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Sharing Life.

The desire to serve the needs of others has been a central theme for Tad Worku.

Worku made music a central part of his life from an early age. With a natural talent for both writing and performing music, he was poised for a successful career in the music industry, gaining fans who genuinely connected with his music and playing in celebrated venues throughout the world. In 2012, he was one of the youngest performers regularly headlining at Yoshi’s in San Francisco and was on the brink of signing a touring contract for his band.

After graduating from college in Northern California, Worku was offered a pop contract by a label, offering to fund his tour and propel him into the next step toward a career in the music industry. He was surrounded by award-winning musicians and producers who created hits for Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and more.

But the contract came with conditions: he could not write about politics or religion. Worku, a Christian whose faith is paramount to his story, had to decide between fame and faith.

He turned down the grant, realizing the cost of the themes which were so central to his and others’ experience was too high.

Still wanting to serve the needs of people around him, Worku began a nursing program, saying that he could no longer see how music could connect with his desire to serve humanity.

During the two years of his nursing studies, Worku rarely performed as a musician. Nonetheless, he continued to feel inspired to write songs. As his nursing program drew to an end, Worku began to see how the two parts of his life — music and medicine — might come together: concerts could be a stage that attracted individuals who might partner with him in his quest to build a medical mission.

Worku, who works as an emergency department nurse, realized that helping people in the peak of their pain and vulnerability shifted his perspective about what was important. He began to write music again, but this time, he fully leaned into the mission of caring for both a person’s body and soul, saying his immersion in medicine helped to strengthen his commitment to making a difference.

Worku is a songwriter, singer, speaker, and healthcare provider. With a voice that is both strong and soulful, Worku has forged a unique sound in the music industry. His original works defy genre categorization, somehow able to incorporate elements of many different musical styles.

His songs intentionally incorporate Christian themes, exploring his personal journey to find meaning and purpose both in his musical career and his service to the community. Despite his song’s spiritual messages, Worku hopes that all fans will find healing through his music, regardless of their religious beliefs.

He left behind a career in pop music to live out his values and give back to his community as a nurse; but now, he is working to bring both paths together and help people find healing through the power of music.

“Helping people through a medical emergency shifts your perspective on life,” Tad said. “It forces you to start asking what’s important.” The theme of understanding and celebrating what is important in each day infuses Tad’s songs and life.

Things have now come full circle since Tad’s 2012 decision to cancel his completed pop/soul album, return his tour funding, and step away from music. Love Is All, Tad’s debut album was released in January 2020, but prior to going on tour, his plans were again quickly changed as a result of  COVID-19. Professionally, the shuttering of local venues has required him to cancel his tour.

Now, in a time of anxiety and uncertainty, Worku hopes people will find encouragement and strength in his music. “When we released the album, we had no idea how applicable the music would be to what the world would be facing just months later,” he said. “Music became part of my healing process when facing tragedy, and it’s incredible to see it touch so many others in this time of crisis.”

 “It’s humbling to realize the power of music in times like these,” he says. “Until we can be close to each other again, I’m hopeful my music will bring a little light and love into this situation.”

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