Static Levi - Interview With Loline Mag
What he would like his music to mean to his fans and bring to them is; happiness, joy, sincerity, emotion, freedom, and uplifting.
A Jamaican couple set along their difficult journey to the repatriation of the motherland that is Ethiopia. In 1996 they were located in Kenya where the young Jonathan Davidson or also known as “Static Levi” was born. After one and a half years in Kenya, the family finally entered Ethiopia where they chose to permanently reside. Jonathan grew up in several schools but the most memorable one being Sanford international school where he first performed “all the luck” originally sung by Rod Stewart.
Growing up, his biggest influences were Maya Angelo, Bob Marley, and his dad. Jonathan’s love for music started at a young age when he would break headphones and make speakers out of them using the ‘Abuwaled’ biscuit carton. Then he grew up performing at more gigs and slowly fell in love with making music. He mentioned that he didn't like his recordings at first, but in time became addicted to them. He landed his first big gig doing a concert with Protoje, to which he had a significant reaction. One particular moment in his career, he had just finished a set on one of the festivals he had performed at; A kid with a burnt face waited for him in the end and came up to him to say, “when I listen to your music, it makes me feel better.” He was startled by the impact he had, and from then on decided to take his music more seriously. He recently went on the reality show studio 30 and also released the song Netsanet.
As an artist, he’s always trying to make music that has a positive message and helps people get more spiritually conscious. Him being a Rastafarian, one of the biggest misconceptions people have about people of his culture is, for one, there are twelve tribes of Rasta after the twelve tribes of Israel, and not all Rastafarians view Emperor Haile Selassie as God but rather greatly revere him. The hardest part about pursuing his music here was that he was treated as a foreigner even though he grew up here. He says he had to work twice as hard to get the connections and the links to make things happen for himself. The advice he would give the Static Levi that just started pursuing music said was “do it today and not tomorrow.” As a child, he was taught to read the bible and inherit its values like treating others as you would treat yourself, seeking education, and speaking the truth. His dad used to say, “a thief is a liar, and a liar is a thief.” translating to the idea that the truth is stolen when lies are spoken. The most important characters he abides to are love, loyalty, and patience.
When asked who he would like to work with, he mentioned Bob Marley, Eyob Mekonen, Teddy Afro, and Gigi. What he would like his music to mean to his fans and bring to them is; happiness, joy, sincerity, emotion, freedom, and uplifting. But all in all, feel better about life when you listen to it. He will be releasing an album shortly, and currently, he is working on a video clip. He would like to encourage the youth to showcase their talents and to prove that Ethiopia has talented creators that can be commended by the international standard.