Femi Kuti Returns to Afrobeat Roots on New Album
Unlike his 2010 Grammy-winning album, Africa for Africa, Femi Kuti opted to record its forthcoming follow-up, No Place for My Dream, in Paris instead of Nigeria. Why remove himself from his native country? As the 50-year-old singer and son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela tells Rolling Stone when he calls from Nigeria, he wanted to take advantage of the technological advances abroad to fully energize his highly politicized music. "I live this experience. I'm in Nigeria right now," he explains. "We have no electricity in my house. There was a bomb blast in Kano today. So I'm experiencing it."
Kuti sees No Place for My Dream as the inevitable return to the Afrobeat music which helped launch his career in the late Eighties and culminated with the release of 1998's critically acclaimed Shoki Shoki. In the years since, Kuti says he found himself with the opportunity to expand his musical repertoire, most notably by working with American hip-hop artists such as Mos Def, Common and Jaguar Wright for 2001's Fight to Win. "It was my going off what I wanted to do, what I had to do," he says. "Now it's going back on track where I really want to be with No Place for My Dream. It's like going back to where I started off."