Seun Kuti follows Fela’s steps

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You probably know Fela Kuti and his son Femi. Well now you will have to take count of Seun, the new prince of Afro beat. The youngest son of the most famous singer from Nigeria releases his first album “Many Things” this week.

Right from the very first notes of the album the Afro beat stamp, inherited from the famous Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1938-1997) with energetic and throbbing grooves and generous and triumphing brass winds, cannot be missed. Both music and voice alike. Egypt 80, the father’s band has now become the son’s band.

Seun Kuti, releasing his first album “Many Things” at age 25, does not deny his father’s influence in his music. Last April, during his most recent visit to he declared “I am very inspired by my father. Although our are personalities differ the music remains the same.” He knows time will be necessary to make a first name for himself, but some aspects of his music promise a renewal.

The young man, introduced to the art of singing, saxophone and piano by his father and his band, has been playing music since childhood. And although he has performed in several concerts around the world over the past few years he had never — prior to this release — recorded an album. After going through quite an adventure to find a producer the French label Tôt ou Tard agreed to sign him for his debut album.

The Afro beat therapy

The songs on his album carry strong political content such as corruption, war, and violence. Africa’s troubles, exactly the same issues Fela denounced on stage. According to Seun these troubles have not been solved since the 80’s and have in fact worsened. This is true all over Africa but even more for his country Nigeria where “about 1% of the population has 90% of all resources” and the local government can be likened to the “mafia”. This catastrophic situation that, unlike many other artists, prevents him from being proud of his continent: “I am not proud of being African, I am not proud of being from the beggar continent!”

Seun Kuti considers that the troubles and failures that Africa faces are consequences of colonization and the trauma caused by this tragedy. “The African people were humiliated and rejected for a long time. Since the colonial period they are considered slaves, second zone individuals, garbage (…) “Nowadays this foul image is part of every African’s psychology, each of us has it in him…” he diagnoses.

For musicians, Afro beat and its message is one of the best ways of fighting against this evil, enlightening Africans to the injustice and misdeed of their leaders, and giving them their self confidence again.
A real musical therapy.

Seun Kuti by Lucie Yeung Live
envoyé par afriktv
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