Meet Brian Smith

Meet Brian Smith

Brian Smith a teacher by profession, is an amazing performer playing the most unlikely genre performed live here in Addis “ROCK”! We met at a show he did at the German Restaurant & bar early June 2013 when performing in the band “The Germaricans”. They performed cover tracks where Brian was playing the lead guitar singing favorites from famous Artists from the likes of Nirvana, Red hot chili peppers etc…. they rocked the night indeed! He’s been performing since the age of 15 in the Midwest and has managed to do so in three continents so far,

“I plan to continue to add to that if possible” he says. With his one man band established early spring 2013, he recently released his first Album “Built for slow” on July 1st 2013. What type of genre you ask …. “I call it punkabilly blues, it’s very Midwestern with different tempos and drive”is the way Brian describes his music.

Built for slow - how the name was coined…

“I made a list of 300 names. I paired down from there and Built for Slow was the winner. I also wanted to have a band name rather than my own name so that I could add or subtract personnel and the band would go forward rather than having to come up with a new name if the band reformed”.

He’s been doing gigs here in Addis at the “Guys Bar”, “German Restaurant & Bar”, and “The Blue Diamond”, and he’s interested to expand to perform further in different venues here as well.

“I needed a way to perform my music in an honest way but at the same time deal with the limitations that living abroad puts on personnel and also travel and shows. Being a one man band works really well with an international life style”. Brian is currently working on his second Album. So far he’s performed 3 of the new songs that have not been recorded yet, “they have met with good response” says Brian.

“What's nice is that I now have an audience to try out songs on”. I had asked Brian about how people were reacting to his music here in Addis, do people get it? Because it’s not the type of genre listened-to much here, and I had not come across any previous performances either & I also asked what he thought of the same anywhere in Africa.

“Rock in Ethiopia/Africa – doesn't really seem to exist much. I know South Africa has a big indie thing going on, but that's about all I know of. But I noticed the folks here really seem to enjoy original music. The foot drums amaze them when I play”.

Future aspirations of the band, what’s planned next aside from working on the next album…. “Hopefully this summer I will get the chance to tour Europe and play in a number of different countries. Hopefully I will also get to play in different venues here in Addis”

Check-out his website at