If you missed Femi Kuti’s show at Irving Plaza in New York City last week (like I did), these photographs by Jen Mazer gives a sense of the energy of his performance. Anyway, he’s back in New York City later this month (June 25th), playing at the Bandshell at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
Large parts of Mos Def’s new album, “The Ecstatic,” has been leaked already. That does not put a damper on the anticipation.
Jeremy Weate–he’s behind the excellent Nigeria-based blog, Naijablog–just posted a May 2007 interview he did in Lagos with Seun Kuti–here’s Seun’s MySpace page–the younger of Fela Kuti’s two sons who followed their father into the music business. (By the way, the other son, Femi, is performing here in New York City early next month).
The interview, about 20 minutes long, is a gem. Among others, Seun talks about his admiration for his father (“my dad was the truth”), his relationship with his brother Femi, and what he listens to.
But I especially liked the part where Seun declares his ambitions to run for President of Nigeria some day–something he says wants to do “so bad.”
(Despite Seun’s protestations that he is his own man and does not try to be Fela, it is so that Fela also declared himself President: first of Kalakuta Republic, Fela’s house and performance space in Lagos. Fela also formed a political party, Movement of the People, which he used as a platform to run a quixotic campaign for President of Nigeria.)
Is it something in the water? I am trying to figure out why Nigeria has lately produced a slew of quality neo-soul type singers. (Incidentally, most of them are in the Nigerian diaspora).
Recently I also discovered the music of Nneka. Go sample her music at her MySpace page.
A few things stand out about the new generation of Nigerian Afrobeat singers: they all acknowledge the impact of Fela Kuti’s music and they’re comfortable with mixing genres. Although I am classing them neo-soul, that term does not capture their individual styles which incorporates Afrobeat, of course, reggae, folk, rock, as well as a range of genres.
Because today is Thursday. And tomorrow is Friday.
Nice video. Phone cards, fashion, people (his friends?), photographs, games, books (Amos Tutuola‘s “The Palm Wine Drunkard”), Fela records, among others, are referenced by US-based soul singer Siji to re-imagine “home” in the video for his samba-inflected tune “Yearning For Home”: So is home 1970s Nigeria? nu-soul, boho New York City? Or does it matter?
He is performing as part of Melvn Gibbs‘ “Elevated Entity Project” at Santos Party House in downtown Manhattan on March 20.