Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Interview with Femi Kuti

Nigerian musician Femi Kuti was recently in Britain as part of the third African Soul Rebels tour.

Femi burns with conviction that music can have a social impact. “What I do is communication,” he told Socialist Worker. “My music says the struggle is not over. Africa still has a very long way to go, but the fight is on.”

His father Fela Kuti was a seminal African musician and a powerful political focus in Nigeria in the 1970s.

Influenced by the Black Power movement in the US, Fela developed Afrobeat – a fusion of different styles of African music with jazz and funk.

A long series of albums denounced the state and led to continual raids from the Nigerian state, beatings and imprisonment. Fela died in 1997.

Femi’s music is smoother and less confrontational than his father’s – but it is still overtly political.
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