Five reasons to go see Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
- Jan Fairley
- 28 March 2011
The African Soul Rebels visit the Usher Hall
1. He’s part of the afrobeat dynasty
Nigerian musician Seun Kuti plays sax, chant-sings and dances – not unlike his legendary father Fela, pioneer of the funky Nigerian afrobeat sound. ‘What inspires me is Africa today’, says Seun. ‘The same things were happening forty years ago, when my father was songwriting but they’re happening in different ways.’
2. Any friend of Brian Eno’s…
Brian Eno co-produced Kuti’s new album From Africa with Fury: Rise. Eno ‘has a great mind, opening up the sound’ for songs like ‘Rise’ which challenges diamond companies that ‘use our brothers as slaves for the stone,’ and companies like Monsanto and Halliburton who ‘use their food to make my people hungry.’
3. Talent runs in the family
Youngest son Seun is often confused with his older half-brother Femi (same dad, different mothers), who forged his own pathway with his band The Positive Force in his twenties. Seun now tours with dad Fela’s orchestra Egypt 80.
4. Consider it an education
Music is politics for Kuti, and he wants to provoke change. ‘Most people are struggling in silence; systematic oppression has made them blind to their reality. Nobody wants to stand up for anything. So I’m trying to make people think about these things that they are forgetting. I want to inspire people to want things to change.’
5. He’s joined by other African Soul Rebels
The Malian group Donso are supporting Kuti: expect driving vocals over roots n’goni lutes, guitars, and percussion grooved into electro dance beats, courtesy of French producer Pierre-Antoine Grison.
An African Soul Rebels Special: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 16 Apr.