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Photo: Hugo Glendinning & Gavin Rodgers. Image courtesy of World Circuit Records.

Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela.

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela Pay Tribute to Fela In 'Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)'

"When Hugh and I were recording this song, Hugh immediately wanted to sing. He was singing for his friend," says Tony Allen.

Nigerian afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen and South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela recorded together back in 2010, when they tracked the the "kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew" that will make up their upcoming album, Rejoice.

Though they'd known each other since the 1970s, through their friendship & work with Fela, it took forty years—and a coinciding tour schedule that saw them both in the UK at the same time—for Allen and Masekela to make it to a London studio together. It was there that, along with producer Nick Gold, they recorded the new album which is dropping this Friday.

Those recording sessions remained largely untouched until after Masekela's passing in 2018, which drove Allen and Gold to revisit the tapes of those original compositions with the aim of finishing their now ten-year-old project.


Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela recently shared the latest single from the album, "Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)," a jazz-meets-afrobeat ode to Fela Kuti sung by Masekela.

"Fela was like a brother to me," notes Allen in a press statement. "He was a true genius and I worked with him for 15 years because I believed in him so much. When Hugh and I were recording this song, Hugh immediately wanted to sing. He was singing for his friend. He and Fela were close, they had a lot in common. It was a friendship even more than a musical thing, and yes, of course, they were both political animals."

Watch the new video for "Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same) below.

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela - Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same) youtu.be

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Photo by RAVEENDRAN/AFP via Getty Images

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