Afrobeat – Guides, Features and Interviews | Songlines

Afrobeat Profile

Fela Kuti’s first visit to the US in the late-1960s had a profound impact on the future course of African music.

Influenced by the black power movement and the music of James Brown, on his return to Nigeria he fashioned a dynamic new sound that combined jazz, West African highlife, tribal chants, R&B and funk.

Assisted by drummer and musical director Tony Allen, Fela named the hybrid Afrobeat. His larger-than-life personality dominated the genre until his death in 1997.

A vast array of Afrobeat artists have since emerged to fill the void, prominent among them his sons Seun Kuti and Femi Kuti.


Subscribe from only £5.53

Start your journey and discover the very best music from around the world.


View the Current

Take a peek inside the latest issue of Songlines magazine.

Find out more