After contributing to the group success of Spillage Village’s spiritual 2020 album Spilligion, mystic crooner Mereba is preparing for the release of her EP AZEB. Today, she released the video for the lead single, “Rider,” in which she describes the search for a limitless but meaningful love — someone who will be there through thick and thin, ie., a “rider.” The video is a sun-washed representation of such a love, with couples dancing in the desert as Mereba sings before a picturesque sunset.
Although Mereba is likely still best known for her contributions to Spillage Village songs like “Hapi” and her recent appearance on Reason’s “Westside,” she’s a more than accomplished artist in her own right. Her 2019 debut album The Jungle Is The Only Way Out was hailed by those in the know, and with R&B’s increased prominence in the pop culture landscape, it’s only a matter of time until she receives commensurate notice for her solo talents.
It’s called Azeb, which is my middle name, and the name that my father called me. It’s an Ethiopian name… People passing through a town or village and asking, “How do I get to this region of Ethiopia?”—they’ll use the word “azeb” and point to a place in the sky. I felt as I was writing songs last year that they were helping me figure out and sort through the things I was feeling about what was happening in the world. They started being my guide. I was also inspired by Nina Simone, who said, “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times.” I always end up putting current events, or things that are happening in the world, into my music. But this project also encompasses the more universal parts of human existence, like being in love and being hopeful in the midst of whatever else is going on, because that’s a survival tactic, to have hope and faith that things are going to get better.
Watch Mereba’s “Rider” video above.