Feb 28, 2013

Nigeria opens museum to "Afrobeat King" Fela Kuti

In the 1970s, Fela Kuti's Afrobeat music became the anti-establishment soundtrack of Africa, an anthem for those railing against the many despotic regimes that gripped the continent at the time.

But 15 years after his death in 1997, the man whose music was a constant thorn in the side of officials in his native Nigeria has been honoured by the authorities with whom he so often tangled. The Kalakuta commune – a three-storey building down a potholed road that "seceded" from Nigeria – has been turned into a museum with the help of a $250,000 (£156,000) grant from the Lagos government.

"The Afrobeat movement is going stronger," his son Femi Kuti said as visitors streamed through the house in downtown Lagos. "More people are aware about what my father stood for … and the plight of the ordinary African. That's why we have to keep fighting for a just society for everybody."

Femi, whose own music has won him countless awards, says the museum is not a sign that the Kuti family's attitude towards the authorities has softened. But any form of government endorsement would have been unthinkable in the 1970s, when Fela created Afrobeat – a blend of traditional Yoruba music laced with jazz, brass sounds and stinging political messages that made him the constant target of government beatings, harassment and jailings.


Gone is the three-metre electrified barbed-wire fence erected after soldiers razed the building. That attack, in which his mother was thrown from a window, followed the release of his hit song Zombie, in which he railed against government soldiers who "no go think unless you tell am to think".

Another son of Fela Kuti, Seun, said before a performance this week: "The message of Afrobeat is so strong that guys who have nothing to do with Afrobeat are now latching on to the name just to sell their records today.

"But the movement is unstoppable. You have white teenagers in Amsterdam who are playing Afrobeat today. Afrobeat is going beyond Africa."

Fela's popularity grew when he began singing about local realities as Nigerians experienced rising levels of poverty despite a stream of petrodollars flowing into the country after Nigeria gained independence in 1960. Twenty years later, absolute poverty had doubled to 30% of the population.

"Everything he sang about is still true today," said Oluwole, a taxi driver waiting for petrol as a tape played Fela on a tinny loop. "Look how we have to queue for fuel. How can a country that sends oil to America not have enough oil for its own citizens?"

His music still resonates with an army of fans ranging from street hustlers to ageing academics. This week, thousands flocked to the annual week-long Felabration, one of Africa's wildest parties, fuelled by music and copious amounts of weed and cold beer. "If you don't want government to catch you, make sure you thief big big like them," one performer said in pidgin English, eliciting cheers and foot-stamping loud enough to rattle the corrugated iron roof of the rebuilt Shrine – Fela's famous nightclub – one afternoon this week.
Fela's ability to inspire mass protests meant he was feared even by visiting presidents. But his rejection of both Christianity and Islam, his legendary sexual appetite and his fondness for turnip-sized joints (funk bassist Bootsy Collins once exclaimed after a visit to Nigeria: "Man, we walked into the room and the smoke knocked us down. I mean, we were the James Brown band but we were totally wiped out!") made him a pariah to many in a highly religious society. A pile of bedside books in the room he shared with some of his 27 wives includes one on Chinese astrology.

Outside the Shrine one early evening, the strain of a lone saxophone wreathed high above the roar of nearby traffic. "Fela was an individual who single-handedly rewrote musical history. As Nigerians, we just feel blessed such an individual was gifted to us," said reveller Aderemi Ola, pulling on a cigar-sized spliff as he readied himself for a night of dancing.

Feb 26, 2013

From Poland: Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra

Warsaw group performing Afrobeat - a species which is the cradle of Nigeria.
The team in his work combines elements of African culture, music, funk, reggae, and European folklore.
In addition to copyright works, do not remain indifferent to the composers who are the source of their fascination with the music (Fela Kuti, Tony Allen).

Ten-part, lively rhythm section, trancey guitar riffs, stylish phrases brass section, all enriched with highly original voices of three singers.

The band members are musicians who took part in many projects, among others: Elvis Deluxe, Panopticoom, Village Kollektiv, Star Lovers Space, Elemental.

Feb 25, 2013

From Sweden: Okes Masima & the Afro Fusion Band

The band Members of Okes Masima & the Afro Fusion Band are comprises of Nine Swedish instrumentalist, One Swedish Dancer. The lead vocalist Okes Masima is from Nigeria. he plays the african Shekere and clive.. David Bäck on Piano.. Lars Rosegren on Slagverk. Tobi on Bass Johan Bjorklund on Trummor Willy Wong on Tenor Saxophone. Maltida Lidberg -dancer. The group is based in Göteborg,Sweden and also the group is the only Afro Fusion Multicuratural band in the whole of Europe.


