Mesfin Fekadu

For Mesfin Fekadu's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Music acts look to Groupon, LivingSocial for help

Sep 8, 2014

Music acts look to Groupon, LivingSocial for help

Websites like Groupon have become the go-to place for folks looking for that half-off deal on a manicure, a two-for-one offer for a fancy dinner or that all-inclusive trip that won’t break the bank. But increasingly, it’s also becoming the place for music fans ...

Hip-hop moves as force for slain black teen in Ferguson

Aug 31, 2014

Hip-hop moves as force for slain black teen in Ferguson

Rappers are making their voices heard in the Missouri city where a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager, channeling hip-hop’s earlier roots when the genre worked as a voice for the oppressed and spoke out against injustice. “It’s really important to see ...

Bow down: Beyonce owns the MTV Video Music Awards

Aug 25, 2014

Bow down: Beyonce owns the MTV Video Music Awards

Beyonce closed the MTV Video Music Awards with an epic nearly 20-minute performance, and tears streamed down her face as she was joined onstage by her beaming husband and daughter. Beyonce sang and danced Sunday in a metallic leotard while Blue Ivy and Jay ...

Ninety-year-old musicians go strong

Aug 12, 2014

Ninety-year-old musicians go strong

There’s an upcoming concert at Baruch College, but it has nothing to do with students. The performers are in their 90s, and one is even older than the Manhattan school founded in 1919. Pianist and composer Irving Fields, who turned 99 last week, was ...

'All About That Bass' gives singer breakthrough

Aug 12, 2014

'All About That Bass' gives singer breakthrough

Not everyone was initially “All About That Bass.” Meghan Trainor, the 20-year-old who is having a pop culture moment with the song about body acceptance, said she initially wrote the track and pitched it to other artists, but was turned away. “Labels were like, ...

How many songwriters does it take to create a pop hit?

Jun 17, 2014

How many songwriters does it take to create a pop hit?

How many people does it take to write a hit song? If you’re Pharrell Williams, one. If you’re Pitbull or Jason Derulo, probably eight — or more. Billboard’s recent Hot 100 chart reflects a group of hits mainly showcasing songs written solely by an ...

Against Me! singer on transition, new album

Apr 1, 2014

Against Me! singer on transition, new album

Laura Jane Grace, who came out as transgender two years ago, says she’s able to sing in a new, liberated voice on her band’s latest album because she’s no longer hiding. Grace, 33, came out as transgender in 2012. She was born Tom Gabel ...

| Dec 1, 2010

Lady Gaga goes offline for charity

Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga take charity work seriously, and they’re going offline to prove it. Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher and other celebrities have joined a new campaign called Digital Life Sacrifice on behalf of Keys’ charity, Keep a Child Alive. The entertainers plan ...