Mesfin Fekadu

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

If Trump held a concert, who might perform?

May 15, 2016

If Trump held a concert, who might perform?

While Elton John and Katy Perry have hit the stage for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, and supporters of opponent Bernie Sanders include Bonnie Raitt and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s Rolodex of musicians-slash-friends is short. ...

Macklemore explores his 'White Privilege' in new rap song

Jan 25, 2016

Macklemore explores his 'White Privilege' in new rap song

Macklemore explores racism and hip-hop in a new song called “White Privilege II,” rapping about a white person’s position in society with black people fighting injustice and even namechecking Iggy Azalea for appropriating black culture, along with himself. The track, released Friday, is close ...

Drake is Spotify's most streamed artist of the year globally

Dec 4, 2015

Drake is Spotify's most streamed artist of the year globally

Spotify users are clearly listening to Drake. The rapper was the service’s most streamed artist of the year globally. Spotify announced its end-of-the-year list Tuesday and said Drake earned 1.8 billion streams in 2015. Rihanna was the year’s most streamed female performer with 1 ...

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 ...