As much as renowned Ethiopian music producer, songwriter and DJ Rophnan likes to refer to himself as just an all rounded artist, he is credited by many as a pioneer of sorts when it comes to EDM music in Ethiopia. Rophnan blends high tempo electronic beats with authentic traditional Ethiopian sounds. The successful release of his debut album “Netsabraq” in 2018 catapulted him into becoming one of the most celebrated artists in his home country. The album also made history as the leading electronic dance music album published in Ethiopia. In 2019, he makes history once again; being the first act to be signed onto Coke Studio Africa both as a music producer and an artist. On the show, he will be performing alongside Zambian rapper Chef 187.
With hits such as “Get To Work” – a Guragegna based beat that has been one of his signature tracks over the years, Rophnan got his big international break in 2017 when the track was featured on Major Lazer’s “Africa To The World” mixtape. The release of his album a year later introduced a new flavor in Ethiopian music, and got him recognition as he won several awards at the 2018 Leza Awards, including Album of The Year.
Rophnan is at the forefront of conserving traditional sounds from Ethiopia while at the same time creating contemporary and urban African music that is slowly changing the narrative of how Ethiopian music is perceived by the world. He has been creating and developing his own sound since his teen days. Today, he prides himself in fusing Ethiopian cultural elements with unique vocals and cutting edge EDM music.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Rophnan Nuri has captured Ethiopian language, instruments and rhythmic patterns, deep-rooted in raw traditional music and immersed these sounds in futuristic electronic music. Music has been part of his life since the age of 10 when he made a tape recording of him and his childhood friends in their classroom. Six years later, Rophnan released his first mixtape which introduced him to Addis Ababa’s club scene and eventually the entire country.