Nigerian Pop Music, Within The Shadow Of Fela Kuti

Nigerian Pop Music, Within The Shadow Of Fela Kuti

Krizbeatz calls himself "the King of AfroDance", the Nigerian music that has got thousands and thousands dancing throughout Africa and the world.

For Fela, as he is still recognized to fans, music was typically a life-threatening battle against corrupt navy dictatorships that ruled Nigeria in the Seventies and 1980s.

For the gifted Krizbeatz, a child of the capitalist and democratic Nineteen Nineties, music is a game. But the self-assured 22-yr-old music producer – real name Chris Alvin Sunday – nonetheless takes his inspiration from Fela when he’s at his mixing desk.

"I studied House Music in South Africa but I’m a Nigerian. Afrobeat is what I grew up listening to. Afrobeat is who I'm," he said. In 2016, Krizbeatz produced the hit Pana, which has had near fifty three million views on YouTube and been downloaded 10.5 million times on Spotify.

In it, the singer Tekno Miles declares his love for his sweetheart and guarantees to drive her to the church in a Porsche. Some really feel that 20 years after his death in August 1997, Fela would surely turn in his grave to listen to the new generation celebrating designer labels, luxury vehicles and champagne.

But Krizbeatz says Nigerian music is at first about the beat."In case you speak about a Nigerian music, you speak concerning the beat before anything else," he said, grabbing an electric guitar to document a number of notes on a loop on his computer."You hear it and also you just wish to dance and be glad, earlier than you can take heed to the lyrics."

Abdul Okwechime organises the week-long "Felabration" festival of Fela’s life and work, ending on the weekend and held yearly across the musician’s birthday. He's less than impressed with the flip that lyrics today have taken."They discuss too much about femininity, the sensuality of ladies," he complained."We have now misplaced professionaltest music, music to get up to, to make you aware of the society, and our society is ill," he stated, as he took visitors round Fela’s commune, dubbed Kalakuta Republic in Lagos.

The musician lived on the commune – which he once declared an unbiased republic – with his family, band and 27 wives. "Now they (fashionable musicians) discuss butts, they talk about boobs … the sexuality of girls, that’s what they discuss now," said Okwechime. Nevertheless, Fela’s music and affect continues to be important.

Even Nigerian megastar Wizkid – the first Afrobeats artist to headline a sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall – opened his historic concert there in September with Fela’s 1972 epic, Lady. Different artists pay tribute in numerous ways.

At his Borno Winners Empire studio, within the upmarket Lagos suburb of Lekki, Adekunle Gold is sporting traditional dress and recording his second album. Around him is his band, The 79th Aspect, named after the atomic number for gold. The singer says he has created a new sound, mixing musical styles inspired by Nigerian music download Afropop, Indian harmonies and Ghanaian Highlife, but underlying it with percussion and vocals like Fela in his heydey.