8 Memories In Celebration of Femi Kuti
Nigerian Afrobeat Legend, Femi Kuti, turns a year older today and there are lots of sweet memories we loves to share about him.
– Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti popularly known as Femi Kuti, born in 1962 is an afrobeat pioneer and oldest son of Fela Kuti, birthed in London but raised in Lagos the former capital of Nigeria.
– Femi’s musical career started when he began playing in his father’s band [“Egypt ’80” in 1986].
– After his father’s death in 1997, Femi suddenly found himself the subject of immense attention. He responded by signing with MCA and embarking on his solo career beginning with Shoki Shoki. He won critical celebration around the world and began mounting efforts to break into the U.S. mainstream in successive years.
– On 24 April 2015, Femi Kuti headlined the 2 Kings concert alongside his brother Seun Kuti of twenty years age difference, whom he hadn’t mostly seen eye to eye. The concert is significant as it was the first concert that the brothers of same Afrobeat roots performed together.
– He started his own group called, “Positive Force” a step he took to establish himself as an artist independent of his father’s massive legacy.
– Femi inherited his father’s zeal for both music and activism and he portrays that in the high energy funk, jazz and traditional African-fueled songs he does all centered around political corruption, poverty and primitive living conditions suffered by most inhabitants in Nigeria’s oil-rich nation. His album, “Africa for Africa,” which emphasized “Bad Government” as a major problem in Africa, further confirms that style.
– The ‘Beng Beng Beng’ crooner has released many songs and has received more than three nominations at the prestigious Grammy Awards. His first record was released in 1995 by Tabu/Motown, followed four years later by ‘Shoki Shoki (MCA)’. In 2001, he collaborated with Common, Mos Def and Jaguar Wright on ‘Fight to Win’ and started touring the United States with Jane’s Addiction.
– In 2004 he opened The Shrine, his club, where he recorded the live album Africa Shrine. After a 4-year hiatus due to personal setbacks, he re-emerged in 2008 with ‘Day by Day’ and ‘Africa for Africa’ in 2010, for which he received two Grammy nominations. In 2012 he was inducted into the Headies Hall of Fame and was the opening act on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ European arena tour.
This year marks his 54th birthday and we are happy to celebrate Femi Kuti and his achievements. Happy birthday to the Afrobeat Legend!
Listen to Fela’s “Beng beng beng” video below: