Grammys, grandmas & Afroblues: A chat with Ebo Krdum

Ebo Krdum is a Sudanese-Swedish self-taught singer, guitarist, artist, actor, and activist. He creates contemporary political Afroblues & Afrobeat music – learn all about his new album, his Swedish Grammy win and more.

Grammys, grandmas & Afroblues: A chat with Ebo Krdum

What do ABBA, Robyn, Avicii, In Flames, and Ebo Krdum all have in common? They’ve all won a Swedish Grammy! You might have heard the first four, but if Ebo Krdum doesn’t ring any bells, let’s change that.

Ebo Krdum is a Sudanese-Swedish self-taught singer, guitarist, artist, actor, and activist. He creates contemporary political Afroblues & Afrobeat music rooted in several musical traditions around the sub-Saharan region, singing in multiple languages. His lyrics touch on heavy topics, including justice, peace, equality, diversity, revolution, and freedom.

This year, he became the first Epidemic Sound artist to win a Swedish Grammy. On December 16, 2022, his new album ‘Revolt for Change’ will be released under Epidemic Sound.

Check out our chat with Ebo to learn more about his Swedish Grammy win, his new album, and more.

Ebo Krdum

What does it mean to you to win a Swedish Grammy?

E: It means recognition of the work I’m doing, and it makes me happy that what I’m doing is appreciated. This kind of recognition feels like fuel for all my upcoming projects. It helps to grow my commitment to my work and will contribute to my inspiration and discipline toward my upcoming projects.

How did you find out that you won the award?

E: I got an email four months before the ceremony telling me that my album had been nominated. I can’t describe the feeling when I received the email. A bunch of questions popped into my head. Why? How? But the questions didn’t take over the nice feeling; it really made my morning. Then I had to wait until the ceremony to find out if I had won.

At the ceremony, nobody knows who’s going to win, and everyone is sitting there waiting. I never imagined that I would win, as this was the first time I’d been nominated for such a big prize. I was up against thousands of other artists in the competition. When we got to my category, I imagined one of the more established names would win, neither of them being mine. Then they called out my name. It didn’t sink in at first as I wasn’t mentally prepared! Then my producer and label team started screaming. It took a few seconds to sink in!

Ebo Krdum

It must have been so exciting to share the news. Who did you share it with first?

E: The reactions from all different sides were very special. Here in Sweden, the ceremony was broadcast live, so most people I knew here watched it live. The people I told first were my followers on social media and my family back home in Darfur, particularly my mum and grandma.

They had no clue that I had won, but they knew it was the day I was supposed to go to the ceremony. They were waiting for my call. I couldn’t call them that same day as it turned out to be a really long night, and it got too late in their time zone. So I called them the following day, and they were so happy about it!

For my grandma back in Sudan, a Grammy is a totally new concept. A different world. When I showed her the award, she wanted to know how happy she should be! She asked me, “Is this bigger than the newspaper?”, as she’d previously seen me in the newspaper when I sent her photos of that before. It was a lovely reaction. I told her, “I think this is a bit bigger.”

Tell us about your albums ‘Love & Struggle’ and ‘Revolt for Change', which you released with Epidemic Sound.

E: My new albums were underway even before I got nominated for the Grammy. We decided to release ‘Love & Struggle’ at the end of May, without even knowing that I would be nominated for the Grammy – let alone that I would win it. The whole thing with the Grammys showed up from nowhere.

When the Grammys came, it brought more coverage to the project and was a nice way to let the two releases push each other. To have a common platform for both projects was fortunate timing. I’m so happy and satisfied with how it turned out. Now that my third album, ‘Revolt for Change,’ is out, it feels like a lovely way to finish the year.

Ebo Krdum’s third album, ‘Revolt for Change', is available now with Epidemic Sound and across all major digital streaming platforms. You can get to know Ebo more in the second episode of Epidemic Sound’s new YouTube series, Behind the Sound.

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