Take off with Berhana
SCOPE is ecstatic to announce Berhana will be our opening performer at 2021’s Homecoming show, which will take place on October 15th. Don’t know much about Berhana? Read on to learn more about his unique talent and prep for Homecoming with a Berhana playlist linked below!
A man of many realms, Berhana fuses together an eclectic array of inspiration to create his genre-defying sound. Even in his first release, a self-titled EP, you can see how he effortlessly blends different sounds to create a unique one of his own. The EP includes hit singles “Janet” and “Grey Luh,” which were featured on Donald Glover’s FX series Atlanta – a defining moment for this film school graduate.
Regarding his EP, he says, "I wanted something that felt like the inside of my mom's house—almost like a documentary.” The album comes together in this way, as it feels like a full experience in getting to know his artistry. He notes Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed as a pivotal artist his parents introduced to him and even mixed some of Ahmed’s work into the EP’s track “Brooklyn Drugs.” The song “Wade Green” also showcases some Amharic vocals accompanied with elements of alternative pop and traditional soul.
He released his first album “HAN” in 2019, which features funk, soul, jazz, rock, and pop – quite the mix, but it all comes together beautifully. The first track of this immersive experience is a fun interlude posed as an in-flight announcement telling us “On behalf of our captain and entire crew, welcome aboard HAN, project #002. Our trip will round out to thirty-three minutes and thirty-three seconds.”
The track “Golden” has some groovy guitar accompanied with some vocal inspo from ‘80s icon Donna Summer. The 2020 remake “Golden pt. 2” also showcases some magnificent vocals from R&B artist Mereba. The song is followed by a personal favorite, “Drnuk” and “I Been” with the album’s well-chosen solo feature, Korean R&B artist, Crush. The rest of the album blends an array of influence, with funky synth on “Lucky Strike” to some punky guitar on “G2g.” Another personal favorite was the whimsical “Flashback,” a remake of the previous song “Drnuk.”
We depart our flight on HAN with the track “I Wasn’t Told,” an absolutely gorgeous mix of Berhana’s vocals over a dreamy orchestral background – yet another personal favorite of mine. It’s difficult to make a top pick because each is so different, yet the album is perfectly cohesive. He says some of the work’s major influences came from David Bowie, Björk, André 3000, and Squarepusher. You can hear the different influences shine through as he shifts from light acoustics to some upbeat electronica.
Need some new tunes to carry you through mid-terms? His sound is great for studying – so long as you don’t get carried away by his beautiful vocals. One of my favorites with more of an ambient sound is “Relapse” off his EP. Another top pick is “Nostalgia,” his newest single released in July 2021. The song features some dreamy autotune over soothing acoustics. If (like me) you just can’t get enough, SCOPE has put together a playlist with some Berhana faves to get you prepped for the show. Don’t miss this outstanding show at Homecoming on October 15th! See you there!