Hailu Mergia learnt to play the accordion and the keyboard at a very young age. Having grown up with Ethiopian folk songs, Mergia began his journey with music by modifying those childhood tunes and putting a funkier spin to them. He was a part of the 1980s Ethiopian band Walias Band. He released his debut album Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument in 1985. He performed at various clubs across the world. He stopped his performance art in 1991 only to be rediscovered years later by Brian Shimkovitz. He released his first album post-hiatus in 2018. The new album titled Lala Belu although funk leans more towards modern jazz.