Rasselas was born in Ethiopia, where he grew up listening to The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and many other Ethiopian and African artists like Mahmoud Ahmed, Aster Aweke, Mariam Makeba. Some of his favorite Hip-Hop artists include Tupac, Snoop Dogg, KRS-One, Rakim.

During his school years, he grew up exposed to different cultures and languages other than his mother tongue Amharic. He had the opportunity to learn English and French. In high school, he was known as the class musician, always entertaining his friends with a new rap verse he has learned. His English teacher was very impressed by his rap and often called him to the front of the class to demonstrate his art.

In December of 1997, Rasselas moved to Canada with his family. They first landed in Montreal, where he had his first chance to record his independent album, Pure Science. He also joined a local Ethiopian band called the Tis Abay Band. They played in many community events, entertaining with traditional songs from Ethiopia. This gave him the idea of blending hip-hop with traditional Ethiopian music.

Even though the band separated, Rasselas persisted on his dream of making music. Since he is the type who is actually fueled by challenge, he worked very hard to make his dream come true. He moved to Toronto, where he became well known performing at the Ethiopian night club, then known as Cottage. At this club, he was able to sell-out his second independent CD, Here I Come, which included the title track, well accepted by his audience.

Rasselas mostly raps in English, even though he sometimes adds hooks in Amharic, which adds to the uniqueness of his sound. The themes of his lyrics revolve around what it’s like to be an Ethiopian-Canadian, expression of the culture and most of all, having a good time.


Track artwork
Rasselas - Eske Da Jent - Hoy Muna
ETAddis Ababa, Ethiopia


Rasselas Music
Profile added by Stanley Gazemba on 17 Jul 2015