Born Tewodros Assefa, Teddy Yo is one of Ethiopia’s most known acts. Teddy was born in Shiro Meda, a neighborhood of Addis Ababa, and later moved to Ayer Tena. The first hip-hop song he ever listened to was a track from LL Cool J and fell in love with the genre ever since. Later on, he felt that his generation needed a more modern sonic outlet to promote their culture, and hip-hop was the perfect medium.
Teddy’s initial rose to fame was in 2007 thanks to “Gurageton,” a festive uptempo track released to celebrate the new Millennium (remember, the Ethiopian calendar is seven years behind). This led him to get lots of bookings not only in Ethiopia, but also across the U.S., Australia, and the UK, where a lot of the Ethiopian diaspora resides.
In a music scene where artists tend to dabble in all genres, from traditional Ethiopian music and reggae to hip-hop and rock, Teddy is determined to stick to the script and help establish Ethiopian hip-hop as a long-standing genre.