Sami Dan - Interview With Loline Mag
Let's dive into the makings of what made up this star the person he is. Samuel Berhanu, otherwise known as Sami-Dan, was born and raised in Addis Ababa. He was quite the adventurous kid growing up.
As we take in the aroma of ‘Doro wot’ cooking in every household and the sound of laughter that fills our neighborhood, this new year we have a special guest for you. You may know him from his appearance on Coke studio or his hit song ‘Tefa Yemileygn’ and other numerous unforgettable masterpieces he’s created. He is none other than Sami-Dan!
Let's dive into the makings of what made up this star the person he is. Samuel Berhanu, otherwise known as Sami-Dan, was born and raised in Addis Ababa. He was quite the adventurous kid growing up. Although he was afraid of heights he used to climb huge forest trees to the top and also hike with his friends to eccentric places for fun. His childhood consisted of a lot of outdoor activities and going to the one house that had a tv in the neighborhood back then. After watching a bunch of Indian and American movies, the owners would make the kids clean the house in return for hosting the tv.
However, he explained that his college experience was more different than his previous experience in a way where it wasn’t as tight as high school. He graduated college in 2008 with a degree in construction management.
When asked how his love for music started, he mentioned that it wasn’t something that started but rather installed in him from birth. “I believe that everyone has that initial application that responds to certain things,” he said, “We are all born with receptors for music. Some of us just use it in different ways. Some to listen, some to perform.” Hence he always had an attraction to music.
Coming from a large family with 8 siblings, he was the only one who was musically inclined so he mentioned that it was hard for him to find his way through the industry.
He grew up listening to different artists like Celine Dion, Whitney Huston, Michael Jackson, Gosaye, and other major artists that he listened to through CDs and cassettes. He had to write down their lyrics from directly listening to them because of the absence of the prominence of the internet.
The name ‘Sami-Dan’ came as a symbolic name from the twelve tribes of Hebrew. Sami, which was taken from his original name Samuel, and Dan, who was the 7th son of Jacob. He took the name of Dan since he was born in October and all kids of October are said to be tribes of Dan.
He dropped his first Album titled ‘Keras Gar Negeger (ከራስ ጋር ንግግር)’ in 2016 which he had been working on for 6 months prior. The ALbum received great acceptance with the artist’s great musical talents and unique sound. A few years later he appeared on Coke studio Africa working with different artists like Laura Beg, Jason Derulo, Dji Tafinha, and many other world-renown artists. In 2019 he dropped his album ‘Asira Andu Getsoche’ (አስራ አንዱ ገጾች), which blew up in his fanbase.
After a world tour, he has now dropped a new album titled ‘Sibet’ (ስበት). The title represents how whatever we spend our time on attracts us to that cause. In a time where we are consumed in war, he believes that it is important to spread love and peace to our country. More importantly, to give our children and the ones that come after us to have a peaceful country to call their own. He explained that every song in the album was portrayed in a way to spread his message.
To the youth, he says:
"Whatever talent you believe you have, keep going and convince your surroundings to be on your team. “Keep going,” he says “and cultivate what you have.