Showing posts from October 27, 2013

Afro-beat. What Next? Part 2

Fela Bandwagon contd...
The world is watching and waiting for hits that will enhance and give the afro-beat genre a stronger foothold, keep it interesting until it gets passed on to the next generation. It's what Fela Kuti would have wanted. 
I mentioned JK Brimah because Fela Kuti's personal and musical development wouldn't have been complete without the influence of JK. (A chapter is dedicated to JK in Fela's autobiography "This Bitchof A Life" written by Carlos Moore), the story is even more interesting when JK tells it. It annoys me that today's practitioners see JK (who is still alive and well) as an irrelevance, only good in their eyes when they want their undeserved validation.

JK at a Party
Other individuals who supported and encouraged Fela's musicality but today are given no credit, (especially during the years of strife and turmoil), were individuals like Tunde Kuboye, who ran The Jazz Club of Nigeria, promoted African and Jazz music at the Mus…

Afro-beat. What next?

Making Sense of the Fela Bandwagon:
Fela Kuti died in 1997. His unexpected death was a blow to fans of afro-beat. Before Fela, the genre didn't exist. That alone, is a great achievement.
We know that the music industry marginalised African music in general for decades. Fela's chaotic lifestyle, his uncompromising attitude, his politics and the music industry's bias, ensured that his music (as brilliant as it was), remained in the doldrums until after his death.
A Felabration
From 2003, the music emerged to take it's place exactly where it should have been. There became an awareness all over the globe. It created a wider fan base and even more appreciation for Fela's work. The tragedy is, Fela did not live long enough to see and enjoy the fruits of his labour.
A lot of bands and artists have emerged trying to play afro-beat. Few have succeeded, often playing a watered down version of Fela's sound. None have come close to doing it as well as the originator. Nobody I k…