The legendary music composer, poet, songwriter, and Guitarist Elias Melka has passed away yesterday due to complications from illnesses.

Many consider and rightly, Elias Melka as the maestro of modern Ethiopian music. He has shepherded many a new a talent into the music industry during his life. He has also composed many of the most influential 80’s and 90’s music in Ethiopia.

Elias Melka was born and raised in Abinet, Addis Ababa. He was the first person to introduce the practice of studio music production. After his tenure at Yared Musical School, where he learned to play the cello, he joined his instructor Aklilku Zewde and others at Medina band. He would also later play at Zema Lastas and Afro Sounds band.

Elias Melka’s exceptional skill in playing lead guitar gave him a chance to work with the foremost singers of his day including Mohamed Ahmed, Aster Aweke, Alemayehu Eshete, and many more. Elias has composed more than 30 music Albums and has worked together with the many of the most inflectional singers in modern Ethiopian history, including Fikreaddis Nekatibeb and Teddy Afro to name a few and it is no understatement when it is said that the Ethiopian music industry has lost one of its pillars.