While it might seem that African culture has little relevance to the mainstream music scene, the roots of naija music lie firmly within African culture itself. Many artists from Africa have a unique musical style that demonstrates this. These artists are known as Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, and Shina Peters. But what makes naija music so special? Here are some ways you can enjoy it.
The earliest album from Fela Kuti, the self-titled “Original Sufferhead,” came out in 1971 and was a scathing indictment of colonialism and black culture. It starts with a tempo that is frightful and ominous, but soon picks up speed and intensity, replete with keyboard sprints and forceful horns. Fela narrates the story of the Feb ’77 raid. Another song from the same album, the ominous “Colonial Mentality,” features Fela on tenor sax and is a powerfully lyric statement about Africans’ experiences.
The title track focuses on a theme of political and social injustice, and is a commentary on the 1979 transfer of power from Shehu Shagari to military rule. Throughout the song, Fela discusses the role of culture as a teacher and the need for Africans to embrace their own traditions and cultures. Fela’s song also addresses the issue of “planting democracy” in the country.
Fela’s political views are well-documented. His mother’s activism for African rights in Nigeria gave him an insight into the struggle for freedom. She supported the Pan Africanist doctrine, and her mother, the Ghanaian Head of State, Kwame Nkrumah, was a champion of the same cause. Ultimately, Fela’s music grew to become one of the best-known pieces of naija music.
Fela Kuti’s political and social views shaped his music. He was a political dissident, and his music often focused on world leaders. Some songs criticize the Nigerian government for its military policies, while others address the role of the upper class in destroying traditional African culture. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what influenced his politics, but Fela Kuti’s music is still relevant today.
Femi Kuti is a Nigerian musician. He was born on June 16, 1962. Born to a musician father and an Afrobeat figurehead, he has a unique blend of music that is both original and versatile. In addition to singing, Femi Kuti also plays the saxophone and keyboard. He has also collaborated with Common and Mos Def.
The singer’s voice was used in the Grand Theft Auto IV video game as the host of an imaginary radio station. Femi’s debut album, Day by Day, was released by Kalakuta Records in Lagos in 1991, and it was released on the Melodie label in Europe. The album reached the upper European charts and sold well internationally. It was also nominated for a Grammy award in the United States.
Fela Kuti’s international career started when he was invited to perform at the French Cultural Centre in Lagos. He toured the country and performed at the Moers Festival in Germany. His songs were sampled by hip-hop artists such as Ahmir Thompson and the Roots. This led to a number of other Nigerian artists stealing the songs. As the name Femi Kuti grew in popularity in the U.S., he also performed on major stages and festivals around the world.
Despite being the son of an Afrobeat legend, Femi Kuti’s music is still relevant today. His son Made Kuti and grandson Seun are bringing his Afrobeat sound to the United States with their debut album. The new album is due in February 2017.
The naija music of Fela Anikulapo-Kiti is a classic example of Nigerian pop culture. The songs he recorded are usually sung in Yoruba, and mostly in pidgin English. The instruments that he used were usually saxophone and keyboard, but he also played trumpet, electric guitar, and drum solos. Kuti refused to perform these songs live until after they had been recorded.
His death was followed by a huge commotion, as millions attended his funeral in Lagos. Hundreds of thousands of people paid their respects to the singer. Letters of condolence from governments and the UN were also written in eloquent tribute to the great man. Fela’s death was due to an AIDS-related heart failure.
Fela’s songs were often critical of the state of Nigeria. Many of his songs featured lewd language. He would criticise the government, talk about the beauty of a woman’s body, and he remained controversial. Fela’s music became political and influenced many other musicians, from Jimmy Cliff and David Byrne to the Talking Heads. In 1991, Fela performed an epic gig at New York City’s Apollo theater. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti died of AIDS-related illness in Nigeria on August 2, 1997.
Ransome began to write political songs and protests against the military government. His club was regularly raided by authorities. He later moved to a communal compound near Lagos, proclaimed an independent Kalakuta Republic, and promoted drugs and polygamy. His mother later died of complications resulting from a fall, and his last name changed to Anikulapo.
Sir Shina Peters first rose to prominence with his 1989 album, Ace: Afro-Juju Series 1. This debut album ushered in the beginning of Peters’ career. He was crowned the father of Afro-Juju music, a style that blends fuji-style percussion with electric guitars. Shina Peters’ career began early with stints in the Lagos music scene. His first album, Ace, became a hit, selling over seven million copies. Later, his follow-up, Shinamania: The World and My Heart, also received platinum status.
Throughout the 1980s, Peters teamed up with General Prince Adekunle to form a band. This band played in various Lagos hotels. However, when Adekunle became ill, Peters stepped in and took over as lead singer. Shina Peters and Segun Adewale released several albums together in the 1980s. Eventually, Peters and Adewale broke off to form Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars.
Born on May 30, 1958, in Ogun State, Nigeria, Shina Peters is one of the pioneers of the Afro-Juju style. His music is characterized by a fast, percussive beat, and he uses a variety of instruments, including electronic keyboards, saxophone, and vocals. Peters began making music at an early age, singing in church and using an organ or piano.
Akanbi Peters started his career at a very young age. He and his friends would gather under a tree and freestyle. These young people were later known as Olushina and his Twelve Fantastic Brothers. Eventually, Sir Shina Peters felt that he had tremendous potential, and began to study standard musical instruments. He later joined Ebenezer Obey’s band and released ‘Olushina and his 12 Fantastic Brothers’.
Obey and Ade
The rise of Obey and Ade in Nigerian pop and music reflected a change in the country’s ethnic makeup. During their early years in Lagos, Igbo musicians dominated highlife, but the Igbos soon began migrating to the East to pursue higher-paying jobs. Oil-related minerals also made Nigerians rich enough to enjoy a lavish lifestyle. But the Igbos’ influence was not universally felt.
There is a debate in Nigerian music over which singer was better. Some fans say Obey was better, while others say Ade’s voice was more enchanting. It is not clear who is better, but the duo have both made impressive contributions to the Nigerian music industry. Regardless of which of them was the more influential, the rivalry only strengthened both of their careers and helped their fans.
The popularity of African pop and music helped establish an independent record industry. In the United States, artists such as Fela Kuti, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, and Oladapo Ajayi have all been able to reach a global audience. In addition to promoting local artists, they’ve paved the way for the growth of new and emerging indie music scenes. Meanwhile, the rise of international stardom has boosted the popularity of African music, which has spawned several successful albums by the two.
Despite the perceived rivalry between Obey and Sunny Ade, both musicians have been successful at establishing their respective musical careers in the United States. Both have succeeded in establishing themselves as the poster boys for Nigerian juju music. Their popularity has reached unprecedented levels since their debut on the international scene. Although they differ in their music styles, both artists have contributed immensely to the success of Nigerian pop culture.