Even if you don't know who Berhana is, you’ve probably have heard his music before. His song “Grey Luh,” from the berhana EP, was featured on Donald Glover’s hit show Atlanta — somewhat of a full-circle moment as that’s where the singer hails from.
Now based in Los Angeles, Berhana released his debut album, HAN, in October of last year. The funky project is a mix of R&B tracks and electro-pop songs that takes you on a psychedelic journey from beginning to end. To support the release, Berhana recently went on his first headlining tour overseas, performing in cities like London, Berlin, and Amsterdam.
The European tour was Berhana's first time performing overseas, something he was extremely excited about. If you’ve missed him out on tour, though, he has just released a live medley of three tracks from HAN, "Golden," "Drnuk," and "Flasbhack." The 5-minute mashup is as funky as it gets. Check it below.
We’ve also recently caught up with Berhana to chat about HAN, his recent European tour, and more.
In an interview, you said that HAN shouldn’t be listened to on shuffle. Why is that?
I wanted the album to feel like an experience. I wanted to curate it, so the transitions and each track feel like it’s one thing, as opposed to just a collection of songs. Only in the medley, the first two songs are consecutive, and “Flasbhack” comes later in the album. But it’s a reprise of “Drnuk” so it flows.
You just came back from your first European tour. Tell us more about that.
That was my first time ever being in Germany or Amsterdam… It’s crazy to perform in places you’ve never been to before. It took me by surprise. I didn’t really have any expectations, just because I had never been there before. So to see that people actually knew my songs was insane. I loved it.
Before you went on the EU tour, you actually performed in Ethiopia, your parents’ home country. How was that experience for you?
It’s an experience I’ll never forget. It’s where I’m from and where I’ve always wanted to go. I got to bring my mom with me, who had never been back in like, 47 years. The show was in Addis Ababa at Villa Verde, a venue she used to go to when she was in high school. Being able to do all of that on my first trip to Ethiopia was so surreal, and I’m so appreciative. I’ve been wanting to go, and I put it out in the universe that this was going to be the year I brought my mom with me. And then I got booked for that show, which confirmed everything for me.
Your debut album barely has any features. What was the reason behind that?
The only feature is with a K-pop artist named Crush, on “I Been.” Originally I wanted no features, because it’s my debut album and I wanted people to get to know me. I feel like sometimes when people release their debut albums, they’re covered in features, which defeats the purpose. I had a show in South Korea, and Crush invited me to perform at his album release party. Then, he suggested getting together and making music, so when we went through the album, “I Been” sounded like a great fit. So the feature was super organic.