They are professional musicians and their demand is rising fast as everyone who loves afro beat demands for the performances, Each member of the band loves Late Fela Kuti Music and Okes Masima kind of Afro beat is originally from Nigeria ,Okes Masima on his own contribution has proclaimed afro beat as the music of truth with rhythm of jazz,funk,house,soul and african percussion,their kind of Afro beat is( Afro fusion). Okes Masima is a multi-talented song writer,instrumentalist, his songs and video which is titlled 'Tribute to fela' a Masterpiece to hear was produced in Nigeria and Master in Sweden. He travelled Nigeria to visit the new afrobeat king in Nigeria-Femi Kuti and the Senior daugther of Late Fela Kuti--Yeni,it was a day to remember. I was highly welcomed,I presented to the family of kuti a flex of the 11th Rememberance of the death of the Late Fela Kuti. and to perform at the years 'Rememberance day of late fela kuti' the occasion was covered by the Silver Bird Television,The Guadian Newspaper and other private T.V and newspaper


Okes Masima stated:

l created my kind of Afrobeat which is called AFROFUSION BEAT in the year 2000 in Lagos ,Nigeriamy music is blended with jazz,funk,house,soul and african percussion,thou it's still under afrobeat genre, but on a danceable tune,still the message is passed across. People these days wants to move their body while they listen to music,my music is for the government,masses,old and young,My songs are basically advise songs like telling the government on how to make life easy for the masses like one of my songs that says anything u do ur neighbour somebody will do u back, the masses also should love their neighbours,cos one day they might be up there. The problem is not only on government,the masses should work things out too below,for the government on top make life easy for the poor.these are what my music speaks about you should expect rythm,truth,Love,Liberty and dance beat,e.t.c


Feb 1, 2013

Get it: Afro J​.​E​.​T​.​S Club Project

"We again rededicate ourselves in the struggle to emancipate other countries in Africa; For our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent."

So said Nkrumah as the clocks struck midnight on March 5th, 1957 (he was ousted in a western-backed coup in 1966), and those words remain as relevant today as they did then. For who but the most naïve would declare that Africa today is truly liberated?

Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria's first president, spawned a philosophy of African liberation that identified five concepts for Africa's movement towards freedom: spiritual balance, social regeneration, economic determination, mental emancipation and political resurgence. Still relevant.

When it became clear that Patrice Lumumba wanted genuine independence for DR Congo (which meant control of its natural resources), the US government, in complicity with the Belgians, decided he was a mad dog who had to be killed. And so he was.

History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets... a history of glory and dignity. - Patrice Lumumba, 1960

Tireless emcee and producer Teck-Zilla (from the Nigerian hip-hop collective Str8Buttah) has spliced together snippets of wise words from some of Africa's liberation thinkers and fighters with some hard-edged hip-hop beats to create a quasi audio-documentary called the Afro J.E.T.S. Club Project (for Justice, Equality, Truth and Sacrifice), and it's yours to download for FREE.

The words of those who made great strides for Africa ring in our ears today, and should continue to inspire until the continent achieves genuine liberation and economic independence. But while we remember their words we should not forget to ask ourselves: what am I doing to make great strides for Africa? 


A.J.C.P is an audio quasi-documentary inspired by Africa’s rich musical and political history. Teck-Zilla goes the extra mile and digs deep into the sounds from 70s Africa.Splices them with rich commentary/sound bites from Africa’s great political & musical visionaries such as Nkrumah, Lumumba, Nnamdi Azikiwe,Sunny Ade,Fela Kuti etc. to create a fusion of raw edged boom-bap beats laced with African melodies and rhythm.

From France: Walko Afrobeat

WALKO is a band from Nantes, France, which draws inspiration from the work of Fela Anikulapo KUTI the creator of the afrobeat, where its sources could be found in jazz, funk or highlife… Walko gets its musical eclectism from its members coming from Caribbean, Africa, Asia and France. This flexible group of 13 to 15 misicians is composed of a solid and a massive rhythm section and a powerful brass instruments section led by an energetic singer.


WALKO merge roots and influences, with the desire to transmit the energy and colors of Afrobeat.

Founded in 2005, the group Nantes WALKO draws heavily on the work of the creator of Afrobeat FELA KUTI ANIKULAPO. This great artist has established musical codes specific to the afrobeat WALKO that has appropriate while incorporating other musical styles such as Soul, Funk, Jazz and African music. This eclectic music would not exist without the cultural diversity that WALKO: musicians Guadeloupe, Reunion, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Laotian and French continental.

This modular group of 12 to 15 musicians consists of a solid and massive rhythm section (bass, drums, 2 guitars, keyboard, 3 percussionists) and a powerful horn section (baritone sax, tenor sax, alto sax and trumpet) . The singer is accompanied by the exuberant energy for special occasions by two lovely singers / dancers.

As the concerts, WALKO has found an original sound and a real complicity with the audience causing a trance worthy of the greatest orchestras afrobeat .... WALKO worked with Barbaro, singer, trumpeter and Cuban percussionist (Femi Kuti, Buena Vista Social Club, P18 ...) as well as some members of Yelemba ABIDJAN (traditional percussion troupe .. e D'ivoire).

With this experience, WALKO has shared the stage with international artists such as Seun Kuti, Fanga Seyni and Yeliba .... WALKO has fought a solid reputaion in the middle of Afrobeat French.


01. Afrobeat Trance 
02. Quiet Man Is A Dead Man