Why Afrobeat can never die – Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti

By Nehru Odeh

Multiple award-winning Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti has said Afrobeat can never die. Femi hinged his claim on the genius, ingenuity and musical artistry of its creator, Afrobeat legend,  Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Femi, who just released a single, Pa Pa Pa,  made this claim recently in an interview with presenters of Your View, an all-female talk show on TVC.

“Afrobeat will always be there because the creator, Fela, was a comprehensive and gifted musician. Any musician that listens to him would just say ‘Wow, this man was gifted.’ It can’t die. Afrobeat can never die.

“Fela is an institution. Fela’s music is studied everywhere in the world except here,” Femi said.

The one-time Grammy nominee also said about 90 per cent of the artistes in Nigeria today are influenced by Fela’s style of music, adding that that is the reason they call their music genre Afrobeats.

“It is not only Burna Boy that has taken out of Fela. I think 90 per cent of our artistes here take out of Fela. If you know the Afrobeat, you can see what somebody has taken out of Fela. They don’t just take the lyrics. Afrobeat is the creation of Fela. That’s why they now call it Afrobeats because they needed a name. It’s really not like hip-hop style of music.”

However, bemoaning the fact that contemporary Nigerian artiste are monotonous, he said it was Fela’s unique creative gifts that stand him out.

“When you go into Fela’s creation, the way he harmonized, the way he conducted the whole base, you must be gifted by God to have that talent.

“And again sometimes it is as if we have been criticizing. But we have to be truthful sometimes. You can take any singer and put it into any of his songs and not know because the rhythm are still the same. They are monotonous.  When Fela is composing, he is not monotonous,” he maintained.

Femi also explained that his father’s genius can be seen in the way he has influenced majority of great artistes across the globe.

“Majority of the great musicians took from Fela. I took from Fela. The great Miles Davis took from Fela. The Beatles, James Brown, Beyonce, JayZ, Wyclef. There is nobody that has not taken from Fela,” he averred.

Asked what his latest single, Pa Pa Pa, is all about, he said: “”We are saying if you cannot get that job done, get out of there quickly.