Dawit Cherent - Singer and Song Writer - Interview With Loline Mag
For as long as he remembers he’s had a particular liking for music, imitating his favorite artists from VHS cassettes and CDs.
The eldest son of 5 siblings, Dawit Cherent was born and raised in Addis Ababa. The singer and songwriter grew up in a very musical household. For as long as he remembers he’s had a particular liking for music, imitating his favorite artists from VHS cassettes and CDs. His biggest influences include Bon Iver, Needtobreathe, and Dermot Kennedy.
After three years of university majoring in economics in commerce, he is now a fourth-year guitar major in seminary music school. He got his first guitar after his eighth-grade school reports and started writing songs after teaching himself how to play the guitar. The songs he writes are inspired by genuine emotions be it sadness, be it hope, or anything true he feels that we take for granted. More so, they are inspired by life lessons he was taught as a young kid by his parents or by the community that raised him. He states that the ups and the downs we go through in life are what makeup who we are and that we should acknowledge them; in his words “if not tried by fire, gold will not be refined”.
He had the exposure to play instruments in his church but mentioned that in school people didn’t actually like his singing and would continuously tell him to shut up. He performed for the first time in front of a big crowd at an event called Friday Night Fire with two of his friends covering the Needtobreathe song “brother” and the feedback from the crowd was more than he expected. The response he had pushed his career in terms of believing that he was truly a singer. Shortly after, he released his English EP “humble” in 2017 and put it out on platforms.
Following the EP, his friend and his dad started pushing him to write Amharic songs which he didn’t find as easy since he started writing his songs in English, but as time passed he found it easier to express his words and his songs in Amharic more than he did in English. As he grew more inclined to write in Amharic his album “sew” came out. The story behind the album was meticulously structured by what he believes humanity to be in each concept through the titles of each song like “tesfa”, “fikir”, “emnet” and so forth. Something that he didn’t expect going into the music industry was the amount of acceptance he received like working with some of his favorite artists like Chelina and Zeritu in the Negat album and is very humbled by the experience.
The hardest part about pursuing his career was, in a world where he was raised with secular music and Christian music having a big divide, he always had trouble being labeled and boxed into one or the other which let people misinterpret the real meaning behind his songs. One of the misconceptions people have about him as a son of a pastor is that he left his faith and father’s path to pursue worldly music when in reality his father is his biggest supporter and he is still very much true to his faith. The value that he holds on to is the fact that he is in this world to give and that there is a time for everything and to just trust the process. When asked what he would like for his fans to take away from his songs is to learn to be true to themselves and to be true to their values.
He is currently working on his second album which is an extension to his first album “sew” with a new sound but still in the lines of alternative rock and working on a few singles which are expected to come out in early 2022.