from all over the world. A few weeks later, the song was receiving spins from some very respectable DJ’s, like luminary DJ David Rodigan of KISS 100 FM in London, all before anyone even knew who this Sheba Sahlemariam was. All signs pointing to the song becoming an official first single, she went back to the lab and remixed “Love This Lifetime” with infamous dancehall veteran and superstar, Bounty Killer. This new version of the song and the emergence of others on her forthcoming album are predicted by Radio Jockeys to ‘blow up the reggae airwaves’ and introduce a growing base of fans to Sheba’s gorgeous four octave range, soul stirring, provocative lyrics and fierce ability to dial up a diversity of musical styles. Sheba sits at the razor’s edge and will expel you from preconceived definitions of urban, pop and world music.
As early as the age of four, she was singing and making up songs to entertain her playmates, but it wasn’t until a random meeting in Brooklyn, when Sheba forged a musical partnership with Tommy "Madfly" Faragher, an accomplished Songwriter, GRAMMY nominated Producer and one time recipient of the celebrated ASCAP POP AWARD, did she finally begin to chip away at her lifelong dream to write and record music. Together they began to collaborate of what will be the basis for her first album: The Lion of Sheba and forthcoming digital mixtape: “The Lion of Sheba...Soon Forward!”
Songs from the forthcoming album are for real music lovers: big vocals, powerful songwriting and beats that challenge your boundaries. The wait is over. You may not be able to get to Ethiopia, but The Lion of Sheba will bring Ethiopia home to you. The Lioness, Sheba...soon come.