Today is day four of Felabration and a host of Nigerian artistes have been performing their heart out at the Felabration. If you are a fan of Fela’s music or perhaps the work he did as an activist you might just want to attend tomorrow’s concert.
Fela’s children have tried to immortalize their father with the opening up of The Shrine and also a museum in honour of their father. Fela has influenced a whole lot of musicians, with his work, both Nigerians and non-Nigerians.
Afrobeats is a genre of music with strong rhythm, which takes its roots from highlife of the 70s and 80s, funk, jazz and percussion sounds from South Western Nigeria. The music is characterized by chants, call and responses, brass sessions and long instrumental solos usually Saxophone or keyboard.
Fela’s songs start with instruments, usually percussion playing a constant groove, and then other instruments come in, could be Saxophones, brass instruments or keyboards in any order. Now this can go on for like 4 minutes of more. By the time most of our contemporary music is ending that’s when Fela’s voice comes into the music. This music style was made popularized by Fela in the 70’s and its popularity rose all through the 90’s until Fela’s death.
Not many people do pure Afrobeats as Fela did it. What we have now is Afro pop and other contemporary styles with a fusion of Fela’s Afrobeat.
So below are some Nigerian Artiste Who have some kind of Afro beat in their music.
Femi is Fela’s first son, he started his own band sometime in the late 80s after he fell out with his father. Some of his tunes like “Wonder Wonder” have been mistaken for Fela’s song. They sound that much alike. Femi is in his 60s now, still doing great, he’s even gotten some Grammy nominations. However, he’s never quite achieved the fame and legend status his father did.
Seun Kuti is another of Fela’s numerous children. He’s not as popular as his older brother Fela, but in the opinion of many he’s music is even closer to his father’s than Femi’s. In his music you’d see half-dressed ladies shaking to the music just like Fela’s. While he was young he traveled around with Fela, so apart from his brother he also had a first-hand taste of his father’s music. He’s also a very conscious musician.
Recently this guy short down O2 Arena in London in his recently held concert. It is said that his father was once Fela’s band member, so it makes sense that his music is so “Felaburated”. Burna boy calls his music Afro fusion. It’s majorly a fusion of Afrobeats and reggae/dancehall. His first video “Like to Party” sounded “dancehallish”. It was not until his song “Soke” was released did we know he had the Afrobeat thing in him. A lot his other songs, the most recent ones like “Ye” are very heavily influence by Fela’s Afrobeat.
He calls himself son of a Carpenter. He was signed unto Chocolate City Records, until they fell out. He’s been releasing great tunes. His track like 1-pound was even made popular when it was used as the theme music for Olisa Dibua’s Bukas and Joints. 1-pound, “Prick no get shoulder” amongst others are some of his Afrobeats influenced songs.
Apart from Fela’s children, he’s one of the few people who does what could be referred to as pure Afrobeats. Da Music is not very popular though, because he does gospel music, he signed unto Loveworld Records. The record label belonging to Christ Embassy. “I Sabi Who I Be”, “Story Story” are some of his tracks. Just like Fela he uses his music to tell stories and to also tell about his believe in God.
Wizkid’s Ojuelegba is in my opinion his greatest hit ever. It is also the song that brought him international acclaim, the song was so good even Drake did the remix with him. Of course not forgetting his other “Felaburated” track “Jaiye Jaiye” which even featured Femi Kuti.
WC’s recently released “Somiso” has been doing very well on the charts. Apart from the sound being heavily influenced by Fela’s music, even the video has a lot of Fela symbolism. Anyone who knows Fela will be able to tell it was Fela inspired.
Dbanj, Dbanj, Dbanj. He’s Emergency song is the only song he’s done that could be said to be Fela’s AFrobeat infused. The song reeks of Fela’s Afrobeat. On stage though, Dbanj has all of Fela’s swagger, even his fashion sense and he being shirtless on stage are all part of the Fela swag.
Lastly we have Oritsefemi with Double wahala and Skales with Temper Ft Burna Boy
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