“Music was always in my soul,” Fekadu, creator of Ambassel Records, informs Fortune. Before producing hits by Tilahun Gesesse and Mohammed Ahmed, 55-year-old Fekadu took electronic courses at Tegbare’ed. He started out in the world of business by importing parts of Indian manufactured radios and selling them in Addis after assembling them. Not long after, he attended an inter-district singing competition, where he heard Ahmed Rahmeto, who later won that competition, sing. He loved it so much, he wanted to produce his music for him. And the rest, as they say, is history. Father of nine, yes nine, Fekadu’s career in business has taken him from producing records to opening a supermarket, FA Fresh, with his wife Amina – whose name provided the ‘A’ to the name, as well as furniture shops, a short-lived import business and a stationary shop that still sits on the Airport Road in Bole Shewa Dabo Area. But what has kept him busy for the last couple of years is finding talent, as he is now the producer of EBC’s Ethio Talent Show.
Fortune: Key Priorities
FW: Work was the most important thing back then. Making records was what I lived for.
Work is still the most important thing, except now have I moved on from making records to producing the Ethio Talent Show.
What Tickles the Taste Buds?
FW: I loved Kitfo; I still love Kitfo
In Your CD Collection
FW: I used to love all of Tilahun’s songs; I can’t even choose which I like best.
I still love Tilahun’s songs, no one has bettered him yet.
Splashing Out on Fashion
FW: I used to wear a lot of suits back then, and, if I remember correctly, they cost from 3,000 to 5,000 Br
I don’t buy clothes anymore; my kids send me a selection every now and then. I don’t remember the last time I actually went out and bought clothes for myself.
FW: Sony was the best brand; it made all the best electronics. Now, I like Pepsi – they also sponsor the Ethio Talent Show.
FW: I used to want to get on TV; I also wanted to start an importation business. But the two did not go along, so I while later, I dropped the imports.
I want to revive the records business. I also want to start doing concerts and albums. After that, I want to start a school of art.
FW: My creativity comes from within, and from a love for what I do.
Music is still in my soul; it still drives both my creativity and my love for work.
Perception of Death
FW: I’ve never thought about death. How would I? I’m busy all the time.
I still have no time to contemplate. I work all the time, why would I think about death?
FW: We used to go out of town to relax. I’d take my whole family to places like Sodere.
We have no time to rest these days. It’s work, work, work all the time.
FW: I really miss our trips to Sodere, we haven’t done that in a long while.
FW: Like my fathers before me, I used to buy clothes for my kids and myself. I’d buy sheep and chicken, and start the celebrations even before Hosana.
We’re really busy nowadays. Most of my kids work with me, so it’s everyone that’s busy. But, no matter how busy we are, we don’t do anything else on the day of the holiday and on the afternoon of the eve. Now that the kids are growing up, celebration does not come with big fanfare, however.
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