KETEIS OYONDEOver three decades ago out of the green hills of Debre Zeit (Mount of Olives), Gordon Town Road, Kingston 6, Jamaica emerged three bold and beautifully bonded sisters – Keteis, Juliet and Semra – as the roots and culture reggae group the Rastarenes. They were in their mid-teens and early twenties when they began singing in their church choir and at community events in Jamaica. Born and brought up in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Faith, they sing in Ge’ez, Amharic and English. The lead singer, Keteis started recording lead vocals with the Rastarenes at the age of sixteen. Their first song “Freedom fighter” was done at Tuff Gong Studios under the auspices of Rita Marley, who was one of their early mentors. Some of their other earlier songs were “Selam Ena Fikir” (Peace and Love) and “Atilaleh” (purification). Later on, some of the Rastarenes more popular songs were “Firm and Strong”, “Working” and “Scribes an Pharisees”. For the Rastarenes, music is for spiritual healing.

A Journalist from Vibe Magazine in 2001 witnessed the Rastarenes on Rebel Salute and said “The Rastarenes show that Queens don’t always have to show skin to prove that they have skills”.

The migration of two of the members of the Rastarenes led Keteis Oyonde, based in Kingston Jamaica, to go solo. Subsequently as Keteis Oyonde she recorded an album called “Clean Food” on her own featuring songs like , “In the Name of Life”, the title track, “Clean Food” and “You Keep Me Strong”. “In The Name Of Life” produced by Michael Ibo Cooper (former Third World keyboard player) got frequent airplay in Jamaica and internationally. Keteis was making Afri Beat songs from from her beginnings as a recording artist. She recorded original songs in amharic from her early years.

From 2005 Keteis started touring and doing one off shows in the United States in markets on the east coast such as New Rochelle, NY, Manhattan and Washington DC. In Jamaica, she performed on shows such as Rebel Salute, Bob Marley Annual Tributes, Everton Blender Birthday Celebration, The Dennis Brown and Augustus Pablo Tributes, Satta Massagana, Garnet Silk Earthday Celebrations, Western Consciousness, Fire 2000, A St. Mary Mi Come From, International Reggae Day celebrations, Melkam Lidet and The Rastafari Rootzfest among others.

Later on she performed in the US from the east coast to the west coast. She graced the stages of Ashkenaz and the Cornerstone in Berkeley, CA on the Peter Tosh Birthday Celebrations and at the World Beat Center in San Diego, CA on the Tribute to the Legends Festival as well as a number of other venues in the US. Keteis’s charismatic, energetic performances consistently leave her audiences asking for more.

Keteis stays active songwriting, recording and performing. She has been compared to the likes of Miriam Makeba and Tracy Chapman. For Keteis, singing is more than just entertainment. With original, organic sounds and vibrations, her music aims to heal, teach and inspire her listeners. Singing as an artist is a mission for which she has been called by the Most High.

More recently in production, Keteis has done work with the California based label Rally Up Music with whom she has recorded “You Keep Me Strong”, “Praises”, “No Phone”, “Coronation” and “Only”. In addition she recorded “Natural High” and “Worship Jah With Fear” with Swiss producer Marc Ismail on the Soul of Anbessa record label. She is currently working on a new single called “The Temple”.

Keteis Oyonde is that voice, that message that the world needs to hear. Her captivating performances have been getting raving reviews. Now is the time, as Keteis continues on her mission as an ambassador for the Most High. She is an Empress with healing words and vibrations. She is on a mission. She has an Afrikan Soul. “Let righteousness, cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea.”

She is pure energy. She is Keteis Oyonde.

Check out some of her songs on the following links:

Keteis Oyonde “Natural high” / Jamaican Soul Ambassadors “Sankara”

You Keep Me Strong

Keteis Oyonde – Worship Jah With Fear