Elias Melka

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Elias Melka Geresu (born in 1977) was an Ethiopian music composer, song writer, and Music Producer. Elias had become more popular after successfully composing the Teddy Afro's Abugida (album), which was released early in 1990's. Elias has composed more than forty Studio album and has worked together with the many of the most inflectional singers in modern Ethiopian history.[1] Till his death on October 04, 2019, he had played a crucial role on Ethiopian music industry.[2]

Elias Melka
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Background information
Addis Ababa
DiedOctober 4, 2019(2019-10-04) (aged 41–42)
Addis Ababa
  • Music Composer
  • Songwriter
  • Music Producer
Years active1998 - 2019
LabelsBegena Studio


Early Life

Elias Melka was born in Sebategna, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from his father Melka Geresu and his mother Atsede Feleke and raised in Abinet, Addis Ababa.[2][3] Elias was born to Protestantism, and this let him to became a member of church choir. This put Elias in great passion of music, and he left the church after grasping typical knowledge on composing music. After this, Elias proceeded on his journey and went to join Yared music school, which is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to study music majoring in cello, piano and the traditional instrument kirar.[4] Zion religious music band was Elias’ first band, he left religious band Zion and joined Medina Band and played guitar in this band and then joined Zema Lastas, Afro Sound bound and Demera Band. [1]


Elias was the first person to introduce the practice of studio music production.[5] Elias Started his Music arrangement career with his first work which is one of Mahmoud Ahmed’s works, Gurage languages song from the album named “Hulum Yisma” following Teddy Afro’s album “Abugida”, which made Elias Melka a household name. He made more than forty studio albums and too many singles. Some of the artists who’s albums were composed by Elias are Teddy Afro, Gossaye Tesfaye, Mikaya Behailu, Eyob Mekonnen, Zeritu Kebede,Tigist Bekele, Haile Roots, Gete Anley, Berry, Leul Hailu. Elias was also a leader in taking social responsibility, having produced more than half a dozen singles that deal with HIV/AIDS and traffic accidents and others. These songs made by himself and collaborated with others were greatly helped the effort to educate people about these societal dangers.

His last works were tended to Biblical incitation artistic works. The song entitled "yenem ayn aytual" by Zeritu Kebede and a choir titled "nur batamnm" indicate his inclination to mixing spiritual ideas. His spiritual signature of songs are seen by many artist. A few to count are Eyob Mekonnen, Zeritu Kebede, Haile Root, Leul Hailu, Gete Anley , Berry. Most of the time a vocalist and composer will not match. However, Elias is a blessed music arranger in modifying the known musical figures and amateur ones. Therefore, Elias was successful and known to nurture new musicians and improve the singing style of notable ones. To this end, Elias was able to enable Mikiya Behailu to develop her lovable vocal style (that the listeners remember yet) than imitating Aster Aweke’s singing style, according to Sertse Firesibhat.[2]


  • Two WIPO’s International Award - the first which was given to Ethiopian musicians, and the second one which was an award given to him for composing different Tigray region Kunama language.
  • Fana Broadcasting Corporate – Life Time Award [6]
  • 10th Addis Music Award – Award is given to the extra effort he put for Ethiopian's music at all.[7]

Notable Pioneering

Understanding the unprofitable nature of the music industry in the country of Ethiopia, Elias has exerted extra efforts to ensure the national system that enables the artist to get its share from their songs and it is known as Awtar Music Application.[2]

Death and Condolences

  • The legendary artist struggled with diabetes and kidney complications and which were believed to have taken a toll on him, finally. Elias Melka, the renowned lyricist & Music Composer and Music Producer passed away on October 4, 2019.[1]
  • Ethiopian legendary artist Teddy Afro on his facebook said " I would like to express my deepest condolences on the death of our beloved composer, Elias Melka. Elias will always be remembered above the grave for his career in music and his works of art. I sincerely hope that the Almighty God may place his soul in heaven and give comfort to all his fans, friends, relatives and colleagues." [8]
  • Takele Uma Banti, former Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa, on his twitter said "Saddened to learn the passing of renowned lyricist and Music Composer, Elias Melka. We lost a talented and influential figure in the music industry. My condolences to his family and fans." [9]

Memorial Service

Currently Addis Ababa City Administration, Culture, Tourism and Art Bureau are working to construct a modern music production village after the name of Elias Melka to remember his permanent deed to the country’s music development. The production village expected to be a place where quality songs are going to be produced.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Elias Melka: Great Music loses of 2012". Awtar Music. Awtar Music. Sep 10, 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Ethiopian musical arrangement history, Elias Melka's timeless deed". Ethiopian Press Agency. The Ethiopian Herald. March 10, 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  3. "የኤሊያስ መልካ የህይወት ታሪክ". Youtube. Mengoal Tube. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  4. "Bio". musicinafrica.net. musicinafrica.net. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  5. "ELIAS MELKA, ETHIOPIA'S LEGENDARY MUSIC COMPOSER". addisinsight.net. Addis Insight. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  6. "የፋና ቲቪ የሙዚቃ ውድድር አሸናፊዎች". Youtube. Fana Television. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  7. "የ 10 ኛው አዲስ ሚውዚክ አዋርድ የሽልማት ስነስርአት ሙሉ ፕሮግራም The 10th Addis Music People Choice Award Full Ceremony". Youtube. Netsebraq Media - ነፀብራቅ ሚዲያ. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  8. "Teddy Afro Condolence to Elias Melka's Death". Facebook. Teddy Afro. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  9. "Saddened to learn the passing of renowned lyricist and composer , Elias Melka". Twitter. Takele Uma. Retrieved 27 December 2020.

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