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The Influence: Legends' Thoughts On Fela Kuti

Watch as musical legends discuss the influence of afrobeat king Fela Kuti on their music and life.


The wingspan of Fela Kuti's influence transcends genres, borders and generations — through the years, we've seen shades of  the afrobeat pioneer's vision and aesthetic pop up in such varied areas as American hip-hop,  political activism, underground music, dance clubs, human rights campaigns and plenty others.

To commemorate what would have been Fela's 75th birthday this week and the release of KFR Records' Red Hot + Fela, we'll be posting video interviews of both legendary and contemporary musicians speaking about the influence Fela's music has had on their own work and life. Below, watch clips from Brian Eno, Common, George Clinton, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Ray Lema, Jim JamesRobert Glasper, Alex Gibney, ?uestlove, Baloji, Talib Kweli, Bill T Jones, M1 of Dead Prez, Alabama Shakes, Wunmi, Dele and a previously shared video from Paul McCartney. Keep checking back each day as we publish more!

Visit Fela.net and the Regular Trademark store. Use discount code OKAYFELA for 15% off all orders!

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Paul McCartney

?uestlove

Merrill Garbus

Common

George Clinton

Jim James of My Morning Jacket

Talib Kweli

Robert Glasper

Baloji

Brian Eno

M1 of Dead Prez

Ray Lema

Bill T Jones

Wunmi

Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes

Alex Gibney

Dele

BBC Felabration Segment

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Tay Iwar. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tay Iwar Is Nigeria's Hidden Gem

In a rare interview, the reclusive Nigerian singer and producer talks in-depth about writing and producing his new EP 1997, his forthcoming album Gemini and Nigeria's 'Alté' movement.

Tay Iwar wants some space. The word is the title of one of three songs on his new EP and also one that comes up during our interview, conducted via voice notes and texts on Whatsapp from his base in Abuja—a long way from Lagos which remains Nigeria's music hub.

The choice of the nation's quieter capital over the bustle of its music metropolis is a deliberate one for Iwar and one which fevers his reputation as a recluse and cult figure in Nigerian music circles. This especially happens among the subculture referred to as "alté"—an abbreviation of the word alternative which is used to denote the independent movement that is free from the flash and perceived vacuity of afropop. Precise definitions of the word vary but common denominators include introspection and melancholia, as well as trap and R&B.;

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Photo: Dancers of the Asociación Cultural Afro Chincha Perú via Wikimedia Commons

After Decades of Erasure, Afro-Peruvians Will Finally be Counted in the National Census

Despite an Afro-Peruvian cultural resurgence not a lot has been done to increase the population's visibility on a political level.

In 2009, Peru became the first Latin American country to issue an official public apology to its afrodescendiente population for centuries of "abuse, exclusion, and discrimination." Since then, many have criticized it as more of a symbolic gesture, especially for its failure to mention slavery. It was also seen as a way for the government to highlight Afro-Peruvian culture over making any substantive improvements to the material conditions of Afro-Peruvian communities.

Enter the census, which can play an important role in compelling the Peruvian government to address systemic inequality related to education, poverty, and health. Unfortunately, the last time Peru made a formal attempt to keep track of its African descended population via the census was in 1940.

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Watch Kuami Eugene's Vibrant Music Video "Meji Meji" Featuring Davido

This Ghanaian and Nigerian link up will make your day.

Ghana's Kuami Eugene has been an artist to watch—especially as he shows himself to hold his own on collab tracks.

The music video for his latest, "Meji Meji" featuring Davido, is here. Its upbeat vibe shines through as the two crooners go about their day in Ghana, singing sweet nothings to their love interests.

"Meji Meji" was produced by Fresh VDM, with the video directed by Twitch & Rex.

Take a look at the vibrant video below.

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