Haymanot Tesfa

Respect for cultural heritage and the traditional, combined with the urge to create and innovate is, in essence, what best defines this multidisciplinary artist.

The singer, musician, painter, writer and photographer is inspired by what is beautiful in this world and what brings joy to her and those around her.

Originally from Ethiopia, where she studied Fine Arts at the Addis Ababa University, Haymanot settled in the U.K. over 12 years ago and has been performing around the country ever since.

As a musician, Haymanot sings exclusively in Amharic and plays the krar, a six-string bowl-shaped lyre. Influenced greatly by Ethiopian music, the artist takes on the traditional folk songs like Tezeta and Ambassel and allows for her creative nature to take over, giving serene yet powerful performances.

A prolific Arts on the Runner, Haymanot collaborates with the talented Mina Salama, a multi-instrumentalist and composer from Egypt, and the skilled Arian Sadr, an Iranian percussionist, to produce a remarkable rendition of Tezeta (meaning ‘longing’, a mode defined by its nostalgic melancholy).

This harmonious blend secured Haymanot and Tezeta a win at the Battle of the Bands 2016, applauding the group’s synergy, dubbing the song to be ‘a melting pot of instruments and cultures instantly throwing you into an ensemble of epic East African & Middle Eastern sounds’ which proves to be ‘an excellent accompaniment to the driving and passionate vocals of Haymanot Tesfa’. The singer has since performed with Mina and Arian separately at numerous world music festivals across the country.

Among other talented musicians, Haymanot performs as part of an experimental trio called Three Spheres, in collaboration with Ansuman Biswas and Ian MacGowan.

When performing solo, she is accompanied by the krar alone, and delivers an intimate concert where she simultaneously exhibits great command of her voice and allows it to roam free.