Wondem means “brother” in Amharic, and Los Angeles-based musician and producer Dexter Story says he felt a brotherly connection to Ethiopia while in the process of creating his upcoming album, Wondem, to be released on Soundway Records on Oct. 23.
Apart from being a multi-instrumentalist and producer, Story was the product manager for rap star Snoop Dogg, and a day-to-day rep for singer-songwriter and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello.
Wondem was written and recorded in Story’s Los Angeles studio and it features musicians like Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Mark de Clive Lowe, Alsarah Elgada, Nia Andrews and Yared Teshale.
The first single from the album is “Lalibela,” featuring Ethiopian vocalist Yared Teshale. Story says, “The song ‘Lalibela’ was composed in tribute to the 11 great rock churches and the holy city in the north of Ethiopia. My mind couldn’t (and can’t) comprehend how they were excavated with precision like that, and I sing praises to them.”
You can listen to “Lalibela” below and pre-order Wondem here.