It just occurred to me that there aren’t that many young African artists who play Afro beat ; certainly not like the Tony Allens and the Deele Sosimis.
Seun Kuti, son of the legendary Fela Kuti is one of the few youths carrying the torch. For the longest time he’s been constantly working toward continuing his father’s musical and political legacy. Kulit, a gifted percussionist and Saxophonist, continues to impress crowds all over the world with Egypt ’80, a band that he has deservingly inherited.
His record entitled “a long way to the beginning” which he put out last year is his latest offering. It opens with an absolute banger “IMF” which is this really electric, angry wave of energy directed toward “international mother um… we’ll let you fill out the blanks.
It’s a good thing that he inherited his dad’s rage. He talks about modern issues which such belligerence, you immediately get the feel of some kind of uprising. However, there are some more mellow tracks like “Black Woman” which is an ode made for the African woman which I found to be very affectionate indeed.
Tracking back to his “many things” record which is an absolute classic, we see a confluence of classic Afro beat and contemporary music. All his work has never really turned from being openly political and socially conscious. it is commendable though, how over recent years, Seun’s managed to direct his band from Afro beat in its most traditional mode to a more contemporary place.
Have a listen to a song from his new album ‘a long way to the beginning’ with a fellow Nigerian artist, Nneka, “Black Woman”.