In 2016, Fetsum launched a major fundraising concert at Berlin’s Waldbühne, a music festival for children who are war refugees. 20,000 spectators came to hear bands and musicians such as Seeed, Beatsteaks, Aloe Blacc, Max Herre, Joy Denalane, Cro und Clueso, Megaloh, Afrob, Samy Deluxe, Namika and Motrip. The concert lasted six hours, arms raised in the sunny evening skies. Fetsum himself rounded up the musicians and co-organised this concert under the name “Peace x Peace” supported by UNICEF. It promoted life- and soul-saving projects for children in Syria, South Sudan, Ukraine and Iraq with the proceeds. Fetsum said he wanted to give a voice to war children.
This man knows what he’s talking about, as he himself is a refugee child. Born in Egypt as son of Eritrean revolutionists, his family was forced to leave the country due to political circumstances and they fled to Italy. Three years later they continued their journey and finally found a new home in Stuttgart, Germany. A cast of fortune, since Stuttgart was evolving in the 90s-era into the epicenter of German hip-hop music. Fetsum build up friendships with Max Herre and Patrice, and he gained not only friends but as well his first musical experiences and insights. Shaped by his own history and origin, he decided to study political sciences for now. Nevertheless, he remained true to music. In the following years Fetsum shared stages with the likes of Patrice, Estelle, K’NAAN, Söhne Mannheims and Peter Fox.
In 2012 he released his debut album “The Colors of Hope”, an album full of optimism, passion and hope. The single “Waitin’ For You” was celebrated by the BBC and the US radio broadcasters KCRW and NPR. He received a gold disc for his collaboration with Max Herre on his song “Freedom Time” from the album “Hallo Welt”.
Following the impressive "Peace x Peace" Festival at the Waldbühne, Fetsum is now more sought after than ever. This quiet, modest and thoughtful artist who is also clearly politically engaged, is invited to talk-shows and panel discussions. Berlin’s current Mayor, Michael Müller, has awarded him the Order of Merit of the State of Berlin. Fetsum has also published a book in collaboration with the Vice-President of the German Bundestag, Claudia Roth, “So geht Deutschland - Eine Anstiftung zum Mitmachen und Einmischen”, which records their conversations.
Yet Fetsum is no politician, but a musician who is socially engaged. And so he has decided to continue his work on his album. As he has been involved in his “Peace x Peace” festival for 16 months, much has fallen by the wayside. He has decided to end this politically eventful year of 2016 on a musical theme.
The songs on his brand-new EP “Light in a Dark Place” were recorded in London and Los Angeles in cooperation with the songwriters and producers of artists such as Adele, Jason Mraz, Robbie Williams, Alicia Keys, Eric Clapton and Gary Clark Jr. The net proceeds from sales of the EP will also be donated to UNICEF. The album will follow in 2017. The journey continues!