Since their debut album Orit in 2001, the Nazarenes have brought forth some of the most refreshing sounds in reggae music. Brothers and lead singers Mehdane Tewolde and Noah Isaac Tewolde possess two of the most distinguished voices in contemporary reggae. Their soulful, wailing, haunting voices pay homage to reggae’s youth, a time when its artists drew heavily from the best of America’s soul singers, and evoke memories of the brothers’ childhood days in Ethiopia where they listened to reggae and R&B.
Before joining together as a duo, both Medhane and Noah honed their skills as solo artists performing with various groups throughout the 1990s. Medhane toured with different Jamaican artists in both Europe and Africa. Noah released an album and three singles with Virgin Records in 1994.
Despite their notable solo success, it is the brothers’ combined efforts that account for their unique, penetrating sound. In their music, soul greets reggae, reggae returns to its ancestral home, and the world of music becomes a better and spiritually richer place. To listen to the Nazarenes is to embark upon a spiritual journey, shepherded by two of the most distinct voices in the business. Their trademark harmonies and impeccable vocals are captivating. And while their mesmerizing music stands on its own, so too would their voices a capella.
Their debut Album ”ORIT” was released in Gothenburg Sweden in 2001 by Insteel Sounds; and the much anticipated second album ”SONGS OF LIFE” was released in fall 2004 distributed by Heartbeat/Rounder Europe, and later released in USA and Canada during summer 2005. The third album “ROCK FIRM” was released in late 2008. 2012 finds the Nazarenes poised to release yet another innovative album – this time with the help of St. Croix-based reggae label – I Grade Records. The Nazarenes first teamed up with producer Tippy I of I Grade for one song on the acclaimed compilation, “JOYFUL NOISE.” The result of this first collaboration – an unforgettable song entitled “Everlasting” – inspired both the Nazarenes and Tippy to embark on recording a full-length album. Scheduled for an April 2012 release, this new album, entitled “MEDITATION”, presents a powerful fusion of worlds and sounds, blending the Nazarenes’ hauntingly powerful vocals with cutting edge, live-instrumentation deep roots. Song collaborations with Midnite and Lutan Fyah, and production provided by I Grade and the Zion I Kings production teams, make for a modern classic.
The Nazarenes’ voices are their instruments, and through them the Caribbean’s music rejoins it’s ancestral continent as Eritrea and Ethiopia’s rich past finds a voice in in today’s roots music movement. Reggae’s diaspora returns home in the voice of the Nazarenes, firmly planted in reggae’s rootical and rebellious sound. In the Nazarenes, beauty, pain, love, pride, and hope come together.