- Dear Vahe, first of all let us congratulate you on being an officially confirmed member of the super group Genealogy, which will represent Armenia in Eurovision this year! Were you excited to hear the news? Tell us about your feelings!
Thank you! Being part of this amazing team is extremely humbling and exciting. First I was shocked to learn the news and then, of course, I was really excited.Though none saw my little dance of joy, I admit I could not help it. This is an amazing opportunity to represent my fatherland, even living quite far away from it. I am honored to be spreading love, peace and unity through my voice and singing.
- You are representing the African continent in Genealogy! Tell us more about yourself, about your roots, about Ethiopia.
Who knew a singer in Addis Ababa will be representing the entire continent of Africa in a European song competition under the Armenian flag? It’s awesome! I am 4th generation Ethiopian Armenian from my mother’s side. My grandfather on my father’s side escaped Western Armenia in 1923 and settled in Ethiopia. Ethiopia welcomed Armenians with open arms. Prime example is when 40 Armenian orphans were adopted and brought to Ethiopia in the 1920’s who became the first orchestra here. The Armenian community here has done a lot in return. It evokes pride in me to be part of this community. Ethiopia is definitely a home for me. Like Armenia I feel I have this sense of belonging which is very important when thinking about identity. Armenia and Ethiopia have so many similarities and are both very old cultures and 2 of the oldest nations to accept Christianity. I believe there are older connections between these 2 countries.
- How and when did you start your career as a singer?
Full time I started in music in 2008. I was already singing with the help of a very good friend of mine and fellow artist in Ethiopia Bitik Emlaelu at the time but after a trip to India and soon after that the loss of a cousin in a car accident reinforced my decision to live my life on the path that I believe will make me completely and truly happy. And I have not looked back since.
- As far as you are already in Armenia getting ready for Eurovision, can you please tell us about your impressions about your home country Armenia?
This is my 3rd visit to Armenia and every time I come it’s an amazing experience to be in my motherland that I have had to live away from for so long. A complex concept – it is so awkward for me, as a diasporan and from such a small community to hear Armenian being spoken everywhere and I still catch myself offguard when I am in Armenia. I love it. I notice a huge development and movement every time I visit. I love Armenia.
- You have probably already met the other members of Genealogy, what are your impressions about the young artists?
I am honored and humbled to be in the same group as these amazingly talented, well established artists from all over the world. What a great opportunity to learn and teach each other about our musical backgrounds as well as the history of the individual Armenian diaspora communities.
- And finally, what will be your message for our readers and your fans?
Music is such an amazing way of expressing oneself and I am grateful that I am spreading peace, I am sharing love and I am doing it using my music and my voice. Thanks to the fans all over the world and I hope you are able to vote for Armenia in May!!!
Meanwhile you can check out some of Vahe’s songs below!