Aster was born in 1959 in Gondar, Ethiopia. She was raised in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Her father was a senior civil servant in the Imperial government. By the age of 13, Aster was determined to become a musician, and began her career at Hager Fikir Theatre in Addis Ababa. Starting in her late teens, she was performing in clubs and hotels in the capital with bands such as the Continental Band, Hotel D’Afrique Band, Shebele Band and Ibex Band, before they became the internationally known as Roha Band.
Aster’s distinct style has been influenced by other Ethiopian singers, such as Bizunesh Bekele.
Launching a solo career, she was encouraged by musical entrepreneur Ali Tango, who financed and released five cassettes and two singles of her music. By 1981, Aster had become disillusioned by Ethiopia’s oppressive political climate following the death of Haile Selassie, and relocated to the United States. Temporarily settling in the Bay Area of California, with plans to pursue higher education within a period of two years, she settled in Washington, D.C., where one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country existed. There, she became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community, performing in restaurants and clubs.