Songlines | Afrobeat

Afrobeat Profile

  • Related Artists: Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen
  • Related Countries: Nigeria

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.

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