Fela Kuti , byname of Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti , also called Fela Anikulapo-Kuti , born October 15, , Abeokuta , Nigeria—died August 2, , Lagos , Nigerian musician and activist who launched a modern style of music called Afro-beat, which fused American blues , jazz , and funk with traditional Yoruba music. Kuti was the son of feminist and labour activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. As a youth he took lessons in piano and percussion before studying classical music at Trinity College London. While in London, he encountered various musical styles by playing piano in jazz and rock bands. Returning to Nigeria in the mids, he reconstituted Koola Lobitos, a band with which he had played in London.
Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Africa ’70, ‘Roforofo Fight’ (1972)
Who Was Fela Kuti?
Fela Kuti. Angelique Kidjo, Jeff Mills, Sebastien Tellier and more remember the late drummer: his humility, his brilliance, and his awesome sportswear. Published: 4 May Tony Allen obituary. Published: 3 May Tony Allen: the Afrobeat maverick who blazed a trail across the globe.
Resistance is etched into Afrobeat, the music forged by the Nigerian bandleader and activist Fela Kuti in the s and s. Fela, as he was universally known, decided in the late s that he had no use for love songs or party tunes; he wanted to challenge unjust authority. Most of his start as simmering instrumentals, methodically layering little riffs and long-lined melodies into burly grooves; they make way for the messages he sings, then surge ahead with even more urgency. It was carried forward by two of his sons, Femi and Seun; the style was also maintained by bands well outside Nigeria. And it has stayed all too relevant with anti-racism protests happening today.
Beginning in the s, Fela Kuti pioneered his own unique style of music called "Afrobeat. Kuti was arrested times and endured numerous beatings, but continued to write political lyrics, producing 50 albums before he died on August 2, , in Lagos, Nigeria. Kuti was the son of a Protestant minister, Reverend Ransome-Kuti.