It would not be an exaggeration to say Nigerian Afro-beat music runs in the blood lines of Femi Kuti’s family. Like father like son in more ways than one. Femi, the son of legendary Fela Kuti, borrows the best of dad’s funky, jazzy, heavily percussive elements to create an “impressive mixture of funky soul-jazz, driving percussion and horns, with sharp social comment.” Femi started his career in father’s band, but was never satisfied with just being his father’s heir. He formed his own band in 1985 and has since been highly admired in his own right.
In his latest album he reunited with his father to record their first album together an album Kuti describes as “aggressive” and a a “hybrid of Afro-pop, jazz and urban influences.” This album has an intentionally rough finish meant to maintain the Afro-beat in its purest form. He has been nominated twice for a Grammy once in 2003 and 2010 in the world music category. Femi’s son currently appears as part of his act, playing alto saxophone. If he too follows in his father’s footsteps we should be enjoying awesome music from the Kuti family for many years to come.
You can catch Femi Kuti and his band The Positive force at ACL Live Friday, May 6th.